I am sure I will be raked over the coals for my thoughts in this post. To be honest, I don’t care.
I’m not even going to try to make a strong biblical case. I probably could. That’s not my goal.
This week, in fantasy football, someone tried to trade me three players for Tom Brady. I’m not a fan of Tom Brady. I don’t like his off the field example. I don’t like the patriots. But, it’s fantasy football and he scores points. As you can imagine, I scoffed at the idea. “You’ve got to be kidding me?!” Ummm, decline trade.
For my whole life, I’ve been pro-death penalty. It’s in the Bible. If you commit a crime against another person created in the image of God that results in their death, there is a prescribed response. It’s even logical. If you kill a bunch of people, there’s a likelihood you will have to pay with your own life.
I’ve been in several arguments about the death penalty. I’ve argued for it. I’ll admit that. I’ll also admit that in the last several years, I’ve struggled with the concept. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one making that decision.
Since 1976 there have been 1,416 executions. 35 in 2014. 22 so far in 2015.
Now, let me take a turn for a moment. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people “calling out” the hypocrisy of Christians for believing in the death penalty while at the same time being pro-life when it comes to the topic of abortion.
One thing to consider: This calling out is being presented as an exact apple to apple comparison. When in fact that is not the case. The person receiving the death penalty committed a crime that cause them to be put in that situation. Maybe some of them are innocent, but most who are there have made a choice that led them to be on death row.
This is not the case with the unborn. They did not commit a crime that led punishment by death. They have not been able to make mistakes. They have not made bad choices. They haven’t even been able to make someone mad at them. Someone who receives the death penalty has committed a crime that has led to that decision. An unborn child has committed no crime.
On another note, the death the unborn suffer is not nearly as humane as the murderer’s execution. The murderers and rapists get sedatives. Their death is quick by design. In seconds their life is over. Their bodies are not torn apart. Their body parts are not sold for profit afterwards. Some may donate their bodies to medical research, but they have that choice don’t they? (Correct me if I’m wrong.)
1,416 since 1976. 1,416 executions of people who committed a crime.
Since 1976, by my best calculation there have been 55,627,374. That’s not including 2015. So, 56 million. Almost 58 million since Roe V. Wade.
My aim in this post is simple. I would like to propose a trade.
If I give up the argument for the death penalty, will you give up abortion? Because I will gladly do so. I’ll fight for the life of those on death row if we can come to an agreement to end abortion. I’ll gladly share the love of Christ and the grace that covers every sin, no matter how severe with those who are waiting to die. Gladly. Just give me the opportunity. I’m more than willing.
The truth of the matter is, as long as we can point out the hypocrisy of others, we don’t have to worry as much about our own hypocrisy. If people can point out that I’m a hypocrite for being pro death penalty, they don’t feel as bad about their own hypocrisy. Regardless of whether or not I really am a hypocrite.
The truth of the matter is, the reason we’re not willing give up abortion is because of what it might require from us. It might require we be responsible adults. If we make a mistake that leads to pregnancy, we will have to be responsible for the life that results. It costs us something personally. Fighting for the life of someone on death row doesn’t cost much personally. Committing to being a parent for the rest of your life does.
Please don’t consider me unsympathetic. I have deep sympathy for those who suffer abuse and rape and other awful things that result in pregnancy. But, 97+ percent of abortions aren’t under those circumstances. I can’t imagine the struggle. But, I’ve also heard wonderful stories of redemption. How a mom decided to keep a baby in this situation, and that baby went on to be used by God for great things.
That’s because I believe in grace. And I know that grace can cover everything. Grace for the murderer. Grace for the unborn child. Grace for the parents who choose to follow through.
But, I suppose this is a trade that doesn’t have much of a chance of going through. Just like I wasn’t going to trade Tom Brady, we aren’t going to be able to make a death penalty for abortion trade.
But, can we come to an understanding? (Again, I understand the likelihood of this is also unlikely.) Would you mind not calling me a hypocrite for fighting for the life of the unborn? I’m willing to give up the death penalty and support life from womb to tomb.
I’m for life, not matter what the stage. I’m for life no matter how dinged up and damaged it may be. I have hope for those who don’t have hope for themselves.
I’m for life. I’m for the life of the mother. I’m for the life of the child. I’m for the life of the woman who’s been abused, raped and disrespected in unmentionable ways.
I’m for life.