This presidential election weighted with life and death issues

Published 9:00 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

In the upcoming election, there are many issues to consider. We want to know where candidates stand on energy, the economy, national defense, etc. All of these are very important.

This election, more than any in our lifetime, has the potential to change the course of our country for years, if not decades to come. There are pros and cons on each side and sometimes it is very confusing trying to decide.

I believe, however, that there are some issues that outweigh all others. In my mind, some stands are non-negotiable; that is, if the candidate’s position is not the same as mine on that issue, I cannot vote for that person no matter how appealing their other stands. I believe there is one such issue in this coming election.

We are very careful in our laws to protect the innocent. A person is considered innocent until proven guilty. Nowhere is that seen better than in the protections and safeguards provided to those who have been condemned to death. We provide counsel and representation and have multiple avenues of appeal for those on death row. We try to do everything in our power to be certain we are not taking an innocent life.

If even the smallest doubt appears, the act is not carried out. We don’t consider the cost, the stress to the accused family, or the trauma to the victim’s family. We are only interested in protecting innocent life. We have a responsibility to do this because in our country’s founding documents we recognize that life is given to us by our Maker as an unalienable right. Sometimes, despite all our best efforts, we discover, after the fact, that an innocent person has been put to death.

When that happens, as a society, we are horrified and outraged. Imagine being that person’s family, or the judge, or the jury. Imagine that sinking feeling in their inner man when they contemplate the finality of that mistake. No one would want to experience that.

Today there is no consensus on when life begins. Is it at conception as some believe? Is it when a baby is able to live on its own outside the womb? Is it only when that child actually draws its first breath?

It is important to know these things, because when life begins determines when rights begin. When an abortion is contemplated, a potential person has been sentenced to death. However, there are no protections or safeguards offered. There are no legal avenues for appeal. Often the only considerations given are to the cost, or the potential trauma or stress to others.

If there is any doubt about when life begins, isn’t it prudent to act on behalf of the accused? Shouldn’t the mere possibility that life begins at conception be enough to stay our hand? Shouldn’t this baby get the same consideration as a murderer? Imagine, if life begins at conception, that sinking feeling when we contemplate that we have condemned a third of a generation — $50 million innocent people — to death since 1973.

I ask that as good citizens you study the positions of each candidate. You can find their positions at

As a Christian, I believe that life is sacred and that it begins at conception. But even if you are not of that belief, please give careful consideration to this issue. It is a matter of life and death. Some stands override all others. When you enter the voting booth this Tuesday, you will be offered an opportunity to choose between life and death. I pray you will choose life.