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Christianity, Politics

Troy Davis, the Death Penalty, and Christianity

Troy Davis is dead, and nothing can bring him back.  Was he guilty of the murder of which he was accused?  I don’t know.  The truth is, nobody knows for sure, and that’s very disturbing.  The death penalty debate has been front-and-center recently, with gun totin’ Texans cheering for Cowboy Rick’s bloody record as governor, and former president Carter decrying Georgia’s execution earlier today.

There are many reasons I don’t support the death penalty, but the primary reason — the overwhelming reason — is that I’m a skeptic.  It’s the same reason I’m an atheist, actually.  I base my entire existence on the constant awareness that no matter how sure I am of a thing, I could be wrong.  The death penalty is the only penalty for which there is no “undo” button.  We can let wrongfully accused people out of prison.  We cannot bring the dead back to life.

The death penalty is a Christian penalty.  Oh, sure, it’s not exclusively Christian, but it is Christian nevertheless.  Just open your Bible and look.  God orders the death penalty for lots of people.  Homosexualswitchesadultererschildren, and bloody well anyone else who isn’t a god-fearin’ gun-totin’ warrior for Jesus is sentenced to death by Jesus himself.  Or Yahweh.  Or whatever face God happened to be wearing at the time.  The Bible is full of death.

God doesn’t have much of a moral compass when it comes to meting out the “ultimate penalty,” either.  Did you know that God condemned animals to death for their owner’s negligence?  It’s true.  If an ox gored someone through his owner’s negligence, the ox got stoned to death.  Because… you know… oxen are notoriously immoral creatures with a highly developed capacity to understand human reciprocity.  But then, God also sentenced children to death for back-talking their parents.  Even in the Wild West States of Jesus, we have the good sense not to kill children.  We know their moral faculties are not fully developed, and presumably God does too.  But he doesn’t care.  Stone ’em anyway.

When you think about it, God’s “ultimate plan” is the ultimate demonstration of God’s moral turpitude.  In the U.S., we typically only kill people for extremely high crimes like premeditated murder or treason.  God has killed billions for simply disbelieving a wild story about a Jewish revenant.  By comparison, it seems almost trite, executing one black man even though there were reasons to doubt his guilt.

It shouldn’t surprise us when a couple hundred million Jesus worshippers favor the death penalty.  Christianity is a brutal religion that glorifies death.  Those fancy little crosses all the Christians have on their necklaces and earrings?  Those are constant reminders of their god’s gruesome execution.  Their whole religion is the glorification of the death penalty!

And then there’s the evidence thing.  God’s law doesn’t call for juries of peers, or preponderances of evidence, or DNA matching.  It calls for swift sentence, often based on one man’s word.  It makes sense, if you think about it.  What’s that thing the Good Christians always say?  Kill them all and let God sort it out?  (The origin of this phrase, oft used by the U.S. Marine Corps, is in doubt, but it is widely believed to be a reference to 2 Timothy:  “The Lord knoweth them that are his.”)

Christianity is a black and white religion.  There are good people (Christians) and evil people (everyone else in the universe).  There is heaven and hell.  Sin and Virtue.  There is no room for wiggling.  The death penalty is also black and white.  Once the accused is dead, that’s the end of it.  The two are natural bed buddies.

Oh… and there’s one more thing I’ve been thinking about with regard to Christianity and the death penalty.  Some people argue that the death penalty is a money saver.  It’s so expensive to keep killers alive, they aver, that it’s better to kill them so that you and I, gentle taxpayer, can have a few more pennies to get a Starbuck’s Latte.  I find it rather ironic that people who are so vehemently “pro-life” when it comes to fetuses are willing to kill a full grown human to save a buck or two.  Talk about screwed up morals!

