Capital Punishment Vs. Abortion

I have received several responses in regards to my post below dealing with Abortion. The responses common theme is that conservatives are “hypocrites” and have a “backwards view of reality” because of their anti-abortion, and at the same time pro-Capital Punishment views. How could conservatives be for life with regard to abortion, but against life with regard to the death penalty? Since they both involve life conservatives are inconsistent at best, hypocrites and illogical at worse. So their argument goes.

Although to some degree both issues involve life, they are fundamentally very different. The central difference between Abortion and Capital Punishment is innocence. In one case, you are executing a convicted criminal who has committed the worse crimes of society; in the other case you are executing an innocent human being. These are two fundamentally different things. We can agree that there are times when it is acceptable to kill: in self-defense, in protection ones loved ones, in times of war. However, we should all agree that it is never acceptable to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

Whether Capital Punishment is one of those acceptable times to kill is debatable, since we’re dealing with a guilty person. But if one believes human life begins at conception (Like John Kerry below), one has to conclude that abortion is the killing of innocent human life, something that is, unquestionably, a clear-cut wrong.

So these issues are fundamentally different. However, to see how different these issues are, lets take the liberal view in practice. Presidential candidate John Kerry for example, the most liberal member of the senate, on the one hand will strongly oppose the death of a person who has committed, through his own choices, the most egregious crimes imaginable to man. For example, someone who murdered children merely for pleasure. Or an obsessive child molester. A cop killer. Regardless of the severity of the crime, the liberal will continue to oppose his death.

On the other hand, this same liberal (Kerry), will vote against a law that would make it a federal crime to perform second and third trimester abortions. The bill itself, “The Partial Birth Abortion Ban” is named after how this procedure is done. You partially birth the unborn child, enough to where you can see the back of the head, than you puncture the back of the head and suction out the brains. All without any anesthesia, all late in pregnancy, and all against someone who commited no actions deserving this punishment.

Yet these liberals have the nerve to call the conservative view of reality backwards? Call me backwards, but if I had to err on the side of caution in only one* of the cases above, I would always do so with an innocent person than with a guilty person. It is clearly the conservatives who have their priorities in order here.

*For the record, I haven’t made up my mind on Capital Punishment yet. It is an issue that involves several different factors and considerable thought. However, my point here is not to speak for or against Capital Punishment, or for or against Abortion for that matter. But to show why I see the liberal view as the backwards-illogical view when dealing with the priority of these two issues.

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