Dear Renee:

How can people, mostly Conservative Christians, be so adamantly pro-life and pro-death penalty at the same time? Both are forced medical procedures, over whose control is ceded to the State.

Pletcher the Wretcher

Dear Pletch,

I live in the capital of Pro-life and Pro-death penalty. Mississippi is red and Tea Party ‘Publican. Our governor, Phil Bryant, was a huge Donald Trump supporter, and the state is arguably the second or third most religious in the country. This level of hypocrisy makes me want to vomit, too.

As evidence of the State’s contradictory stances, on the pro-life side, we have one Planned Parenthood in all of Mississippi. It does not perform abortions, but the State decided to enact legislation anyway to cut off all funds (which came from Medicaid). That law saved an average of $219 per year. I hope they don’t spend it all in one place.

On the other hand, the death penalty has become a contentious issue for many states, and this one is no exception. Lethal injections are almost impossible to perform, because drug manufacturers do not want to be associated with them. The drugs have been limited or pulled completely. Mississippi’s solution for this is to bring back the firing squad, electrocution, and the gas chamber. It really is moving backwards, although most of us did not think that was possible.

The problem is with the teachings of the churches. Here is a prime example (emphasis mine):

“I have a constituent whose daughter was raped and killed by a serial killer over 25 years ago and that person’s still waiting for the death penalty. The family is still waiting for justice,” said Gipson, an attorney and Baptist pastor who lives in the small town of Braxton, about 25 miles south of Jackson. (WaPo)

We spend a great deal of time questioning the pro-life stance, and in the end generally conclude that most people are actually pro-birth. They oppose food stamps, subsidized housing, Medicaid, school lunches, and basically anything else that provides assistance once the children are born. However, we rarely discuss what happens at the end, if the death penalty is handed down.

The fundagelical churches teach the death penalty, based on Exodus 21.

23“But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.…

However, they conveniently overlook the New Testament, when Jesus came and nullified the laws of the Old Testament. He specifically addressed this particular passage in Matthew 5.

37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one. 38 You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also;…

Finally, in answer to your question, they can be pro-life and pro-death penalty; it is easy by being hypocrites and conveniently cherry-picking the Bible to suit their agendas. There is no reasonable explanation that allows them to justify maintaining both stances. They basically just do whatever the hell they want. Bless their hearts.

If you have a question for Renee, please submit it via [email protected]

Y’all behave now! 


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