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Old 10-28-2002, 10:06 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by daisybean



Most criminals don't even have a sense of remorse for thier crime.


Sad but true. A lot of people who oppose the death penalty use the rationalization that 'it's enough that they will have to live with this for the rest of their lives' BUT most of them don't regret it or let it bother them. They can go on about whatever they can amuse themselves with in jail and not ever care. If they had that kind of conscience they never would have done their crime in the first place. Some people honestly have no conscience, or conscience as most people know it, and we have to consider that. Just because you are a nice person and you would feel bad doesn't mean they will. You can't base what they feel on what you feel, I don't think anyone here is a harded muderer. If some have 'repented' and try change that's great, if they're serious. But we can't assume every guy like this is going to be that way.

I read in the paper this morning a guy who lived in a homeless shelter with the snipers said he heard them planning a crime where they'd blow up a tanker truck on the interstate to kill lots of people, then shoot a cop that comes to the scene, then kill the mourners at his funeral! Some people really are too far gone.
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Old 10-28-2002, 10:41 AM   #47
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Does anyone have any numbers or statistics to say that most who get life sentences never experience any remorse?
I think that it's easy for us to look at it that way and say "well most never care, they're just evil" but it is an assumption we may be making.

When you're left to rot in prison and turn to Jesus, I just think it's funny. Someone who is a serial killer can then at the end say "oops! Sorry, now I've found Jesus, look at me!" and we're supposed to believe them? Or we're supposed to care? Like that makes them a better person.....I'd rather hear about someone who feels remorse without claiming any religion as the reason, they just came to that conclusion on their own.
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Old 10-28-2002, 11:44 AM   #48
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Very interesting..

I'd like to say that the reason people are quoting the Bible and discussing what they think God thinks about the death penalty is because their beliefs are wrapped up in what God says. But look at the inconsistencies presented, the different levels of interpretation- it's not always as straight-foward as it may seem to understand what God wants regarding the death penalty.

My gut would have to say He doesn't want more killing. Punishment, consequences yes. Killing..

Rather than the death penalty, I'd like to see them sentanced to a life in solitary confinment. Throw 'em in a small dark room, give 'em food a few times a day, and (certain) books if they request. That's it. If a prisoner wants to find God, repent his sins, etc (I'm thinking "Dead Man Walking") fine, it's not my business, and no one will Really know the truth besides God. I'd never laugh if they told me they did, but I'd never let them back onto the streets again.

I'm very torn on this issue though and my commitment to one side wavers. That's why I like reading discussions like this, to learn more.

Someone posted that article about Timothy McVay and how his crime may have been the work of the Taliban. If he was alive now, perhaps we could find out somehow (obviously he didn't/wouldn't just tell us, but maybe there'd be something someday that would tip us off).

Question: what comes of Osama if the U.S. catches him and brings him into custody in this country? Then what?

Even these snipers, Ughhh I wish evil things for them, that scare myself! See how evil brings out evil in others??

I guess right now i'd say No, no death penalty. But for crying out loud, take away their TVs, walks outside, visitation rights, possible parole, and any communication with the outside world!!
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:00 PM   #49
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I guess right now i'd say No, no death penalty. But for crying out loud, take away their TVs, walks outside, visitation rights, possible parole, and any communication with the outside world!!
I agree, there needs to some changes in how we house some prisoners. The whole systen is just out of wack...
A lot of anger about life in prison vs. death penalty seems comes from how we don't want these prisoners access to things that a normal citizen has, or that some of us law abiding citizens can't even afford.
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:48 PM   #50
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Boy, I sure missed a lot this weekend. Great discussion from all….

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Then let us bask in the consistency of the "true Word of God," the 1611 KJV:
You raise some excellent and interesting points. We can get into an in-depth discussion of biblical interpretation and the authenticity and accuracy of Scripture, but we will stray from the topic of capital punishment. I’d love to discuss the apparent inconsistencies in Scripture as well as what is considered the “authoritative” translation. Maybe the stuff of a different thread?

As for the death penalty – consider the thieves on the cross (crucifixion, by the way, is one horrible way to die – essentially a slow suffocation). Jesus never questioned the punishment handed to them. He only promised eternal life to the one who believed.

As for why I look to God’s Word on this subject – I think some basic question for all of us are “Is there one truth that applies to all of us?” And “What is your source of truth?”

Have a great day my forum friends…
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:53 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


As for the death penalty – consider the thieves on the cross (crucifixion, by the way, is one horrible way to die – essentially a slow suffocation). Jesus never questioned the punishment handed to them. He only promised eternal life to the one who believed.

Man, you stole my next point! I tip my hat at ya! Welcome back NB..... I was wondering where you might be hiding!!!


