With hardly a moral leg to stand on, actor and activist Alyssa Milano argued Thursday those in the pro-life community who support capital punishment are hypocrites for seeking to protect the unborn while “actual people” are executed on death row.
Milano posted the tweet after U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced the federal government — through the Federal Bureau of Prisons — would begin executing death row inmates for the first time since 2003.
The Trump administration is now reversing what had essentially been a moratorium on the federal death penalty during a Department of Justice review of the drugs used to execute prisoners, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the president,” Barr said in a statement about the decision. “Under administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers.”
“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system,” he added.
The first five men who will be executed by the federal government have been convicted of murdering or raping children and the elderly.
Putting the arguments both for and against the death penalty aside — as Christians of all stripes disagree on this issue — there are obvious issues with Milano’s argument that transcend the death penalty debate.
First of all, just because a child is still in her mother’s womb doesn’t mean she isn’t an “actual” person. And in addition, I have a hard time drawing a moral equivalency — like Milano did — between an unborn child who is entirely innocent and a death row inmate guilty of the most heinous and violent crimes.
Milano wasn’t alone, though, in her condemnation of the Trump administration’s shift.
Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Catholic priest who invited infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan to speak behind the pulpit of St. Sabina Church in May, described Barr’s decision as “gravely injurious to the common good, as it effaces the God-given dignity of all human beings, even those who have committed terrible crimes.”
It should be noted that last summer, Pope Francis changed the official teaching of the Catholic Church regarding capital punishment.
In August 2018, Francis announced the death penalty is always “inadmissible” because it “attacks” the inherent dignity of all human beings.
“The church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide,” reads the new text from the Vatican.