“It is often pointed out, contrary to what most people expect, that there is a positive correlation between being pro-life and supporting the death penalty,” writes Dr. Richard Land in the Washington Post‘s “On Faith” section. “Conversely, there is also a positive correlation between being pro-choice and being against the death penalty.”
Dr. Land is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He writes:
Many people who are pro-choice point this out and talk about the Roman Catholic church’s attempt to have what they call a “seamless garment” approach, which means that if you are pro-life you must also be opposed to the death penalty. I support both the pro-life position and the death penalty and see consistency rather than contradiction in holding these positions. Yet that does not mean that I support, without reservation, the death penalty as it has been and is still often applied in the United States.
I am pro-life because the Bible clearly teaches us that life begins at conception (Psalm 51:5) This truth is supported with ever increasing detail as the science of embryology reveals more and more about the intricacies of human fetal development. The Bible also tells us God is involved when conception takes place (Jeremiah 1:4-5), and that God is involved intimately in the process of maturation and development of a child even prior to birth (Psalm 139:13-16).