Now, let me head off the boringly predictable objections:  Yes.  I know that not all Christians support the death penalty.  I know that your grandmother is the sweetest lady in the world, and that she has been a Christian all her life.  I know that other non-Christian countries have the death penalty.  I know that I can’t pin the entire death penalty debate on the Bible.  I know all of this.  Let me say this very clearly so that at least I can point back to it when people object anyway.  If you are a Christian and you oppose the death penalty, you’re a bad Christian.  You’ve been skipping over giant sections of your Bible.  God doesn’t give you the option of making up your own mind.  He’s called for the death penalty, and that’s the end of it.  So if you’re a Christian and you want to argue with me that you’re against the death penalty, I don’t care.  You’re a hypocrite.

The death penalty isn’t an exclusively Christian thing, but it is most definitely a Christian thing.  The entire religion is the symbolic glorification of the death penalty.  And that’s just one more reason I think it’s one of the most repulsive belief systems in the world.

In case you’re interested, here’s a link to a website with the names of all the people executed in the United States of Jesus.

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Discussion

57 thoughts on “Troy Davis, the Death Penalty, and Christianity

  1. Ironically, Yahweh calls for the death penalty for murder (Num 35), but doesn’t call for the death penalty if you make a woman miscarry (Ex 21.22). It looks like Yahweh is more pro-choice than those Christians who think that abortion is tantamount to murder… meaning that those Christians are more immoral than their god.

    Posted by J. Quinton | September 22, 2011, 3:29 pm
  2. The thing Will is that I don’t like this line of reasoning any more than I like the moderate christian line of reasoning about TRUE(TM) Christianity.

    The fact of the matter is that there are lots of things in the Bible. Remember when Jesus washed the hooker’s feet? Any christian who would hate the sinner and not the sin is not a TRUE(TM) Christian! The Samiritian helped somebody in need, those that don’t help others aren’t TRUE(TM) Christians!

    You are making the exact same mistakes that moderates make with Hitler. You’re cherry picking the bible to declare who are the true Christians.

    And in spirit of your last Examiner article, yes I do think you’re using the exact same faulty logic as Christians in the exact same way.

    Posted by Alison | September 22, 2011, 4:27 pm
  3. @Alison: It seems to me there are 3 options here.

    1. Yahweh isn’t a fan of the death penalty.
    2. Yahweh is a fan of the death penalty.
    3. Yahweh is inconsistent.

    From the Bible citations in this article (and many others that could be given), #1 is obviously false. That leaves 2 and 3, and I don’t really care which it is. Both are abhorrent. As a Christian, you either accept this (in which case you aren’t against the death penalty), or you ignore it (in which case you’re lying to yourself.)

    I don’t see any cherry picking here.

    @J. Quinton: Curses, you beat me to EVERYTHING! >:P

    Posted by Tim Martin | September 22, 2011, 5:21 pm
  4. (subscribing)

    Posted by Tim Martin | September 22, 2011, 5:35 pm
  5. Alright Tim, let’s take Hamby’s logic, and J Quinton’s post.

    Will will probably say that Christians who are pro-choice are bad Christians, but according to Quinton’s post, he’d be wrong and any Christian that is pro-life is a bad Christian ergo Christianity is supportive of women’s rights.

    Posted by Alison | September 22, 2011, 5:46 pm
  6. @Alison: I do not know all the Bible verses relevant to abortion, nor do I know what Will (is that the OP’s name?) would say about them. What I would like to do is discuss the matter at hand, and what you originally accused the OP of. You accused him, based on this article, of cherry picking. I still do not see where anyone is picking cherries. As a Christian, one has to be okay with a god who kills people in horrible ways and for horrible reasons.

    I think the OP is basically asking, “If you’re okay with that, why would you not be okay with the death penalty?”

    It’s a good question. Now that I’ve thought about it more, I would say that I don’t think the question was phrased very well. I’m sure there are plenty of Christians out there who object to the death penalty for purely secular reasons. Their god is bloodthirsty, but they are not. It does little good to yell “you must either be bloodthirsty yourself or renounce your Christianity!” The fact is that humans can hold contradictory beliefs in their heads at the same time. Also, humans can subscribe to a religion without really knowing it, or without thinking about the implications.

