Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Editorial statement for January 2007: End legalized barbarity

January is the month that prolifers organize protests against legalized abortion. They pick January, because it was in January that the U.S. Supreme Court had handed down its decision on Roe vs. Wade. However, some prolifers use this month to also speak out on other prolife issues; namely, the death penalty and euthanasia. I'm one such prolifer.

Legalized abortion is wrong in many ways, and I've discussed some of those ways in this blog. One question that I've never gotten a reasonable response to from pro-choicers is how abortion makes someone a more responsible adult. If that's true, then why have some women had multiple abortions? How many does it take before she has reached a certain level of responsibility where she can raise a child?

When a woman has had multiple abortions, she should then be the most responsible person around, regardless of where she goes. But aren't multiple abortions a sign that a person is actually very irresponsible? Logically, it seems much more likely that the more abortions a woman has, the less likely that she'll ever be a responsible adult. So thus, why even bring up this flawed argument that having an abortion makes someone a responsible adult?

Next is euthanasia - or, as it is referred to by its supporters, "death with dignity". The story of Terri Schiavo in 2005 blew the arguments in favor of euthanasia right out of the water. The parents of Terri Schiavo were ready, willing, and able to take over care for her. Terri's husband Michael won't had to have contributed a dime or a minute of his time to her care, but instead, the state allowed the "death with dignity" to take place, so Terri was slowly starved to death over a two week period. Somebody please explain to me on how dignified it is to be starved to death for two weeks.

What the whole story showed is that it wasn't Terri's life that was important, but what she represented to supporters of legalized euthanasia. In other words, a political agenda became more important than a woman's life. So basically then, Terri was sacrificed for the benefit of the supporters of legalized euthanasia, thus making the ending of Terri's life a de facto death penalty for being too disabled to care for herself. Terri deserved better than that.

And last, the death penalty. I saved this for last because my statments here are the longest, and I particularly want to discuss the issue of trying to make the death penalty "kinder and gentler". Think about this: Why don't we use the electric chair anymore? Or how about hanging? Or beheadings? It's because those forms of execution are too much of a spectacle. The electric chair causes painful spasming. Hanging causes death by slow asphyxiation. And beheadings are bloody and messy.

That's why most of the time nowadays, executions are done by lethal injection. Lethal injection is quiet and less of a spectacle. It's also supposed to be less painful for the person being executed. The person just lies there and slowly succumbs to the lethal dosage that has been pumped into his or her veins. No muss, no fuss, just kinder and gentler. But why should it matter how the person is being executed? The end result is still the same: a person is being killed by the state. And is lethal injection truly less painful than the other forms of execution?

No, the reason to execute someone by lethal injection is not because it's better for the person being executed, it's because this form of execution is less painful to the consciences of the supporters of the death penalty. But why spare their tortured consciences? If they're going to support the death penalty, then it shouldn't truly matter how it's done. Beheadings seem to be the least painful for the executed. The blade drops, and the head comes off. Much, much quicker than succumbing to a poison in one's veins. So if the pain of the executed is truly a problem, then bring back beheadings.

But no, beheadings are so - French Revolution. It's too public, too bloody, too much of a spectacle. Can't have that. But supporting the death penalty - no matter how it's done - is still a matter of supporting a state-sanctioned killing. If supporters find themselves bothered by the more public forms of executions, then perhaps they should question why those other forms of executions bother them. It could very well be their consciences that are telling them that it's wrong. They shouldn't have to execute their consciences to support the death penalty.

What all three of these practices have in common is that they are - plain and simply - barbaric. They are holdovers to our more violent past. Why don't we still do "eye for an eye"? Because it's barbaric. Can you imagine someone actually trying to justify cutting out someone's eye for having caused blindness to someone else? Well, why not? If we can "terminate pregnancies", "die with dignity", and "exact justice", then why not adopt "eye for an eye"? Just don't call it "eye for an eye" because that's calling it what it is. No, better to call it something else, like "equalizing reparations".

But clever, euphemistic terms do not cover what these acts ultimately are. They are barbaric, and the sooner that we realize that, the sooner that we can evolve beyond our violent and bloody past. Holding on to them only guarantees that we will eventually sink back to those less civilized ways. We want to believe that we are a better, more enlightened society, but if we were truly that way, we wouldn't be trying to hide what we're doing with clever word play. Ultimately, lying to ourselves will catch up to us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem is that these people believe that the responsible thing to do is to have an abortion.