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Peace & Life Connections #24 - August 27, 2010


Helen Prejean Speaks on the Consistent Life Ethic

PLC 24 Prejean        CL endorser Helen Prejean will speak on "Embracing a Consistent Ethic of Life" on October 4, 7pm, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 6701 Muncaster Mill Rd., Derwood, MD (near Rockville). She’s the author of Dead Man Walking, which was also turned into a movie, and has been influential in increasing opposition to the death penalty.

        We would like to videotape the talk for putting up on our youtube channel, so if anyone in the vicinity has the equipment and/or skills to do this and would like to help, please let us know at

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Delving Deeper – Sociology of Religion article

        The author’s own summary of this article, entitled “God Imagery and Opposition to Abortion and Capital Punishment: A Partial Test of Religious Support for the Consistent Life Ethic*  is:

        “Abortion and the death penalty are two of the most contentiousissues in American public life. Previous scholarship has documented religious variations in attitudes toward each of these hotly contested issues. However, scant research has explored how religious factors affect opposition to both abortion and capital punishment, two key elements of a consistent life ethic. This study offers a partial test of religious support for the consistent life ethic by examining the extent to which the nature and quality of the relationship between God and the religious believer fosters opposition to both abortion and capital punishment. Using data from the 2004 General Social Survey, we find that a close relationship with a loving God predicts opposition to both abortion and the death penalty net of other religious factors and covariates. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and delineating promising directions for future research.”

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News Tidbits

         Much has been made of the claimed withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq.  However, the White House statement says U.S. retains a "transitional force of up to 50,000 U.S. troops to train and advise Iraqi Security Forces; conduct partnered and targeted counter-terrorism operations; and protect ongoing U.S. civilian and military efforts."  Many of those troops are in combat units, and in fact fresh combat units are still being sent to Iraq to replace returning units.  Also, the 50,000 figure doesn't include contract personnel.

   ∞                 On August 23, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that since embryonic stem cell research clearly destroys human embryos, President Obama’s Executive Order allowing taxpayer funding of it contradicts the Dickey amendment, which bans funding of destroying embryos. Unfortunately, the administration plans to appeal.  

   ∞     CL member group Catholics Against Capital Punishment report that this year’s nation-wide Catholic Church Respect Life program materials, which always include opposition to abortion and euthanasia, will once again include opposition to the death penalty, as they last did in 2006.  

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Quotation of the Week

Helen Prejean

Endorsing the book, Consistently Opposing Killing, which will be out in paperback shortly

         “The societal wounds of racism, poverty, and a penchant for using violence to address problems are intimately connected to the death penalty, to war, to the killing of the old and demented, and to the killing of children, unborn and born. If more people were familiar with the consistent life ethic, as expounded in this book, then the voice of all unseen vulnerable people would be better heard.”

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