As you probably already know, last Sunday late term abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered while at church. Pro-life advocates were quick to condemn the killing. Pro-abortion advocates were, in some situations, quick to point out that the incident proves that the pro-life people should be considered "domestic terrorists."
The thing that I found interesting were all the labels put on people: pro-life, pro-choice, pro-abortion, anti-abortion etc. The terms "pro-life" and "anti-abortion" really caught my eye and at first a person would think that they were the same thing. After thinking about it I realized that they may not be synonymous. Is seems that pro-life means the person may have a respect for life from the time of conception to the point of natural death while anti-abortion may be better described for those against abortion but for the death penalty or maybe even euthanasia.
Many conservatives take flack because they claim to be pro-life while they are pro-death penalty. I think this is a valid complaint. How can you be considered pro-life when you are for the taking of a human life??
I have to admit that the teaching against the death penalty is something that I have struggled with. For most of my adult life, I've been for the death penalty. I have had to pray for understanding and it's only recently that I've started to understand the Church's teaching against the death penalty. I've come to realize that to be for the death penalty is to have lack in hope in God and to possible condemn someone to Hell. I came to this realization after listening to a talk by a guy by the name of Russell Ford on CD (https://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.com/store/products/no_escape-from_prison_to_the_catholic_faith). Russell Ford is a prisoner in the Alabama prison system. Mr. Ford had a conversion in prison (ya ya ya---I know--don't they all??) But he started a ministry and started converting people to the Catholic faith. One of the people who he converted was one of the biggest, baddest, hardest criminals in the Alabama penal system. I don't recall this guys name but he had been in prison for decades. If memory serves me right, he had been on death row but it got overturned to life when the Supreme Court suspended the death penalty in the US. So for all basic purposes, he should have been executed decades ago. But years later, he came to Christ and not only that--but started turning others to Christ who might not have otherwise.
Some people may be cynical and doubt their sincerity and belief that some crimes are so heinous that they should be put to death. But to do so puts our self in the position of God and I do not think any of us should think our self worthy of that.
We should all strive to follow that teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and have respect for life from conception to natural death. We should all be pro-life and not just anti-abortion.
Zōjō-ji [temple] in Shiba
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