    And as for Christians who are self-righteous about their opposition to the death penalty…. I would say their need to be better than others, rather than their theology, is the problem.

    In both cases, I would agree with you – if it is indeed your opinion – that a more measured approach would be more effective. I would not call it cherry picking, however.

    Posted by Tim Martin | September 22, 2011, 6:17 pm
  7. There’s no (complete) undo button for ANY criminal punishment. You can’t give a man back the time he’s wrongfully spent in prison, so why is irrevocability supposedly a good argument against the death penalty but not incarceration? Maybe a better way of phrasing the question is, why is death the line where the risk of punishing an innocent becomes intolerable?

    I’m not a christian, nor am I in favor of the death penalty, but I just can’t see the qualitative difference between it and time in prison that your argument implies, it’s simply a harsher punishment. My reason for not supporting it is that it doesn’t seem to do shit to crime rates based on everything I’ve heard, and it’s not necessary to keeping dangerous criminals isolated from others, and to me those are the two biggest things that matter when it comes to deciding what to do with criminals.

    Posted by Esa | September 23, 2011, 5:56 am
  8. Tim, I’m saying that Will is using the same faulty logic and arguing that moderates make when they don’t want a particular person to be christian.

    He’s giving ammo to the moderates to say X nasty person was a bad Christian.

    Posted by Alison | September 23, 2011, 9:05 am
  9. A central tenet of Christianity is forgivenss, something all these self-appointed atheist “experts in Christianity” conveniently ignore. The purpose of the Old Testament is to illustrate why we need forgiveness.
    <br
    Ultimately, it doesn't matter a whit how "bloodthirsty" you think God is, if God exists, and it doesn't matter how morally superiour to God you (self-righteously) think you are.

    Posted by CB | September 24, 2011, 1:40 pm
  10. God doesn’t give you the option of making up your own mind. He’s called for the death penalty, and that’s the end of it. So if you’re a Christian and you want to argue with me that you’re against the death penalty, I don’ care. You’re a hypocrite.

    The entire religion is the symbolic glorification of the death penalty. And that’s just one more reason I think it’s one of the most repulsive belief systems in the world.

    The purpose of my post above is to counter the obviously ill-informned ignorance quoted above.

    Posted by CB | September 24, 2011, 1:46 pm
  11. Thank CB for demostrating exactly my point of how irrational that thinking is.

    You can’t rail Will for using that logic if you use it yourself. By your logic he’s right and by his logic your right.

    This is what I mean. Both of you are demanding special exemption that the logic only works with you and not others. This is obviously wrong.

    Posted by Alison | September 26, 2011, 1:17 pm
  12. Alison, you are presuming, erroneously, that Hamby is using logic. He isn’t. He’s using emotion. He’s cherry-picking facts to justify his hatred (“You’re a hypocrite”,”…the most repulsive belief systems in the world.”), nothing more. What I am doing is pointing out the elephant in the room, a glaring fact that he ignores, that Christ taught about forgiveness and giving. In addition, I also point out that if God does indeed exist, as I personally believe to be the case, it doesn’t matter how much “better” than God Hamby thinks he is.

    Truth be told, I am also not using logic. I am merely pointng out facts. I am also not “demanding” anything. Let readers draw their own conclusoins.

    Posted by CB | September 26, 2011, 8:34 pm
  13. People who believe they’re going to get whooshed up into heaven by angels one day do NOT need to be making these kinds of decisions.

    Posted by Ian | September 27, 2011, 4:58 pm
  14. Fortunately, that isn’t your call to make, Ian. Fortunately, we have a Constitution and the rule of law, instead.

    Posted by CB | September 27, 2011, 10:54 pm
  15. Apparently not in Georgia, we don’t. We have a lynch mob that calls itself “government.”

