Thursday, February 7, 2013

Readers speak up about meanings of "pro-life"

Many of you accepted my invitation last week to send along your thoughts about what “pro-life” means. Should it be limited to abortion? Can a person be both “pro-life” and “pro-gun”?

Here’s a sampling:

“The number of deaths (from abortion) is similar to Sept. 11 repeating each and every day! Yes, all life is sacred and must be defended. But based on the facts, isn’t it clear why the primary pro-life focus is against abortion? – Bob Desch, Charlotte.

“I have always wondered about that juxtaposition of ‘pro-life and pro-gun’ and thought it incongruous at best. The best time to be poor in America is within the womb.” – Jenny Fuller, Charlotte.

“To me, the term (‘pro-life’) means protection of innocent life. A fetus, thanks to medical science, is viable earlier and earlier. To me, there is no question that this is an innocent unborn child. By contrast, if a man broke into my home, intending to do harm to my family, I would have no problem shooting and killing that man. A gun is an instrument that can be used for good or evil. There is no reason that the pro-life position and the pro-gun rights position would be mutually exclusive.” – Joanna Reynolds, Charlotte.

“War is just as important a life issue (as abortion). We have become so accustomed to supporting war with our dollars and military hero worship that we fail to recognize war is killing – just as abortion, euthanasia and suicide are. Are there really any victims of war who are not innocent? Are military personnel ordered to kill or be killed not also innocent victims, as are the children killed almost daily by our drone strikes?” – Kenneth Schammel, Cornelius.

“How about following up on the ultimate hypocrisy of liberals who are pro-choice and anti-death penalty? They are willing to grant the right to life for convicted rapists and serial killers and yet deny that same right to innocent unborn children.” – Stuart Smith, Salisbury.

“Here’s a bumper sticker which expressed my opinion on the subject. (It reads): ‘GET REAL. Like Jesus Would Ever Own a Gun & Vote Republican.” – Rollin Raymond, Charlotte.

“Just once I would like to hear some writer/reporter tell the true reason 20 children were killed in Newtown: A mother of a disturbed son went to a gun store and bought guns for her son, took him to a firing range and taught him how to use the guns, then did not lock up the guns when they returned home. The number of guns, or the rounds the guns held, had nothing to do with the slaughter of innocent children.” – Archie Pearson, Taylorsville

And for the sake of balance, here’s one from a reader in Davidson who asked that his name be withheld:

“There is simply no question that (Catholic) Church authorities, despite Cardinal (Joseph) Bernardin’s powerful teaching of the Church’s position as a ‘seamless garment of life,’ have for decades abandoned that position for a very narrow focus on abortion to the exclusion of all other issues. That’s why the Church is losing so very many of us. It wants attending, but not attentive, Catholics. Sorry padres, but I was actually paying attention to everything you taught me through university, and the one who’s straying from Catholic teaching is you, not me.”

-- Tim Funk