Tuesday, 04 October 2011
This is actually something that has been bothering me for years. I've gotten into arguments with other Christians over it -- one of those being my dad -- and no one has been able to answer me in a way I can understand.
I can't fathom how a group of people who claim to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings can support anything so unforgiving and merciless as capital punishment. I've heard a lot of arguments in favor of the death penalty. Like how Jesus didn't actually say not to do it specifically, and the whole "eye for an eye" argument, and one that never makes any sense; how Jesus tells us to obey the laws of the land, so since capital punishment is legal, we're obeying God by carrying it out.
Okay, but abortion is also legal. Does that make it okay to abort a child in the eyes of God? And now someone might say, "of course not. Children are innocent, everyone knows that. It's the guilty who need to be punished." Yes, I agree. The guilty deserve punishment. I read that in the Bible, too. But does the Bible not also say that all of us are sinners, having fallen short of the Glory of God, and that, technically, we all deserve death? Isn't that why Jesus Christ came here...to die in our place? What gives you the right to say which sins are punishable by death? Why does a man who shoots another man in the middle of an argument have to die, when a child molester who has robbed a dozen children of their innocence and peace get to live, and maybe be free as well? Doesn't he deserve to die for what he did?
It just doesn't make sense. Jesus preached forgiveness, mercy, love, and faith. Not one of those things is to be found in an execution chamber. Is that really where Christians belong? I truly believe that everyone who strongly supports capital punishment should witness an execution firsthand. Then come back and tell me you still feel the same way, because if that person's face and last words don't haunt you for the rest of your life, you better check to see if you still have a heart.
So what do you think? Are you a Christian who supports the death penalty? Why or why not?