    Posted by Ian | September 28, 2011, 9:30 am
  16. What is thre basis for that silly assertion? Troy Davis had a trial, with a jury of 12 peers. The fact that you have personal problems with the outcome means nothing, and certainly doesn’t mean “lynch mob”.

    Again, you argue emotion, not reason.

    I find it rather ironic that people who are so vehemently “pro-life” when it comes to fetuses are willing to kill a full grown human to save a buck or two. Talk about screwed up morals!

    Well, that “full grown human” that you’re so concerned about was a convicted murderer in this case, which means he was found guilty of killing other “full grown humans”. Yet we as a country kill unborn babies by the millions, for the sake of convenience, or, “to save a buck or two,” to use your dismissive rhetoric.

    “Screwed up morals”, indeed!

    Posted by CB | September 29, 2011, 7:42 am
  17. CB, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you were not ignorant of the reasons why Troy Davis’s execution is so controversial. Here are the facts:

    1. There is no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime.
    2. His conviction was based on eyewitness testimony. Since his conviction, 7 of the 9 witnesses who testified against him recanted, citing coercion by police as the reason they had testified against him.
    3. Of the remaining two witnesses, one remains silent on the issue. The other is reported to have, on several occasions, claimed to be responsible for the shooting, and to have fingered Davis in order to save himself.
    4. Since 1989, there have been 273 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the US. About 75% were wrongfully convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony. 17 of the 273 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. (http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Facts_on_PostConviction_DNA_Exonerations.php)

    If, despite all of that, you are comfortable executing this man, then you’ve proved my point. People who believe that ancient mythology should be taught as science, and that a morally perfect supernatural being ordered an ancient middle-eastern tribe to commit genocide, are so disconnected from reality that they have no business making these kind of life and death decisions.

    Posted by Ian | September 29, 2011, 8:28 am
  18. Ian, you’re simnply regurgitating the standard Liberal Media Talking Points. For starters, there were thirty four witnesses who testified against Davis, not nine. You can read Judge Moore’s Order yourself, including the testimonies of the thirty four witnesses. The actual number of witnesses is mentioned on page 41. In addition, this case went to the US Supreme Court, and they voted 9-0 to send the case back to the Georgia courts. So you might as well include the Federal Government in your “lynch mob”.

    Yes, there are innocent people on Death Row, and innocent people have indeed been executed. No one claims that our system is perfect, but it’s better than most, if not all systems in existence. In any case, it’s a far cry from your “lynch mob” nonsense. Frankly, I am not convinced that Davis was one of those innocents wrongfully executed, but I am fully aware that people in the Liberal Media hate capital punishment and do everything they can to spin the issue and cast it in a negative light.

    And none of this has anything to do with “ancient mythology”, but apparently has everything to do with modern mythology.

    Posted by CB | September 29, 2011, 2:47 pm
  19. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    The data begs to differ on our system being anything remotely like the best or even that good. Since the system is supposed to exist to reduce/prevent crime.

    Also, those 41 witnesses weren’t all eye witnesses. A significant distinction. Without having followed the case, the details are as Ian stated above. Those details alone are enough for reasonable doubt, the standard for conviction, let alone murder.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | September 29, 2011, 3:00 pm
  20. Thanks, Alex. Yeah, CB, I’m a capital-punishment-hating liberal. What I especially hate is when people are pulled off the street and sentenced to death based on flimsy evidence. But I guess that doesn’t bother a good Christian man like you.

    Which leads me to ask an honest question. Your objection to Bill’s article was…what exactly?

    Posted by Ian | September 29, 2011, 5:35 pm
  21. The data begs to differ on our system being anything remotely like the best or even that good. Since the system is supposed to exist to reduce/prevent crime.

    Well, Alex, I don’t recall mentioning anything about deterrence, but it isn’t at all surprising that you would jump to an erroneous conclusion. I gave no evidence whatsoever that I was talking about “preventing crime”, yet that is what you concluded anyway, which leads me to believe that you aren’t as “evidence driven” as you claim to be. No, for all your lofty talk about “evidence”, it appears that it doesn’t really influence your thinking all that much. You apparently draw conclusions even without evidence to back them up.

