I was forced to contemplate my positions after reading the letters in "Back Talk" in the 12/14 issue.
All the letters questioned the moral honesty of the Indy and its readers in relation to the causes championed; death penalty opposition, birth control education, environmental protection, and those positions opposite abortion choice. I think it is important for all of us to be challenged about our reasons for opposing some things while supporting others that seem to contradict our original position. We all need to be sure of our grounding.
I balance my positions not so much by supporting abortion choice or not supporting the death penalty, but by supporting those things that will reduce or eliminate the reasons why abortion and the death penalty come up. I think everyone would agree that zero abortions would be success. I also hope that people who think the death penalty is the solution take no joy in its application. Elimination of both would show we have intelligently progressed from unwanted reaction after the mistakes to their prevention.
Preventing abortions does not come from birth control ignorance, censorship, or preventing access to birth control methods or information. Prevention also includes a safe environment that does not create birth defects. Abortions can also be prevented by providing community support to families that face difficult life long financial, medical and care issues.
Preventing the use of the death penalty also means getting at root causes. Identifying at risk families and children and intervening early with community support. Incompetent parents, learning disabilities, access to mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, access to counseling--these are contributing factors that help shape the future snap decisions that destroy both victims and perpetrators and their families.
In both issues are you ready to put your money where your opinions are?