View Full Version : Abolish the Death Penalty
12-01-2006, 06:21 PM
While we are on the subject of Faith and non-violence, i think we should abolish the death penalty. I know that those who are on death row did a horrific crime but we are no saints. Also there are inisant people on death row. We are the only civilized country that has the death penalty except for 12 states. it is more expensive to keep someone on death row than life in prison. It is cruel and barbaric.
now i know it says in the Bible an eye for an eye, but Jesus says turn the other cheek. He also says you who are without sin cast the first stone. We can't do that because we are all sinners. Think about it!
12-01-2006, 07:35 PM
My very first Soulforce action was in New Orleans outside the 2001 Southern Baptist Convention. I was 25 and just coming out of the closet.
I had taken a weeks vacation from work and on Monday, June 11th at 6:00 a.m., I got in my car and headed for New Orleans. This was the morning that Timothy McVeigh, the person charged with the Oklahoma City terrorist act that left 168 people dead, was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. As part of my opposition to America's use of the death penalty, I wore my shirt that asks the question "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"
After two hours of driving, I switched to the news radio to hear that McVeigh was now being put to death. Fifteen minutes later, a press conference stated that he had been pronounced dead.
Around lunch, I stopped at McDonalds just outside Birmingham, Alabama. I went into the restroom and, as I stood at the urinal, felt like someone was staring at me. Suddenly I heard a voice proclaim, "I'll tell you what I think. I think we kill them to rid society of them."
I quickly finished my business and turned around to see a young man looking rather serious. I felt unprepared as to what to say, so I just said, "Well, what he did was very evil. However I think it says something bad about America when we kill to show that killing is wrong."
I realized I had basically just repeated what my shirt said.
He stared at me, didn't say a word, and walked out. I washed my hands and sighed. How comfortable it felt when I just used to conform. :rolleyes:
I felt much better when I finally reached New Orleans and began to meet the people of Soulforce for the first time.
I carry around this Declaration of Life card in my wallet. I cringe when I read the "no matter how heinous their crime or how much I may have suffered" part right above my signature. But I still go with the idea that killing someone rather than incarcerating them provides a false closure for the victim's loved ones.
Also, here is what Dr. King had to say on the matter:
"Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate."
"I do not think God approves the death penalty for any crime - rape and murder included. God's concern is to improve individuals and bring them to the point of conversion."
By the way, another reason I left the Southern Baptist Convention was they were the only Christian denomination to pass a resolution affirming the government's use of the death penalty.
Sources for Quotes
1. Phillips, Donald T., Martin Luther King Jr. on Leadership. New York: Warner Books, 1998, 68.
2. "King Speaks to 21st Century," Ebony, January 2001, 53-55.
12-02-2006, 10:01 AM
While we are on the subject of Faith and non-violence, i think we should abolish the death penalty.
» Thom says: ☛ Reason asserts that capital punishment is too much, too late — at least the way we practice it to day. For a person to find themselves on death-row, at least one other person had to be deliberately put to death. With care, we might have prevented that first death. It really is a misnomer to call any prison a “corrections institution,” because we warehouse criminals, not correct them. The criminal justice system, however, is a big business, Justice will go to the biggest or most privileged bidder, and retribution can feel so good. In Los Angeles, they have recently built a state of the art prison, without the funding to staff that facility. There is a lot of money to be had for incarceration, whether the state runs them directly, or contracts out to private interests. Changing this environment would require comprehensive changes in American society.
So! What Is the Story? For someone to be on Death Row, someone else had to die first. Clearly, society may not have done enough to prevent the first death. Capital Punishment is too much too late. The question to be answered is, “Why did we wait to provide a remedy.” We ought to suspend the Death Penalty, and reevaluate the issues addressed here, including the people on death-row. Evaluating these people will help us understand better the events that lead up to that first murder. To accomplish this would require comprehensive changes in national policy, a revolution of the mind. Until then, we may wonder how many “Einstein’s” we have in prison.
12-21-2006, 01:08 AM
who in the US has the death penalty:
map (c) 2002, in case things have changed since then.
talk about your red states.... glad i live in michigan....
this site documents changes in death penalty procedures in wisconsin and has a map on it that will interest you all- here is a link to the map of countries still using the death penalty:
if you google 'death penalty map' you can find quite a few more copies of this map (and probably a few others similar) on the web. check it out, it makes me want to move to europe (though i want to do that anyway, so it's just one more reason to head out, eh?).
12-22-2006, 03:53 PM
You all have made very good points about the abolishing abolishing the death penalty. Jamie i am glad that you saw how those Southern Baptists are. I finally saw the light and I became a Methodist until I moved back to Phenix City, AL and I found a gay-affirming church in Columbus, GA.
Bronze Dragon made a good point too. We need to be aware what drew the people who murdered someone to rehabilitate rather than putting them death.
i don't know if you have heard about the Karla Faye Tucker story or not. She was addicted to heorine. she and her boyfriend killed 2 people with a hatchet. i don't know about her boyfriend but she was convicted on capital murder. She commited the crime in Texas so she got the death penalty. This happened in 1984. She was executed in 1998. She was the 1st woman to be put to death in TX since a long time. But during that time she made a complete 180 turn around. She became a Christian not just a jailhouse confession but she asked Jesus into her heart. she saw her incarsarated as a mission to tell other death row inmates about Jesus. She was suppose to be excuted in 1993 but there was so many people trying to save her life like ACLU, HRC, and even the 700 Club, and many of her supporters. But you know who was governor of Texas was. The same man who is in the White House today. I heard him being called the Texexcutioner. The cold hearted governor now President had Karla Faye excuted in Feb 1998.:'(
Now he has allowed over 2,000 of our troops being killed and more Iraqis because he does not have the guts to get our troups out of there.:mad:
12-26-2006, 11:42 AM
I really don't know how I feel about the death penalty. I watched "Monster" about Aileen Wuornos. You know, I think to a large extent, society creates the "monsters" that we turn around and execute. I mean, we have so much dysfunction and double standards. We think we can mistreat our children, abuse them, or neglect them, and then when they grow up and have spent years with anger and rejection that they weren't able to deal with, and vent their feelings on innocent people, we are aghast at their actions, because we feel that somehow they should have known better. I agree, the problem isn't solved with the execution of a murderer, rapist, child molester, etc, but how does one rehabilitate a person with a lifetime of issues we as a society created? Jesus is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, and I think, that He is the only one who can overcome those issues. But society only picks what Scriptures they want at any given time to suit them. We need to suit ourselves to what God said as a whole. :rainbow:
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