    No, when I stated that our system was one of the better ones around, I was speaking in terms of minimizing the chances of wrongful convictions, of giving the accused as many advantages as can reasonably be provided. The accused is presumed innocent; guilt must be proved “beyond reasonable doubt”. The the fate of the accused is held by a jury of twelve peers, not some arbitrary authority figure. The defense only needs to instill “reasonable doubt” to avoid conviction. Even if convicted, there is an appeals process. And so forth. In fact, there are those who complain that our system is too easy on criminals, and rightfully observe that too many criminals, including even murderers, manage to get off Scott free, whether due to some technicality or due to simple incompetence on the part of the prosecution.

    So yeah, mistakes happen, but they happen going both ways. Sometimes an innocent is wrongfully convicted, and sometimes the guilty are wrongfully allowed to walk. And sometimes those who walk rape and/or kill again.

    Like I said, no one is claiming the system to be perfect. And it’s pretty obvious that you liberals have little faith in the system, since you are always whining about how “broken” it allegedly is, and this is simply a case in point. Troy Davis is your latest “baby harp seal” poster boy for how “evil” this “Christian” system is, yadda yadda yadda. (Oops! I just called a black man a “boy”! Racism Alert! Racism Alert!) Thing is, most of us non-liberals still do have faith in the system. I have read about blood-splattered shorts that were deemed inadmissible as evidence, based on some technicality. I have read about shell casings. I have read that numerous courts, including the US Supreme Court, have looked at the case, and none of them saw reason to overturn the conviction or sentence. I have read that the so-called “recants” were “smoke and mirrors”. I have also read that there is no evidence that an innocent has been executed for at least fifty years.

    So yeah, I have reasonable doubt that all of this liberal anti-death-penalty hysteria has any merit, at least in this particular case.

    What I especially hate is when people are pulled off the street and sentenced to death based on flimsy evidence.

    Yeah, I hate it too. Difference is, you apparently think it happens on a regular basis, whereas I do not.

    But I guess that doesn’t bother a good Christian man like you.

    Well, your cheap shot character assassination guesses are neither relevant nor correct.

    Which leads me to ask an honest question. Your objection to Bill’s article was…what exactly?

    Well, apparently you cannot comprehend written English. I mean, I spell it out rather plainly in my two posts of September 24, 2011. If you can’t figure it out, I doubt that I can spoon-feed it any more effectively.

    Cue clever “tl;dr” (“too lazy;didn’t read”) response from Alex…

    Posted by CB | October 1, 2011, 11:12 am
  22. I have read about blood-splattered shorts that were deemed inadmissible as evidence, based on some technicality.

    The “technicality” was that they were obtained without a search warrant. Illegal search and seizure, you know. Whether they were “blood splattered” I don’t know. But the fact that the police illegally obtained evidence against Davis does not reassure me that they were conducting a fair investigation.

    I have read that the so-called “recants” were “smoke and mirrors”.

    That’s just marginalizing the argument without raising any substantive criticism of it. Try again, please.

    I have read that numerous courts, including the US Supreme Court, have looked at the case, and none of them saw reason to overturn the conviction or sentence.

    Due to the Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which prevents those convicted of capital crimes from presenting evidence after sentencing which was not presented at trial.

    I spell it out rather plainly in my two posts of September 24, 2011.

    Does forgiveness, for you, mean pumping a man full of poison?

    Posted by Ian | October 1, 2011, 3:32 pm
  23. So you judge the system on how it functions rather than how effective it is. That explains a lot.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 1, 2011, 5:19 pm
  24. Lets see…

    We are being told by atheist like Hamby that the ” Death Penalty is a Christian penalty” and that some of the 49 people executed in the U.S in 2010 could have possibly have been innocent.

    What B.S!!!

