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Cemetery Gravestones

Life: As We Know It

People view life in different ways, and these different views can lead to different opinions on issues such as war, abortion, and capital punishment. Some people believe that life is sacred and that all human life is precious. They believe that war is never justified, and that abortion and capital punishment are both forms of murder. Others believe that life is not sacred and that it is sometimes necessary to take a life in order to protect others or to achieve a greater good. They believe that war can be justified in some cases, and that abortion and capital punishment can be appropriate punishments for certain crimes. There is no right or wrong answer to the question of how to view life. It is a complex issue that each person must decide for themselves. However, it is important to be aware of the different ways that people view life, and to respect the opinions of others, even if you do not agree with them. We hope these interviews will help you decide for yourself, and perhaps challenge your thinking, about the value of life. 


Image by Dylan Hunter

Tremper Longman III, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies; Distinguished Scholar of Biblical Studies

Dr. Tremper Longman III graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, earned a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and completed a doctorate in ancient Near Eastern studies at Yale University. He served as the Robert H. Gundry professor of biblical studies at Westmont from 1998 until he retired in 2017. He continues to serve the college as a distinguished scholar of biblical studies. He has written or co-authored numerous scholarly articles and more than 20 books, including interdisciplinary works, books with psychologist Dan Allender, works on history and historiography, and textbooks for both seminary students a lay people. He is one of the main translators of the New Living Translation and has served as a consultant on other popular translations of the Bible including the Message, the New Century Version, and the Holman Standard Bible.

Corinna Lain

S. D. Roberts & Sandra Moore Professor of Law

Professor Corinna Barrett Lain is a constitutional law scholar who writes about the influence of extralegal norms on Supreme Court decisionmaking, with a particular focus on the field of capital punishment. Her scholarship, which often uses the lens of legal history, has appeared in the Stanford Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Duke Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal, among other venues. Professor Lain is an elected member of the American Law Institute and received the University of Richmond’s Distinguished Educator Award in 2006. She is a former prosecutor and an Army veteran.

Justice Scale
Climate Protest

Shane Claiborne

Activist & Author

Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. He heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living "as if Jesus meant the things he said." Shane is a champion for grace which has led him to jail advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stand against war. And now grace fuels his passion to end the death penalty. Shane’s books include Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, and his classic The Irresistible Revolution. 

MSG Juan Mata

CEO Quiet Pro Tactical

Retired Master Sergeant Juan Mata, served in the Green Berets for 14 years, and before that was a Ranger, and an Infantryman. He now runs a company called Quiet Pro Tactical, an organization dedicated to giving back to local communities and teaches law enforcement to be better protectors for their citizens. Juan Mata, the Principal Instructor, a former 14-year Green Beret Combat Veteran. He has numerous combat deployments including Iraq and Afghanistan. His qualifications include Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller, Technical Surveillance, Counter-surveillance, and U.S. Army Ranger School.

US Army Soldier in Universal Camouflage Uniform
Image by Giammarco Boscaro

Eric Berger

Constitutional Law Professor

Professor Eric Berger joined the faculty in 2007. He received his B.A. with Honors in History from Brown University, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar and an Articles Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After law school, Professor Berger clerked for the Honorable Merrick B. Garland on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then practiced in Jenner & Block's Washington, D.C. office, where he worked on litigation in several state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Professor Berger's matters there included cases involving lethal injection, same-sex marriage, the detention of foreign nationals at Guantanamo Bay, and internet obscenity. 

Image by Scott Rodgerson

Abby Johnson

Pro-Life Activist, Author

Once the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, Abby Johnson is now a passionate, outspoken advocate for the sanctity of human life of pre-born babies. During her stint with Planned Parenthood, she became increasingly disturbed by the organization’s activities and reached a sharp turning point when she was asked to assist in an abortion in which she watched in horror as a 13 week old baby was killed. Soon afterward, Abby departed from Planned Parenthood and quickly became a well-recognized supporter of the pro-life movement. She travels widely as a public speaker and is the author of the national best-selling book, Unplanned, which led to a movie about her experiences also titled Unplanned. She and her husband have eight children and reside in Texas. Learn more about Abby at her website,

Image by Maria Oswalt

Karen Tumulty

Editor, Columnist Washington Post

Karen Tumulty is Deputy Editorial Page Editor and a columnist for The Washington Post. In her previous role as a national political correspondent for the newspaper, she received the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. She joined The Post in 2010 from Time magazine, where she had held the same title. During her more than 15 years at Time, Tumulty wrote or co-wrote more than three dozen cover stories. She also held positions with Time as congressional correspondent and White House correspondent. Before joining Time in 1994, Tumulty spent 14 years at the Los Angeles Times, where she covered a wide variety of beats. During her time there, she reported on Congress, business, energy and economics from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Tumulty is a native of San Antonio, where she began her career at the now-defunct San Antonio Light. Tumulty holds a bachelor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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