The murderer Brandon Bernard was executed yesterday. The crime he took part in was
“…the brutal June 1999 carjacking, robbery and murder of husband and wife Todd and Stacie Bagley, youth ministers from Iowa who were abducted and later shot while stuffed inside the trunk of their car, which later was set on fire while the woman was still alive” (source; US brief at SCOTUS).
This article is not about the appropriateness of the death penalty. For that, read Despite What You Heard, The Death Penalty Is Legitimate. Feser and Bessette’s “By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment”.
You may, for the purposes of this article, even believe capital punishment is inadmissible (a word which does not imply, as all the saints and fathers taught us, illegitimate).
Instead, let’s discuss the once-useful, now dead, term pro-life.
Here’s a prime example. The “Friendly” Atheist said of Bernard’s fate “‘Pro-life’ Christians win again.”
First, Christians should never allow atheists, even friendly ones, to define what counts as Christian. That’s a loser’s game, well known in politics to Republicans, who only know defense and retreat.
Second, ignoring that, Mehta’s scare quotes were to signal the apparent contradiction: how can you be for life when you support the execution of this sadistic man? There are a dozen good, sound, logical, Christian answers to that question, all which are discussed in the article above.
But, it is true, going through them all takes time. More time than is available in most cases. The moment you begin, ears fill with water, and you won’t be heard. Beside all that, explanations, to weak minds, sound like excuses. For example:
Someone please explain how pro-execution is pro-life.
— ken olin (@kenolin1) December 11, 2020
Do you think that guy is going to listen to you? Let’s instead listen to this Rothwell:
You can’t be pro-life and pro-death penalty.
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) December 10, 2020
Don’t bother trying to defend the term. Instead say, “I’m not pro-life. I’m pro-execution”, or just “I’m pro-capital punishment”, or any of the obvious variants.
Pro-life was a good term in its day. Its meaning was clear to all, with no explanation needed. Everybody knew its definition: against the killing of the lives inside would-be mothers. Against the murder of innocents so that ladies could go shopping. Against the selling of baby parts. And so on.
Some who are sincerely pro-life are squeamish about saying anti-abortion. Sounds harsh. Sounds judgmental. We have been trained not to be either of these things, and certainly never to admit them.
Admit them. Both charges are true. Barring women from killing their children is indeed a restriction, a harsh rule. It is also judgmental. It says to women, and the quacks running at them with expensive vacuums, “What you’re doing is wrong.”
Not only all that, but being anti-abortion is (an attempt) to impose beliefs, just like feminists and soy-boys say. The belief being imposed is that killing innocent lives for the sake of convenience is abhorrent. It says either you believe in the immorality, or you don’t, but either way you will be made to act like it’s true.
Others say that being anti-abortion “is about controlling women.” Do not run from this. For it is so. We are controlling women such that they cannot cram a knife up inside themselves to kill the beings living in there. It is also controlling the men who would wield these knives.
You can now see the real problem is the squeamishness itself. Stop it.
Our enemies are wrong, and we are right. There is no compromise. They are harsh, they are judgmental. They impose their beliefs. They control women and control men. They do all these things, they are masters of all these things, only they claim to do none of them.
The realpolitik solution, until you develop the cojones, is you do them, too, while saying you are not.
The other problem with pro-life is that it’s burdened with excrescences. Being pro-life means you must support the “battle” against “climate change”, it means you must support this or that new tax or regulation, it means you must support anti-lock brakes, it means you must support people using expired coupons at the grocery store, and on and on and on, in what they laughingly call a “seamless garment”.
Go naked instead of wearing this thing.
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