Today I was reminded of a memory from my childhood. For a time we lived with my Nana when I was younger. I remember many things while she was alive but this has stuck with me for some reason. She didn’t mess around with many magazines, in fact, I think her favorite was the TV Guide. She did have a subscription to Time though. I’ll never forget one of the covers. I remember it saying “Who deserves to die?”, and it being about the death penalty, but my memory isn’t the best. It was about the death penalty, but I think the question above was one I made up in my mind, and answered, when I saw this cover.
I was about ten years old when I saw this. I can remember asking my dad if he thought this man should die. His answer was no. That is what my answer was, from then on, regardless of his guilt of innocence. I’ve thought this way for many years, but I am just now able to justify my way of thinking. The thing that gets me, several people try to justify the other viewpoint, the same way.
Several people will say IF that was my daughter, I’d kill the guy, or I’d flip the switch myself IF that was my son. No You Wouldn’t! All it takes is words to say such things. It takes something else altogether to actually go through with them. The people with the guts to do so, are already in that predicament. IF you were capable, you would be there too, in my humble opinion. Since you like “IF” statements so much, how about some questions.
What IF you were the person that had one too many? What IF you decided to drive home? What IF you accidentally hit someone and killed them? How would you feel if the family and friends of that person were crying for your death? Not exactly the same thing you say? Okay, how about this. What IF you have this neighbor? What IF you and this neighbor don’t get along? What IF you and this neighbor have a disagreement and get into a fight? What IF you go to far and you end up killing him? How does it feel to have all the “IF’s” stacked against you. I know there are some people out there that will say I would want to die, or I would want the death penalty anyway. Again I say, No You Wouldn’t! Until you are in those situations you should not decide how you would act. Remember, the only thing we can control is ourselves. We have to think about how we should act instead.
The go-to scripture for capital punishment is the following;
22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. ~ Exodus 21: 22-25
Do you guys know where this takes place in the Bible? That’s right, this is from the Old Testamentbefore we had the teachings of Jesus Christ. We can still learn from these scriptures, but we cannot ignore the ones that have been given to us afterwards. The Bible isn’t there to make your argument. No, it’s there to help us all learn and grow closer to our Heavenly Father. And plus we have scriptures from the New Testament like this one;
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ~ Matthew 5: 38-44
1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst. 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. ~ John 8: 1-11
If you still believe in the death penalty that’s okay. I have to say that I disagree with you, which is also okay. Capital punishment is as ancient and barbaric as the books you can find it in. (Yes, including the Old Testament. Slavery was alright back then too, remember?) Even if you don’t believe in the Bible you have to admit that the ideas within it are things we can all live by.
What do you think about this subject, and why?
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
This post was inspired by Lynne from Free Penny Press, and this post from today.