There is a killing problem in America, and it is not because of one group of people or one single ideology. Our flawed legal system and our cultural values are responsible. The legality of capital punishment and abortion are both responsible. Apathy, fear and inaction are responsible. Both Democrats and Republicans are responsible.
Since 1973 with Roe v Wade, there have been over 60 million people aborted in the United States alone. According to Death Penalty Information Center 1,481 people in the US have been put to death by lethal injection since 1976.
Where is the problem?
In the most recent Center for Disease Control report, 652,639 unborn children were killed through legal abortion in 2014 alone. In that same year, Planned Parenthood accounted for 327,653 of those life ending procedures. Planned Parenthood contributes to America’s culture of death and is a driving force behind this nation’s killing problem of innocent lives.
Of the 1,481 executions carried out in the name of justice since 1976, a whopping 1,209 have taken place in the largely conservative southern region of the US. Texas has led this charge with 553 executions. According to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an unknown number of innocent people have been executed in the United States. Their study claims that 1 in 25 (4.1%) of people sentenced to death, are done so for a crime they never committed. Eighteenth century English judge, Sir William Blackstone, who once famously proclaimed, “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer,” would be appalled at the way America’s current legal system handles capital punishment.
As great as America is, and as far as this country has come, America is still deeply flawed in the way it fails to protect the dignity of all human life.
Who gives the right to kill? How can Planned Parenthood be proud in declaring “We’ve come a long way,” when describing their efforts to promote abortion and ignore the truth of the atrocity they are advocating for? Why have so many republican prosecutors in the deep south pushed for the death penalty in so many cases and still claim to be “pro-life”? The death penalty is still disproportionately applied to the poor, just as abortion facilities are disproportionately located in minority communities.
As Sister Helen Prejean said, “The death penalty is a poor person’s issue… it is the poor who are selected to die in this country.” Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., commented on the racism of abortion:
“A majority, perhaps as many as 75 percent of abortion clinics are in areas with high minority populations. Abortion apologists will say this is because they want to serve the poor. But you don’t serve the poor by taking their money to terminate their children.”
What can be done
Rockets for Life moderator Tracey Canisalez said, “Our differences ought not divide us. Look a little further and you will see a small glimpse of our Lord. He made us all unique. How wonderful He is! What a boring world if we were all the same. Diversity ought to be celebrated. We might not agree on everything, but respect one another, be open and listen to each other.”
The Catholic Church stands firmly on the side of life. Neither political party fully represents the teachings of the Church, and we must think in terms of what is good and true and not in terms of political allegiances. One glaring example of this is written in the platforms of both major political parties. The Democratic Party’s platform “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade” while the GOP “supports courts having the option to impose the death penalty in capital murder cases.
“I think that it’s just the nature of politics today… when one side takes a position, the other side kind of has to take the other position,” junior Jack Munzel said. “People should vote based on more than one issue.”