Peace to all.
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Old 10-28-2002, 02:33 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
According to Matthew 5(17-18): "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until the heaven and the earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place."
Considering this is one of the most mangled passages in the Gospel of Matthew, allow me to decipher it as I see it:

Matthew 7:12 -- "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."

This is fully in keeping with Gentile Christian / Pauline beliefs about law, which believed that "the law" was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. This is fully a semantical distinction on St. Paul's part, who treaded lightly to try and convert Jewish Christians to his beliefs by always referring to an ambiguous "the law," and must be watched carefully. His redefinition of "the law" from the Jewish definition of the "Mosaic Law" to the "Golden Rule" is immediately where most Christians stumble, especially when one attempts to bridge Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian texts--which was never meant to happen.

From a more scientific method, the latter passage is direct evidence of the Gentile Christian edits of the supposed "original" text of the Gospel of Matthew. It must be remembered, as always, that the origins of Christianity are borne in conflict, rather than uniformity.

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Old 10-28-2002, 02:36 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
You raise some excellent and interesting points. We can get into an in-depth discussion of biblical interpretation and the authenticity and accuracy of Scripture, but we will stray from the topic of capital punishment. I’d love to discuss the apparent inconsistencies in Scripture as well as what is considered the “authoritative” translation. Maybe the stuff of a different thread?
I was able to reconcile the inconsistencies through Biblical scholarship, and, by learning what "interest groups" wrote what, one learns, indeed, as to what is considered worthy of belief by our own tradition.

Melon
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Old 10-28-2002, 02:40 PM   #54
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I oppose capital punishment on the grounds of the one commandment of Jesus Christ: "Love God and love one another." It was, indeed, a difficult challenge; one that even led to His own death. As this commandment is even to be extended to one's enemies, I cannot see how the death penalty is reconciled with this commandment. Life imprisonment without parole assures public safety, while giving the prisoner sufficient time to ponder and potentially repent, if that is God's will. With the death penality, like abortion, man takes life in his own hands.

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Old 10-28-2002, 05:12 PM   #55
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I am against, purely because death is too good for them.

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Old 10-28-2002, 05:43 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


I was able to reconcile the inconsistencies through Biblical scholarship, and, by learning what "interest groups" wrote what, one learns, indeed, as to what is considered worthy of belief by our own tradition.

Melon
To studying His Word.

A question - let's say you highlight different passages from the bible according to the “interest groups” who you believe were behind the writing/editing/subsequent translation. Does this elevate some Scripture over others? Is there an agree standard of attributing Scripture to “interest groups”? Is this a dispensational view of Scripture?

I am only asking to grow in my own understanding. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:56 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


To studying His Word.

A question - let's say you highlight different passages from the bible according to the “interest groups” who you believe were behind the writing/editing/subsequent translation. Does this elevate some Scripture over others? Is there an agree standard of attributing Scripture to “interest groups”? Is this a dispensational view of Scripture?

I am only asking to grow in my own understanding. Thank you for sharing.
I love the questions. I was just discussing this with a friend of mine. Melon, are the Gospels of Luke and Mark elevated above the others? Or are only the pieces of Matthew edited by the Pauline/Gentile Christians the valid ones?

Again...Why in ACTS 25 would Paul say go ahead and put me to death if I am guilty of the crime if he is opposed to it? He does not exclaim that the death penalty is wrong. He says if you can prove it, follow through with the consequence.
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Old 10-29-2002, 12:05 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
A question - let's say you highlight different passages from the bible according to the “interest groups” who you believe were behind the writing/editing/subsequent translation. Does this elevate some Scripture over others? Is there an agree standard of attributing Scripture to “interest groups”? Is this a dispensational view of Scripture?
I think we must first discover what we, ourselves, believe before we can decipher what is correct, and a lot of this does have to do with issues of denomination, issues of philosophy, and issues of conscience.

Primarily and inescapably, I am Roman Catholic in background; and I do recognize that there are various different points of view on Christianity. Secondly, and also inescapably, all Christians have their own personal views and relationships with God that easily "defy" the status quo, as presented by denominations. Is that necessarily "wrong" or "immoral"? No, it is just human nature; a testament to humanity's persistent quest for individualism (hence, the general failure of "communal" structures like communism and socialism)--and we've seen what happens when we have groups who refuse to acknowledge even the most subtle of diversity in thought.

Why I have perhaps made the constant distinctions between Jewish Christians (a.k.a., Church of Jerusalem) and Gentile Christians (a.k.a., Church of Antioch) is the fact that, historically, Christianity has evolved wholly from the Gentile Christian point of view. The Church of Jerusalem imploded long before Christianity exploded with Emperor Constantine's conversion in A.D. 313 and subsequent decree that made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. This "Christianity" was specifically the successors of the Gentile Christian, Church of Antioch--the church of St. Paul.

