Thursday, March 23, 2006


an interesting letter to the editor...

on tuesday in the nashville city paper a letter to the editor appeared that bridged a divide that we often find in our outreach work ... while we support broad criminal justice system reforms, tcask is a single-issue organization precisely for this reason ... the issue of the death penalty, as the lil' jesuit dude likes to say, cuts a weird swath across political and social groupings ... allies on this issue are not likely to be all buddy-buddy on issues across the board ... for example, the anti-death penalty movement attracts people from both the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" movements ... it creates a fine line that we must walk as organizers and explains why tcask is a narrowly focused single-issue group ...

read and comment...

To the Editor:

I have been confused about the "right to life" debate for quite some time now.

Every person I have ever met who claimed to be "Pro-Life" has answered my question "So you're against the death penalty?" with a resounding "No!" Confusing, to say the least. How can you be pro-life and pro-death at the same time?

So I called Tennessee Right To Life and asked if any of the funds from the "Choose Life" license plates would be used to fight the death penalty. Confusion reigned on the other end of the line with everyone telling me they were just volunteers and didn't know the answer. All said they would have someone call me back to explain their position on the death penalty. I'm still waiting, and, thankfully, not holding my breath.

Anyway, can anyone explain this dichotomy to me?

Dr. J.L. Brockman

Comments :
An excellent letter! Vegetarians have been wondering the same thing...
This is a subject which I have been consistantly talking about. I contacted the Right to Life Organization of both my county (Dickson) and the State and got the same response which was basically that some of our members are opposed to the death penalty and some are not. We cannot tell them to be against something. Huh!?! Therefore, I wrote my own letter to my local paper (the Tennessean would not publish the letter I sent to them. What a surprize!) Anyway, my letter was not as nice as Mr. Brockman's. Here it is if anyone wants to read and comment. Thanks for the great blog! I enjoy it a lot!

The Dickson Herald
Wednesday, 03/29/06

Letter: Policing the wrong persons

To the Editor:

Oh, thank goodness! The “morality police,” disguised as the Tennessee Right to Life organization were on Capitol Hill this past week to save us from ourselves and abolish Roe vs. Wade.

Unfortunately, they are policing the wrong persons. They should police themselves and clean out their own hypocrisy before they make sure everyone else is clean and neatly scrubbed.

The Tennessee Right to Life organization should be named “The Tennessee Right to Life (For Some) organization,” since they absolutely refuse to stand up against capital punishment.

As this organization arrogantly stands up and tells us how to believe and whose lives should be saved, they refuse to get off the fence on the issue of the death penalty, the reason being that they do not want to lose donations and funding from those who are against abortion but who, while standing there proclaiming their hatred for abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, etc., would gladly flip the switch on the electric chair or push the plunger for the lethal injections.

According to the Web site they “…support reverence and respect for human life without regard to condition, quality, age, religion, race, creed or color, whether born or unborn. This commitment is derived from a belief that each human being, from the time of fertilization to natural death, has an immeasurable dignity and unalienable right to life. Elemental justice demands that this basic right be protected by law.”

What exactly is “natural death” when you are strapped down and injected with three poisons, one of which is not even allowed to be used on animals? Is this not a form of euthanasia, which is one of the causes this organization speaks out against? Either change your name and your statement or include capital punishment as one of your causes.

When you have the audacity to call yourself a Right to Life organization you should defend all life.

If you come to Capitol Hill to overturn an existing law that takes human life, then overturn all laws that take human life, including capital punishment.

Until you have the courage to take on that task, refrain from calling yourself a Right to Life organization. Until you do away with the taking of all lives, you have no right to be the “morality police” and you are nothing more than a shining example of hypocrisy at its best.
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