Death, or, Life?
I am not a lawyer, nor am I a theologian; I do however, possess at Masters’ Degree in History and a Doctorate Degree in Literature. I usually do not like to force my opinion on others, be these opinions, social, political, or religious. Nevertheless, this must change.
I am, from the roots of my existence, against the death penalty. There, I said it. The death penalty is wrong, and, we all know this to be fact. Whether we are a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim, there are ten commandments that we all follow. The sixth commandment says “Thou shall not kill.” Or in modern terminology, “Thou shall not commit murder.” If we are a Christian, we also follow Jesus’ second commandment, which says,” Love your neighbor as yourself.” This immediately follows, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Which of these three commandments allows the death penalty? Murder is wrong, whether it is done by an individual, or done by the state. Taking another’s life is against the commandments of God. There are very few of us who would commit murder on our own. It is against the very fiber of our being. We were raised as good Christians, Jews, or Muslims to respect the lives of others and not murder.
If this is true, there is no reason to allow others to commit murder in our name. If we are not will to inject a person with the life-ending fluids yourself, then we have no right to ask others to do this for us.
Let’s assume the worst: our son is brutally murdered by an evil person. This person is put on trial, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death. Fifteen years later, after thousands of hours and millions of dollars are spent on legal hurdles to state-sponsored murder, this man is executed by the state.
We can safely assume that this murder has not brought our son back to life; it has also not made us feel any better, just because this evil person is now dead. The only thing that has occurred is that we have created another parent grieving for a murdered son. This parent shares the same fate as we do; our sons have been murdered by a force beyond our control.
Now to return to religion: Jesus was murdered by the state, and every week, during the celebration of the Eucharist, we remember the horrible death that Jesus suffered. We praise his memory. I seriously doubt that Jesus, if he were walking the earth today, would be in favor of another state-sanctioned murder.
If we agree that murder is wrong, then we must stop the state from creating other murderers; that is what those doing the actual executions are: murderers. Furthermore, if we continue to allow this to happen, then we are also as guilty of murder as those sanctioned to execute these men or women on death row.
Can’t we stop the killing?