Right Clarifies Moral Confusion With Don't Kill Me Canon
Washington, D.C., July 19, 2007 -- A coalition of American conservatives led by Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Dr. James Dobson and Newt Gingrich issued yesterday the "Don't Kill Me" Canon, intended to crystallize some of the right wing's often incompatible moral imperatives into a simple, easy-to-remember catch-phrase, "Don't Kill Me". The Canon seeks to provide an consistent ethical foundation for the right wing's various positions on the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia and preemptive warfare.
"It took a hell of a lot of head-scratching, but I think we've finally come up with a basic premise that everyone can agree on," Mr. Frist said. "Plus, it's simple enough that just about anyone in our base can grasp it, and you can explain it in a thirty second issue ad, both feathers in our caps."
The "Don't Kill Me" Canon reads: "It is morally acceptable to kill anyone who can expressly state 'Don't kill me'. In all other cases, it is not morally acceptable."
"We think that pretty well covers it," Dr. Dobson said. "For example, a two month old fetus can't say 'Don't kill me', so it's not moral to perform an abortion. Wait a few years, though, and if you have an eleven-year-old child commit a capital crime, you bet that kid's going to say 'Don't kill me'. So there's no problem with executing him, even though the kid probably can't afford to hire a real lawyer. Unless you think the 6th Commandment is meant to be taken literally. I see it as more of a gray area."
Dr. Dobson said that capital cases involving mentally challenged children would have to be examined on a case by case basis.
"If the retarded kid is too retarded to be able to say 'Don't kill me', it's probably not O.K. to execute him, unless he's just faking," Dr. Dobson explained.
The canon can also be applied to warfare, according to Mr. DeLay:
"If you've got an important target in some dirt-bag country where some guy you tortured told you there might be some terrorists, and there happen to be a bunch of wedding guests or innocent kids around, most of those civilians would probably say 'Don't kill me' if they had the chance," Mr. DeLay said. "So it's totally ethical to bomb the hell out of them. Unless you think it's wrong for, say, pregnant women to be included in the collateral damage, because you'd be killing the fetus, too. I see it as kind of a gray area."
Mr. DeLay added that the Canon, as it applies to warfare, only covers United States acts of aggression targeting other countries or domestic terrorists, not the other way around.
The Canon also elegantly resolves any moral issues associated with capital punishment, according to Bill Frist:
"Most of the people on death row plead innocent, file appeals, explicitly state 'Please don't kill me', or other things along those lines. So as I see it, the Canon very clearly rules that it's morally correct for the government to kill them."
"On the other hand," Mr. Frist continued, "someone like a terminally ill patient who is in terrible pain, has zero chance of recovery, and who is begging his doctors, friends and family to put him out of his misery are out of bounds. That person is saying 'Please kill me', not 'Don't kill me'. And we as a government have to do everything in our power to keep that person alive, even if they're already clinically dead like Terry Schiavo."
Mr. Frist explained that in the rare cases where a convicted killer under threat of the death penalty pleads guilty or refuses to appeal, lawmakers should assume the person is trying to force the state to provide an "assisted death" service, and therefore the inmate should not be executed.
"Same thing there. That inmate's clearly saying 'Kill me', so we can't kill him. It would contravene the Canon," Mr. Frist said. "How do we know the guy didn't intentionally commit a capital crime just because he was too big a coward to commit suicide? So we'd have to give him life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Luckily, that's generally a lot cheaper than executing someone, what with the appeals process and everything, so we could save a little taxpayer money in those cases."
Mr. Gingrich said the group has emailed the "Don't Kill Me" Canon to lawmakers, pundits, columnists, and circuit court and supreme court justices throughout the country in the hope that it will be used as a basic ethical foundation for the formulation of future legal decisions.
"Now that we have a crystal clear ethos, we're hoping to finally see a little more real action in the general arena of killing people," Mr. Gingrich said.
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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