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Peace & Life Connections #356
April 14, 2017

Syria - Chemical Weapons Attacks and Air Strikes
         We have statements on the current Syrian situation from our member groups Pax Christi and Feminists for Nonviolent Choices. Political scientist Stephen Zunes, who specializes in nonviolent movements and in Middle East policy, and co-edited our Consistently Opposing Killing book, offers insightful commentary as usual. See also a petition for Syrian refugees
        Member group Rehumanize International (formerly Life Matters Journal) held a protest outside the White House, with signs such as “War is not pro-life” and “Violence doesn’t end violence, it extends it.”

356 protest
Photo by Pat Mahoney. The person on the bullhorn is Aimee Murphy.
Arkansas Execution Spree
        Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas has an anti-abortion record. He’s also overseeing a series of 8 executions to occur in the space of a few days, on the reasoning that one of the expensive and hard-to-get lethal drugs used to carry out executions will soon meet its expiration dates. These are to start next Monday.
        There have been a good number of pro-lifers, including conservative Republicans, who have understood that pro-life reasoning on abortion is connected to pro-life reasoning on the death penalty.
         Additionally, the act of killing tends to be traumatizing to those who do it (click here for personal stories of people traumatized by their own killing; three of the stories involve executioners). This concern has been raised in the media in this case specifically, since 8 bunched up will be emotionally harder – and more likely to lead to mistakes – than one at a time.
          For those who would like to have a word with the governor’s office about this, the phone number is (501) 682-2345, or you can leave a comment online.
Reminder: Building Bridge Conference
        Our 30th anniversary conference, Creating a Holistic Culture of Life: Bridging the Life-Peace Divide is being held on August 4-6, 2017, at Eastern University near Philadelphia. Please register! We have some wonderful speakers planned, including John Carr, Shane Claiborne, and Feminist For Life Joyce McCauley Benner. We have added workshops (sixteen are planned) on messaging about the Consistent Life Ethic, Creating Conversation Cafe's around controversial issues, and how the various political parties affirmatively approach the Consistent Life Ethic. There will also be a workshop on promoting the Consistent Life Ethic on campuses, and on Sunday, we are planning for a panel to address nuclear weapons on the anniversary of the first time they were deliberately used against a human population in Hiroshima.
Latest CL Blog: Noncooperation with Planned Parenthood
        Rachel MacNair proposes an action program that will make advocacy for taxpayer defunding of Planned Parenthood more effective – and also be an effective campaign by itself. We need what Mohandas Gandhi called a “Constructive Program” to serve as a nonviolent alternative to the violence we oppose.

blog PP 2 2
Quotation of the Week
Quoted in Pro-life Democrats’ Modest Proposal
Senator Edward Kennedy (the year after New York state legalized abortion in 1970)
Note: Senator Kennedy is another case, as with Jesse Jackson, where pressures on those in high office in the Democratic Party led to a change in position on abortion. 
        Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old. When history looks back at this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.

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