the Consistent Life Ethic
The right to life for every human being
Respecting and upholding the dignity of every human person is a conservative cause. The Republican Party was founded, in part, to end the human rights abuses of slavery in the U.S. Today, certain classes of humans are denied their intrinsic rights endowed by their Creator and enshrined in our Constitution. We fight to protect the lives of the preborn from the violence of abortion – why do we not apply this passion to defending all potential victims of aggressive violence?
The Consistent Life Ethic is a philosophy that values and respects human life at all times, in all places, under every circumstance. This means protecting every individual from the moment of conception until their natural
death. Conservatives should stand up for every person whose life and liberty are on the line be it the preborn, the ill, those on death row, and casualties of foreign war.
abortion, euthanasia, & Embryonic stem cell research
As conservatives we stand against the violence of abortion and embryonic stem cell research at the dawn of life, because we understand the inherent dignity of the human person from the moment of conception. We also affirm the dignity of those who are sick and dying at the twiling of their lives by opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia. Our conservative leaders should continue to make strides towards a world where every human's life is respected, valued, and protected, and we bear the responsibility for holding them accountable. The respect we have for the right to life must be applied to every human being, regardless of their circumstances of age, size, race, location, dependency, ability, innocence, etc.
principles of human dignity, conservatives should also oppose unjust wars, capital punishment, and torture...
It is vital that we ask our politicians to recognize the inherent dignity and rights of all human beings, not just the rights of victims of abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. If we are truly to stand for the inherent dignity of all human beings, we need to fight for the lives of those caught behind enemy lines, the prisoner on death row, and the captive at Guantanamo. We need to demand that Republicans adopt an opposition to unjust wars, capital punishment, and torture.
"...But criminals forfeit their right to life!"
We do not lose our humanity when we commit a crime. As conservatives we believe in small government; but allowing the State to determine who lives and who dies is a clear overreach of government power. In addition to being contrary to the inherent dignity of humanity, the death penalty is also ineffective at deterring crime,[A] is costly [B], and is actually a public menace to our communities. Innocent people have been convicted, spent years on death row, and some have even been executed.[C] Due to the legal costs and time it takes to go through the appeals process, it results in a waste of government resources.
"...But We have a right to national defense!"
A small government would stay out of other States’ affairs. As humans, our lives are intinsincally valuable, so the lives behind enemy lines are just as valuable as our own. To send our troops into unnecessary conflicts does not show respect for their lives and treats them as expendable. Only after all diplomatic options have been exhausted in national defense should we consider war. Additionally, we must always strive to cause the least human damage as possible. While we do admit that there is the theoretical possibility of a just war, there are so many stipulations in Just War principles to prevent injustice in the declaration of war and in the battle practices themselves that are not being followed by our modern military. With everything from nuclear warfare and the targeting of civilians in drone bombings [D] soldiers are trained to kill and think of enemies as subhuman,[E]
The question arises as to whether we are on the righteous and moral path with our military practices.
A strong national defense is important. However, it should be just that – defense. Engaging in preemptive strikes is never necessary and is an act of aggression. Torture violates the dignity of the human person. Additionally, “advanced interrogation” methods have been proven ineffective,[F] and those held at Guantanamo have been held without trial or due process.[G]
[A]Sorensen, J., R. Wrinkle, V. Brewer, & J. Marquart. Capital punishment and deterrence: Examining the effect of executions on
murder in texas. 1999. Crime & Delinquency, 45(4), 481-493.
[B] Steiker, Carol S., & Jordan M. Steiker, “Cost and Capital Punishment: A New Consideration Transforms an Old Debate”, 2010 U.
CHI. LEGAL F. 117 (2010).
[C] Gross, Samuel R., Chen Huc, Edward H. Kennedy, and Barbara O’Brien. “Rate of false conviction of criminal defendants who are
sentenced to death.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
[D] The Guardian.
[E] Arner, Rob, and J J. Sebastian. Consistently Pro-Life : The Ethics of Bloodshed in Ancient Christianity. Eugene, OR: Pickwick
Publications, 2010. Print. 6
[F] NBC News.
[G] Christian Science Monitor.
consistent life ethic topics
Former Executive Director, American Conservative Union
“My fundamental problems with the death penalty began as a result of my personal concern, echoed by many on all sides of the political spectrum, that it was inconsistent for one to be ‘pro-life’ on the one hand and condone government execution on the other.”
Conservative Political Pundit & Commentator
"I also wonder if conservatives in particular have fully thought out their robust defense of capital punishment. For a group that values the sanctity of human life, as I do, it strikes me as the exact opposite position we should take."
Former President of the United States,
Former Republican Governor of California
"Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."