Jump to content

Death Penalty? Yes? No?


Guest wayfarer2k
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest wayfarer2k

As I'm sure most of you are aware, Musawi's trial is in deliberation. The jury now has to decide if he gets life in prison or the death penalty?

 

What are your thoughts, as progressive Christians, on the death penalty?

 

Are you for it? Under what conditions? Against it? Why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No doubt that Masawi isn't a nice guy, but I actually think that he might just be a wannabe who is sorry he really isn't (or can't be) more involved. He says pretty bizarre things, like the whole idea that Bush (that is GWB, Mr. put retarded people to death, highest rate of capital punishment in the US) will exonerate him. Come again?

 

However, regardless of his guilt on innocence. I am opposed to the death penalty.

a. We are the only western modern country that does it. (I think it tells you something that when South Africa became a democracy they abolished it.)

b. Innocent people (not talking about Masawi, not sure he was that involved in 911 but he isn't "innocent") are put to death. Illinois almost used the death penalty on 13 people later found innocent. There are scores of people on death row that have been let free on the "innocence project". Most of the these people are discovered by some law student or something that has the time to find out they are innocent.If all these innocent people have been let off death row we know that there are logically many more that haven't been. I don't think the "system is working", if they are discovered innocent by some law student.

c. The death penalty is expensive. The various appeals that are fair and logical if you don't want more innocent people put to death tend to make the system more costly. It is cheaper to lock them up and throw away the key.

d. It is one thing for murders to commit murder but must we stoop to their level?

e. Revenge isn't something to base social actions on, even though we can understand it.

f. There is no credible evidence that death is a deterent. In fact, I think states with the death penalty have higher murder rates (that might be more the result of the states which have the least progressive social policies-- but it still shows that it isn't a deterrent.)

 

BTW, I think that there are plenty of people who are rehabilitatable. Maybe not on death row, but the going trend lately has been away from rehabilitation, even of children.

 

 

 

 

--des

Edited by des
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest wayfarer2k

Thanks for your responses, all. Until I de-converted, I was pretty much for the death penalty. I'm rethinking the subject now so I appreciate your inputs.

 

In a related topic ("an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth"), what do you think of war?

 

Is war sometimes justified? Are you a conciencious objector? Do you think Christians should wage war? When is war a viable recourse?

 

wayfarer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I would fight in the military, though I don't think of myself as a pure conscientious objector. I would use that term to imply someone who is opposed to war for any reason. I'm opposed to most wars, but I think they are mostly fought for reasons that aren't good enough imo. That includes most conflicts (or "police actions") during my lifetime:

Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq, etc. I have a bit of mixed feeligns about Afganistan and Bosnia-- which I think were more justifiable.

 

But I do believe in war when the consequences of not going to war are unthinkable. I think World War 2 is the best example.

 

I think Christians of good conscience can have many different views on this, from a much more activist military to total conscientious objection.

 

Didn't Jesus' life sort of tip over the "eye for an eye" idea? He certainly didn't practice that.

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since Jesus actually rejected an eye for an eye, and said a few other things in Matthew 5-7 that are appropriate, what else is there to say on that?

 

As for the death penelty - and one of my first cousins was shot to death - picture Jesus hanging on the cross - picture Jesus being pro death penalty - I can't - if I as a Christian bear the name of someone who was wrongfully executed, I can't support executing anyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, funny thing but in thinking about the death penalty, I don't think too many people think of the name Jesus. However, he was the most famous death penalty victim. My old UCC church was very active anti- death penalty and I dont' even think I heard that discussion.

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

An interesting note on "Eye for an Eye". My pastor presented that principle as progressive for its time. Hammurabi's Code (in which eye for an eye is reflected) was not meant to establish vengefulness , it was intended to establish balanced justice regardless of social standing, sex, or age. Crimes were being punished without regard to the nature of the crime and with partiality toward power structures.

 

 

Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God in which a man who is wronged should forgive 7 times 70, turn the other cheek, offer not just the coat but the shirt as well (pretty topsy turvy stuff!). So Eye for an Eye made retribution just and fair and Turn the Other Check rejects retribution altogether, making peace and forgiveness the premium. (I'm not sure I buy all this).

 

Hmm....Jesus certainly also cared about justice. So how do we balance Justice with Forgive to achieve Peace.

 

I'm thinking of the Reconcialation process in South Africa when a woman whose son was taken from her and murdered got to face the murderer and prescribe justice. She sentenced him to a year of (I'm probably getting the details wrong here) visiting her and helping her in the garden as her son would have done and then she embraced him. Is this how Justice meets Forgiveness? Radical, Christ-like, and dangerous as hell! No easy answers from this Jesus Christ guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An interesting note on "Eye for an Eye".  My pastor presented that principle as progressive for its time.  Hammurabi's Code (in which eye for an eye is reflected) was not meant to establish vengefulness , it was intended to establish balanced justice regardless of social standing, sex, or age.  Crimes were being punished without regard to the nature of the crime and with partiality toward power structures.   

 

 

Thank you. That was also my understanding of "an eye for eye."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I would fight in the military, though I don't think of myself as a pure conscientious objector. I would use that term to imply someone who is opposed to war for any reason. I'm opposed to most wars, but I think they are mostly fought for reasons that aren't good enough imo. That includes most conflicts (or "police actions") during my lifetime:

Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq, etc. I have a bit of mixed feeligns about Afganistan and Bosnia-- which I think were more justifiable.

 

But I do believe in war when the consequences of not going to war are unthinkable. I think World War 2 is the best example.

 

I think Christians of good conscience can have many different views on this, from a much more activist military to total conscientious objection.

 

Didn't Jesus' life sort of tip over the "eye for an eye" idea? He certainly didn't practice that.

 

 

--des

 

I have often thought about ww2, the big one, and I have come to the conclusion that there would probably have been less death and destruction and suffering if we did not engage militarily. Hitler may have stayed in power over most of Europe for a much longer time but I do believe he would not have killed as many people. The war brought out the worst in him and his co-conspirators. It also brought about the worst in us. The bombing of German & Japanese cities and the destruction of so much was as wrong as anything the Germans & Japanese did.

 

Gandhi showed us that resistance to oppression need not be violent to be effective. Mass movements work but non-violent resistors will die just as in war. That is true courage, true heroism. I hope more than I am sure that the path of non-violence leads to less death and destruction than taking up arms.

 

I don't know if I have that kind of courage, either to take up arms or be a non-violent resister. I am far too comfortable with all my American privileges even knowing that it is often bought by our violent policies whether done by our military or our proxies. I like to think we can gradually move toward a world based on tolerance and compromise and negotiation and forgiveness and kindness and gentleness and reconciliation and understanding and wisdom and knowledge and compassion. I don't know. I hope.

 

Being against the death penalty is a no-brainer. I simply can't understand how any one can support it.

 

It is only when we get serious about all killing being wrong that we will move beyond war and all kinds of violence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What was that town in France that resisted Hitler wholesale. SInce the whole town stood up to the Nazis they could not do their deeds. Not sure everyone could have done this though.

And true many evils were done in that war, some quite equal to Hitler (including the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

 

OTOH, I still do think that the concept of "just war" has some merit, but I would agree that the no. of cases are exceptionally small.

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service