Thursday, September 22, 2011

Can't Make Sense of It...

I am unceasingly amazed by people who are simultaneously aghast at the idea of capital punishment, yet when faced with the infinitely more agonizing moral dilemma of abortion are (to use the modern vernacular) "totally down with that".

I won't deny that, though I support the death penalty in some cases, I also find myself questioning how that support fits in with my beliefs as a Christian.  My qualms stem chiefly from the concern that by executing a criminal-- even the most heinous-- we are potentially denying him/her the chance of redemption.  I must admit that in certain instances (especially brutal murders), I have trouble caring about that (no inclination whatsoever toward mercy), but I feel I ought to be troubled, because I believe that even those I personally cannot tolerate are still of value to God.  (Then again, by the time most of these criminals are actually executed, they've sat on death row long enough to give them ample opportunity to realize what they've done and to turn to God...)  To say it's a difficult, confusing issue is a vast understatement. 

So yes, I can understand where some people are coming from, when they object on moral grounds to the execution of criminals.  What I can't understand is how those same people don't bat an eye at the thought of the senseless execution of the innocent unborn.  Yet there it is.  So, a couple of convicted criminals were executed last night, and the story of at least one of them has been plastered all over the news for days.  How many abortions do you think occurred (in the US alone), yesterday?  I don't know, but I'm willing to guarantee it was more than two unquestionably innocent lives snuffed out before they had even been given the chance to draw breath-- and of course you haven't heard a peep about those.  Too many of the same people who were outraged-- offended-- teary-eyed over the former are completely unperturbed by the latter.  I don't think I'll ever make sense of that mindset.

Edited to add:
Yes, I realize that some of the outrage over one of these particular cases was based on worries that this individual might not have been guilty (though from what I've heard, it seems unlikely).  This fact doesn't change my confusion over how the same person can agonize over the death of a criminal but unthinkingly support abortion.

Edited again:
Here's an interesting, brief blog post about Christianity and the Death Penalty.