Can You Be Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty?

Recently, champion boxer and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao threw his support behind the reimposition of the death penalty in the Philippines (watch: Death Penalty in the Philippines). Senator Pacquiao is a newly elected Senator who ran with a pro-life commitment. He said he was anti-abortion and did not support the contraceptive mentality.

He even voted against the Reproductive Health Bill saying: “What happened in Vegas strengthened my already firm belief in the sanctity of life, on whether a person’s right to live in this world should be put in the hands of his fellow man. Only God has the right over this.” (Inquirer)

Lately, though, he appeared to have changed his mind regarding a person’s right to life. He has sponsored numerous Senate Bills reimposing the death penalty. And has even said that the Bible has approved this: “God gave the government the right to use capital punishment. Jesus Christ was even sentenced to death because the government called for it.” (ABS-CBN)

Senator Pacquiao, you cannot be pro-life and pro-death at the same time. The reasoning why life is important at the moment of conception applies to life at all ages and across all circumstances. EVERY LIFE IS IMPORTANT.

You yourself have attested to the miracle in your own life, as you have changed your womanizing ways to follow God’s Will in your life. If you can change for the better, then why shouldn’t others have that chance as well? No matter how severe the crime or sin committed, we all have the chance to become better. What needs to change is the rehabilitation system. Give people the chance and skills to change for the better. Not just locking them up in crowded cells full of gangs and goons.

And one more, Senator Pacquiao, Jesus’ crucifixion was cruel, horrific and inhumane. True, though, that through His sacrifice he brought salvation to the world, but to wish that on other people – and to even use it is a justification for your own misguided views – does that make you a follower or Jesus, or more like one of his persecutors?

Maybe it is good to look again at the Catholic Church and see how the Magisterium and Catholic Tradition have interpreted and taught about the sanctity of life and being anti-death penalty. Instead of liberally interpreting Sacred Scripture as you see fit.

EVERY LIFE IS IMPORTANT, Senator Pacquiao. Even yours. Even a drug addict. Even an unborn child. Everyone.

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