Dollins: A Catholic perspective on life
Ryan Summerlin March 1, 2013
Mr. Capozzella’s letter last Wednesday titled “Moral contradictions and consistency” asked three questions, so I thought I would answer them.
1. “Is it okay to kill an adult and occasionally a child who commits a heinous crime but is against God’s law to kill a cell?” In general, one should never kill another person, no matter if they have trillions of cells or eight cells (the earliest time a cell count can be done on a human person is during the zygote stage when the genetic material from both parents forms a cluster of eight cells). Issues of self-defense and fighting in a just war might be considered, but those are not really the focus here.
2. “If we are going to be consistent shouldn’t there be laws against abortion, contraceptive devices, divorce, killing any human being, masturbation and stealing?” Not everything that is morally wrong should be made illegal, only the things of greater gravity, of which murder is the most important. Protection from undue harm is the goal here, not consistency.
3. “When was the last time any of these people voiced their condemnation of capital punishment or adultery?” I have preached about both of those items at least once every year in the Catholic parish here in Breckenridge since I arrived in 2010.
I would like to say that it is good for Mr. Capozzella to desire that all of God’s commands be adhered to, but the things that more greatly affect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the human person must receive more emphasis. There are about 3,300 abortions in the US every day. Since 1976 there have been 1,226 executions in the US. It is only logical that the proportionally greater evil would receive greater emphasis.
Finally, I would like to say directly to Mr. Capozzella, when a human life is taken by the direct action of another person, no matter the method used, it is never “mundane.”
Fr. Randy Dollins, Silverthorne