Against Capital Punishment

There are many issues that fall under the category of pro-life. What they all have in common is that some people in our society are considered “inconvenient”. The theme of “take up your cross” highlights that to be a faithful Christian, sometimes we have to do what is truly inconvenient, including welcoming the presence in our society of people that are “inconvenient.” When thinking of these types of people, the most obvious are unborn babies targeted for abortion. Most abortions in the U.S. happen when a mother does not want to carry a child because she thinks she can’t support the child or having a child would put a dent in her career.

Almost never is it a choice between the mother’s life and the child’s life. A little known fact: when this does happen, the Catholic Church supports the right to save the mother’s life over the child’s life. This is because the Catholic Church views this not as abortion, but a procedure to save the mother’s life that results in the death of the child. This is not a sin. This all ties in to the theme of taking up your cross every day because all of the reasons for aborting a child listed are matters of convenience: saving your career, wanting to avoid the hard work of caring for a child, etc.

Even though the alternative of adoption is available, it is rarely used as a solution to these issues because of the inconvenience of having to give birth to the child and contact an adoption agency. If everybody was willing to take up their cross every day, and valued human life, no one would abort children because of inconveniences, and they would raise their child or put them up for adoption if their economic situation was dire. Another group of “inconvenient” people are the frail elderly and terminally ill. The pro-life movement may soon have to confront the challenge of defending the lives of these people.

Many states are starting to consider euthanasia of people instead of providing expensive health care. This is especially a problem for the poor, who are often dependent on government health care. Currently this issue is presented as an option for the patient to get assistance to commit suicide, but soon the government might be deciding to euthanize people or simply deny treatment in order to save money. One issue that used to be justified in the past is now against the laws of the Church. This issue is capital punishment.

Until the 1600’s, the prison systems and the police force were not strong enough to find criminals and keep them in jails, constantly supplying food to them for years on end. Because of this, the only option for society if you committed a grave crime was to execute the criminal. In modern times, however, our police and jail systems are quite adequate for catching criminals, giving them a trial, and locking them up for decades while also providing them food and shelter. However, in some states in America, capital punishment is still legal. The Church opposes capital punishment because it believes that everyone can change and turn to God. Even if you are not Catholic, you can recognize the much better alternatives to this.

Going back to the theme of taking up our crosses, capital punishment is just another easy way out or shortcut to deal with an inconvenient situation, as opposed to working for a better outcome. If everyone was willing to work to improve people and try to turn them to God, then capital punishment would be rejected. These are the three main issues of our society and its corrupt way of thinking about life as equal to time, work, or money, instead of recognizing the inherent value of life. Abortion happens when a mother decides that her child’s life isn’t valuable enough to take up her cross and work hard to preserve. Euthanasia happens when the government decides that people are too expensive to provide health care to them and would rather take the convenient, easy way out than to help them.

Capital punishment is extremely outdated in its use now that we have proper prisons, police and non-corrupt judicial systems. Instead of paying for food and shelter over the course of decades, so that if an inmate wanted to they could change their life for the better, and turn to God. Another reason to abolish capital punishment is that, however good our judicial system is, there are always flaws. Innocent people are sometimes convicted. To put an innocent person to death would be one of the most horrendous things that could happen in our society. Truly, sometimes people must take up their cross and do hard things in order to do God’s will. Sometimes society as a whole needs to take up the cross and use its resources to preserve the human right to life.     

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