death penalty


Peace & Life Referendums

by Rachel MacNair A reminder: The Consistent Life Network doesn’t necessarily endorse everything said in its blog, since we encourage individual writers to express a variety of views. This is especially so when analyzing elections. Because potential referendums get added and subtracted, this post will be updated now and then. The original post is September…


What Does It Mean to Be Inconsistent?

by Julia Smucker   CLN President John Whitehead recently put a question to fellow consistent-lifers: does it necessarily make sense to call people “inconsistent” for not fully adhering to the consistent life ethic (CLE)? After all, the reasons people give for approving of some forms of killing and disapproving of others often follow their own…


What’s Cruel for the Incarcerated is Cruel for the Terminally Ill: The Connection between Lethal Injection and Assisted Suicide

    by Jacqueline H. Abernathy, Ph.D., MSSW         In a recent episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, comedian and host John Oliver offered a scathing (albeit profane) rebuke of lethal injection as a means of execution in U.S. states with capital punishment. He detailed the issues with the drugs employed and…


When Linking Abortion with Other Violence Comes Naturally to Pro-lifers

Part 2: Consistency Strengthens the Case Part 1: Connections focuses on how opposing abortion using a broad right-to-life principle strengthens the case against other kinds of violence. Here, we do the reverse, and focus on how opposing other kinds of violence strengthens the case against abortion.    Kathryn Jean Lopez Editor-at-Large, National Review Symposium: Whole…


Recognizing Humanity: Orwell and the Consistent Life Ethic

by John Whitehead We’re 70 years from the publication of one of the 20th century’s most influential books: 1984. George Orwell’s 1949 novel about future life under an extremely repressive regime has shaped political debate and popular culture for decades. The novel’s anniversary will doubtless prompt further reflections. I reflect on Orwell’s concern for defending…


Women’s History Month: Jane Addams

Jane Addams is a notable follower of the consistent life ethic (before the term was coined). We offer a lengthy book excerpt, a shorter book excerpt, and a note from the exhibits at Hull House Museum. Condensed excerpt from ProLife Feminism: Yesterday and Today, pp. 120-126 The Nonviolent Power of the Maternal Body Politic: Jane…


Does Socially-Approved Killing Increase Criminal Homicide?

by Rachel MacNair When killing is socially approved, does this provide a model for killing that isn’t? We offer evidence. The Homicide Rate and Executions Do executions deter murder? Since societies with executions still have murders, we know it’s not a complete deterrent. But are there fewer murders than there would be otherwise? There’s another…


Human Rights & the Right to Life: Reconsidering Conventional Human Rights Activism

by John Whitehead Respecting people’s human rights should go hand in hand with upholding the consistent life ethic. The concept of “human rights” broadly means those conditions that people can legitimately claim as necessary to living a decent human life. Life itself is one of these conditions, and many human rights documents recognize a right…


Will for Life – Double Down

by Tony Masalonis and Rachel MacNair This is an updated and expanded version of an article published in Peace and Life Connections on April 25, 2014. Euthanasia and the death penalty can be connected by taking a stand against both in your personal life. Opponents of these forms of killing have developed documents that anyone…


Seeking Peaceful Coexistence: The Varied Ways of Supporting a Consistent Life Ethic

by John Whitehead That consistent ethic of life advocates are at odds with more conventional American political categories—conservative, liberal, libertarian—is well recognized. Less often recognized are the ways different consistent life ethic advocates diverge from each other and the tensions this can cause. People can understand the consistent life ethic in different ways and have…