|Can they both be pro-life?|
There's a debate going on in the pro-life community about what it really means to be pro-life. Much of the time, it's much fiercer than I wish it was. Some people are absolutely convinced that you have no right to claim to be pro-life if you eat animals and are for executing people. Well, I eat animals, and I am pro-death-penalty. I hope that everybody can see that we should still be able to work together to stop abortion, whether or not we have different views on the definition of pro-life--abortion is an obvious evil that needs to stop.
That being said, I decided to write about how you can be pro-life and still be for animal and criminal deaths. (Pro-abortion vegans--of which, I think, there are many--make no sense.)
I'll start with veganism. People are vegetarians for many different reasons; some believe it is healthier and/or more economical, some believe in not killing any form of animal life if they can help it, some believe that the conditions that animals are raised to slaughter are deplorable enough that it is immoral to eat such meat, thus condoning those conditions and practices. Honestly, I have not looked into these matters much, though I know deplorable slaughterhouses do exist, and animals do have feelings and fears. I'm not for animal cruelty. God gave us this Earth and commanded us to take care of it. I'm not against animal deaths, though, because...they're animals. In an ideal situation, any animals killed would be killed humanely. However, I don't want to lose sight of the people in the world by focusing too much on animals (not using it in the biological sense, since biologically humans are animals too). Sure, let's take care of the Earth and its animal inhabitants, but let's not worship it. Our focus needs to be on humans. Is veganism the most humane/healthy/economical choice? Maybe it is. I'm open to that. But it isn't my focus in life right now.
Now, the death penalty. I believe the two main arguments against the death penalty are as follows: 1) too many innocent people are killed. 2) It's up to God to take life, and we as human beings shouldn't do it.
The first argument is debatable. I tried looking it up once and got so confused I just stopped. It's amazing how different the statistics are depending on whether the website is pro-death-penalty or not. All I know is that it's true that innocent people have been killed. I also know that science has progressed so much, the likelihood of someone being wrongly convicted keeps dropping significantly.
As for the second reason...I recently saw a bumper sticker ('cause we all know bumper stickers never lie) that said something to the effect of "It's God's job to judge terrorists. It's the military's job to arrange the meeting". While I don't quite agree with the message that this implies, it makes a very good point. We have the right to defend ourselves. The death penalty, like war, should be used sparingly and as a last resort, but freely. God commands us to turn the other cheek, but he also told David when to go to war, outlined how to give out death penalties, and I'm not going to hesitate to use the self-defense methods I know (which, I hope, will someday include a gun. Muahaha.) if some man tries to rape me. The Constitution grants everybody a right to life. But if somebody forfeits that right to life, either by killing or some other horrendous crime, then they forfeit that right to life, with full knowledge that they were forfeiting it. Criminals know that the death penalty exists. If they want to risk being executed, that's their concern. I'm not going to let them off the hook.
I am not condoning violence against abortion workers by saying this. There is a difference between the death penalty--which has been given, hopefully, by due process of law--and going out and shooting somebody who was not breaking the law (even if that law is wrong) because you think what they're doing is wrong. Even if it wasn't morally wrong, it would be (and is) counter-productive. The death penalty, like war, should be used as a last resort. We can still win this war against abortion. We are winning this war against abortion. Pro-abortioners don't have a leg to stand on. We can stop violence without using violence.