As Roman Catholicism is the direct successor of this "Christianity" and the Church of Antioch, it is fairly simple to trace back through the centuries to see where these moral philosophies of ours originated--and also that, at every stage of Christianity, there has always been conflict. The earliest Christianity dealt with ideas of "law," which is recorded in the New Testament canon. Roman Christianity grappled with Jesus' divinity and the conflict between Jesus being 100% human (Gnosticism), Jesus being 100% God (Arianism), and the "official" Christian view that Jesus was both 100% human and 100% God....and so on and so on.

Why I am dismissive of Christian fundamentalism is sheerly because I think that such a concept in the most literal sense--that the entire Bible is true to a literal sense--is ridiculous and impossible to live up to. As we've seen, the only way to make such connections is to literally make huge stretches between divergent books, while completely ignoring large sections of the "love" portions. Again, we've made a cultural judgment that one isolated passage that supposedly permits divorce (which is a mistranslation of "porneia" or "blood mixing" [a Jewish Christian concern) / incest...but I digress] in the Gospel of Matthew supercedes the many other passages where Jesus wholly condemns it. What we, as modern Christians, are doing is no different than the medieval Christian stoics, who took isolated passages in Pauline epistles, and constructed a patriarchal and pleasureless pseudoscience out of it.

So what do I believe is the response to all of this?

"When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them (a scholar of the law) tested him by asking, 'Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?' He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.'" -- Matthew 22:34-40

"For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" -- Galatians 5:14

"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." -- Romans 13:8-10

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets." -- Matthew 7:12

Four passages of many in the New Testament that repeatedly state what the true nature of "the law" is--LOVE--and we're squabbling over one in Matthew that I've explained to have a double meaning? But human power and desire for control will never allow true love, which is selfless and vulnerable, and so many will use their power to do anything to weaken this love; and I think it is the true calling of a Christian to resist the temptation of tradition, which simply is more appealing because it is difficult to be "different." No one ever said, though, that "love," while, essentially, a simple concept, would ever be easy to enact.

...

As for Acts 25 and Jesus' crucifixion, think of the logic of this. "I'm opposed to the death penalty, so you can't execute me." With both Jesus and St. Paul, we are dealing with people that are already considered "the unconverted"--Pharisees and Romans. Acts 25 has less to do with death penalty pronouncements than St. Paul's confidence that the right way--God's way--will prevail and he will be innocent. St. Paul, as the unconverted "Saul," consented to St. Stephen's stoning to death (Acts 8:1), but, upon conversion, never did it again. If the death penalty is such a righteous form of punishment, then why do none of the heroes of the New Testament--Jesus, the apostles, and St. Paul--execute anyone?

Melon
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Old 10-29-2002, 01:12 AM   #59
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Rather than the death penalty, I'd like to see them sentanced to a life in solitary confinment. Throw 'em in a small dark room, give 'em food a few times a day, and (certain) books if they request. That's it. If a prisoner wants to find God, repent his sins, etc (I'm thinking "Dead Man Walking") fine, it's not my business, and no one will Really know the truth besides God. I'd never laugh if they told me they did, but I'd never let them back onto the streets again.

I'm very torn on this issue though and my commitment to one side wavers. That's why I like reading discussions like this, to learn more.

Even these snipers, Ughhh I wish evil things for them, that scare myself! See how evil brings out evil in others??

I guess right now i'd say No, no death penalty. But for crying out loud, take away their TVs, walks outside, visitation rights, possible parole, and any communication with the outside world!!


I guess I'm also agains the death penalty, especially due to the small yet horrific possibillity that someone innocent might be killed. In cases where there is irrefutable evidence, for instance in the case of the snipers, it becomes harder to argue against it.. I liked how you mention that "evil brings out evil in others." Do I wish the snipers would die a horrible death? Yes. Would I be able to kill them myself? No, I don't think I could consciously take away another human being's life, no matter how worthless and horrible I believe that person to be. I wouldn't want the consequences and the effects it would have on me. I'd be afraid that I would hate the person I'd become, someone who killed another human being.
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Old 10-29-2002, 01:22 PM   #60
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Although part of me totally understands why a victim's family or friends would want the death penalty, there is always that fear that the wrong person might be convicted (if there is no irrefutable DNA evidence). And while it is easy to sit here and say "We don't have the right to kill anyone" and "the death penalty won't bring back the victim" I'm sure if it were someone I loved, I'd probably want them to fry.

All aside from the death penalty, I think that rapists and child molesters should be castrated. That doesn't kill them, but it certainly humiliates them and hinders their ability to do it again.
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