Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Capital Murder

OK. Here we are the day after Tookie Williams is murdered by the government, and the four people he was convicted of murdering are still dead as well. Yes, I said murdered. Using the phrase “Capital Punishment” is just a way to make us “feel better” about it, it isn’t as harsh and final sounding as the reality. It is government sponsored murder. You can spin it however you want and the final result is still the same. Somebody (the government) intentionally made a live person dead. The definition of murder is to kill intentionally and with premeditation.

I don’t know about you but I cannot fathom being as sure of myself and my judgment as to condemn another human to death. Even if I was absolutely sure and there was no possible doubt as to guilt I could not do it. It is not the death of another human that is the sticking point here either. Thousands upon thousands of people die every day as will you and I in some not too distant future. Death is the other side of the coin of life. My big concern is what it does to me and my spirit. Thou shall not kill is a mandate in more belief systems than just Christianity and there is a period after the word kill…there is no “unless” hanging on the end. It is the height of arrogance for you to assume you know who should die and who should not.

Let me put it another way…murder is not just about what it does to the murdered, but about what it does to the murderer.

The death penalty doesn’t deter crime. I guarantee you that those who loved the victim or victims don’t feel any better about their loss after the perpetrator is dead too. It has no rational justification. Spiritual and moral teachers have tried to wean us of it since time began. I find it very difficult to understand how people, in a country that mainly professes to be Christian, still support the death penalty. If they are, in fact, Christian how do they rationalize away the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7) where Jesus is quoted as saying;

“Ye have heard that it was said to men of old, Thou shall not murder; and whosoever shall murder shall be liable to judgment. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with His brother without good cause shall be liable to judgment. … Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, that ye resist not the evil one: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. … Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

What part of the above is so hard to understand? Seems to me they need to spend just a tiny bit more time pondering these parts of their Bibles.

State sponsored murder is a symptom of a failed society. Civilized people don’t kill each other. State sponsored murder and its big brother war legitimize violence and hatred and stifles love and compassion. It embodies the worst we are as humans and ignores our striving for nobility and grace. A society that allows state sponsored murder more easily accepts violent solutions to problems that can be addressed peacefully and it can turn a blind eye to other abominations such as torture and war.

Thanks to Mahablog for some of the thought seeds here.

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