Monday, October 03, 2005

Pro-DP is pro-life?????

Supporters of the death penalty never cease to amaze. If you want to kill people because you want revenge, so be it. If you're naive enough to think it's a deterrent, go do some homework. If you're just plain scared, well, that's a shame, especially since politicians play on those fears, but we can all relate to the basic human emotion of fear. (Aside: Is fear an emotion or a state of mind?)

But one would be hard-pressed to claim that they support the death penalty because they are pro-life. And, yet, Kevin Elmer of the Springfield (MO) News Leader appears to do just that. In an op-ed from September 11, Elmer says the following:

In America we do love life. There are raging debates over the existence of the death penalty for those who commit murder.

From there, Elmer goes on to touch on a wide variety of life issues: abortion, stem-cell research, Americans with Disabilities Act, social programs to aid the poor, etc. At this point, it's hard to tell if he's suggesting a particular viewpoint or just laying out some of the life issues we face as a nation.

But then Elmer says this:

Americans may not agree on these laws and policies, but they are examples of the compassion and values of our country.

Huh? Am I just completely misreading this? Or is he actually suggesting that the death penalty is an example "of the compassion and values of our country"? Death penalty supporters are a lot of things, but I don't think "pro-life" is one of them.

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