Saturday, May 15, 2010

What Does It Mean To Be Pro-Life?

Hello all! I’ve been slacking off with blog posts, so I’m going to add another one to the count. Like I said, I’ve been writing a lot about me during this past year and not enough about what I want to talk about (although to be honest, I kind of wanted to tell people all that stuff :D) but at the same time, it served to start developing some of my ideas and also to think about my life. Think of the last year of blogging as an introduction to the mind of an eccentric individual. (I probably said this last blog post too, and upon further inspection, it seems I did. I have a bad memory, heh heh)

This is something I’ve wanted to develop for a while, but due to laziness/forgetfulness/actually being busy, I haven’t had time to write about it or think about it much. I give credit to this nifty little blog I found the other day while stumblingupon (http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2010/05/pro-life-or-anti-sex.html). It is interesting and I have already spent a couple of hours reading the blog posts that Dr. Richard Beck has written.

What does it mean to be pro-life? Usually, when you think “pro-life”, you think in context of the whole abortion debate. I’m not going to get my hand too dirty with that just yet (maybe for a future post), but I will talk about it for a bit now. Wikipedia defines it as thus: “The pro-life movement is a political and social movement focused chiefly around opposition to elective abortion, and support for its legal prohibition or restriction. Those involved in the movement generally maintain that human fetuses and, in most cases, embryos are persons, and therefore have a right to life.” Seems accurate enough, right?

Well, sometimes I have thought about what exactly this means. For an example, Republicans are usually pro-lifers and proclaim to be against abortion and for the protection for the fetus. (Just to make sure, this is not indicating that I am Democrat or anything. I really don’t lean to either side heavily although I do consider myself more liberal.) However, many of them advocate the death penalty for criminals who have done severe crimes. You can take this and reverse it for Democrats. When I see this, I think “really???” Where is the consistency?

To me, what “pro-life” means is more than just in the context of abortion. My ideas on this topic have evolved greatly from when I was smaller. Growing up Catholic, I have always been anti-abortion, and I continue to do so, but now with more reasons to do so and an ability to defend those beliefs. But due to my mindset, I did not see a problem with capital punishment. Once my ideas started evolving, due to an increased desire and thus desire to learn more about theology, as well as my favorite anime show (Rurouni Kenshin, about a former assassin who atones for his killings and talks about the mindset of killing and saving life), my mindset shifted. I started thinking about what it means to really kill someone, if that killing can be justified, and what the meaning and value of life is. I didn’t regard life with much value, but once I assigned human life with a value, a divine one at that, it suddenly became much harder to condone capital punishment. I eventually started to believe that it was wrong to kill someone for punishment, partly because God is the judge, not us, and partly because all human life has value and it should not be taken away so easily. This mindset has only grown during these past couple of years.

So what does this mean for pro-life? For me, “pro-life” means to try to preserve life as much as possible. I do have to specify here, when I talk about life, I am talking about human life. The reason being is that I do not believe that a non-human life carries the same value as a human one, although this is no reason to disrespect animals and such. I simply do not believe that an animal, for instance, carries the same value as a human life, but it is still necessary to take care of them in a loving manner. Anyway, my stance is one of protecting human life. To be truly “pro-life” you should be consistent, in my opinion. How can you truly proclaim to be pro life if you are not really pro life; that is, you’re not promoting the existence of life by killing criminals? Yes, you can make the argument that they deserve it, and I might be inclined to agree that they should be punished. But is it fair to take a life as punishment? Something as precious as life? The same thing with euthanasia. However, I do realize that this is a complex issue. There is no “right” answer; if there was, more people would be following it.

I am not here to tell you to stop, although it would be nice if people could think like me. I just want you to think about what it means to be pro-life and to be consistent in your beliefs. I feel that life is too precious for any one person, organization, or gov’t to just take away. I feel that we should strive to preserve life as much as possible, it is that valuable.

Well, I hope that this gave you at least a bit to think about, and that you can take something out of this reflection. Like I said earlier, don’t forget to visit Dr. Richard Beck’s post. He spoke similar to what I said, although probably in a more intellectual manner and more succinct. Also take a visit to his blog (http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com). Lots of interesting topics to read about.

Till next time, hasta luego!!!

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