One of the aspects that is so inexplicable regarding Republican behavior is their hypocritical belief that killing is wrong if it is abortion, but not if it is the death penalty. The moors of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus guide these secular discussions put forth by the GOP and its army of believers. But just as with most of their primary platform positions, this contradiction is highly untenable.
Few issues fire up Republicans like the right to choose. Pickets, protests, bombs, doctor assassinations; there remain only a handful of actions that Republicans have not tried to prevent the citizens of the United States from legally receiving this specific medical treatment. Yet at the same time, Republicans and conservative-dominated states continue to execute inmates on death row (though the numbers of executions have been dropping steadily and the more tolerant younger generation will probably in their lifetime see the removal of this horrendous practice). Republicans counter that everyone deserves the right to live, unless it is forfeited via heinous crimes.
But that argument still goes against fundamental Christian belief that all killing is wrong. With an imperfect justice system, there are those who come to be executed who were innocent. Can Christians think of one well known guy who was wrongfully executed?
Many Republican believers instead tout the death penalty as a deterrent — criminals will think twice before murdering a family in their home if they know that there is the chance that they will be executed — and in this regard it is the same for abortion.
Republicans proffer abstinence-only education with regards to sexuality and would prefer their children to wait for marriage, an age-old belief dating from ancient biblical times. Disregarding the fact that very few people actually wait for marriage anymore, in this way they find a consistency in argument: have sex before marriage, and if you get pregnant that’s what you deserve, so don’t have sex.
The sexual liberation, particularly of women, during the past four decades has riled up the Republican faithful who see it as the devolution of religious doctrine. It is in no small part the reason why Republicans fight against abortion so heavily; if woman can control their bodies, where would their powers eventually lead to? Might they try to control what a man chooses to do with his body? Heaven forbid!
The death penalty as a deterrent to violent crime does not work, just as measures to limit abortions like intra-vaginal-anythings do not sway one who has made up her mind. Ironically, the only way to severely limit abortions are to significantly improve sexual education and access to contraceptives. That will have to be something we push for after the older generation of Republican conservatives dies off.
Happy 4th of July!