    The vital information that atheist like Hamby routinely suppress is that Amnesty International estimated that the State sponsered Atheist country of China executed upwards of 5000 people for various crimes in 2010.
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/001/2011/en/ea1b6b25-a62a-4074-927d-ba51e88df2e9/act500012011en.pdf

    But hey, lets not let the factual truths get in the way of a good atheist rant. Its simply amazing just how deeply indoctornated Atheists are to their religion…

    Posted by PG | October 1, 2011, 6:51 pm
  25. “Does forgiveness, for you, mean pumping a man full of poison?”
    Posted by Ian | October 1, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Hey Ian,
    Does “intelllectually satisfied Atheism, for you, mean executing 5000 people a year for serious and non serious crimes?

    Posted by PG | October 1, 2011, 6:55 pm
  26. Hell yeah, PG. I execute ten people every day before I brush my teeth just for the sake of a few nihilistic shits and giggles. If only we could get all the atheists over in Sweden to get on board with the rampaging death atheists like me and the Chinese….

    Posted by Ian | October 1, 2011, 7:56 pm
  27. “Hell yeah, PG. I execute ten people every day before I brush my teeth just for the sake of a few nihilistic shits and giggles. If only we could get all the atheists over in Sweden to get on board with the rampaging death atheists like me and the Chinese
    “Posted by Ian | October 1, 2011, 7:56 pm

    Ian,

    It seems that almost half of sweeden wants to join your crusade…

    “And in a recent report published by the Council for European Studies at Columbia University, Andrew Moravcsik writes that 65 to 70 percent of Britons, a majority of Austrians, around 50 percent of Italians,

    and 49 percent of Swedes favor its reinstatement.”

    http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/232581/support-for-death-penalty-is-strong?CSAuthResp=1317515908%3Ab2rgpf3g6l05dcck7hhpmrlkq2%3ACSUserId%7CCSGroupId%3Aapproved%3AA4F5E574AA3725518FC1EFE1BBE349E7&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1

    Maybe you can convince the other half that capital punishment is simply a form of natural selection and survival of the fittest!

    Posted by PG | October 1, 2011, 8:45 pm
  28. The point completely escaping (deliberately) PG is that atheist don’t have a religion, since it’s not a positive statement about anything. You can’t use atheism to justify any position or belief on any other subject. This is why many atheists constantly point out that eliminating religion “might” solve a [large] number of problems, it’s unlikely to eliminate all of them.

    The death penalty is a christian penalty. Your holy books demand death for a myriad assortment of crimes, both “serious and non serious”. No one said it was exclusively a christian penalty, but then there is little about christianity that is unique, so why should their barbarity be?

    As to the death penalty, I’m still waiting for a positive reason we should keep it. You are supporting a practice of putting people to death. I’d think you should be the one defending keeping/implementing it.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 2, 2011, 8:17 am
  29. The point completely escaping (deliberately) PG is that atheist don’t have a religion, since it’s not a positive statement about anything. You can’t use atheism to justify any position or belief on any other subject. This is why many atheists constantly point out that eliminating religion “might” solve a [large] number of problems, it’s unlikely to eliminate all of them.

    Actually, that’s why I believe that getting rid of religion, won’t solve any of them.

    Posted by Alison | October 3, 2011, 7:51 pm
  30. Believing either extreme (that removing religion will solve all/none) is equally as illogical given the preponderance of evidence that religion causes some specific harms, while only correlating with others.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 3, 2011, 8:48 pm
  31. The “technicality” was that they were obtained without a search warrant. Illegal search and seizure, you know.

    Are you telling me that due process was followed?? Seriously?? Weren’t you bitchin’ and moanin’ just a few days ago about “lynch mobs”? Hard to have a “lynch mob” when you have due process going on, chief. Unless, of course, you happen to be a flaming liberal who disagrees with the outcome, but I digress.

    Besides, the truth is that a search warrant isn’t always required:

    There are a number of circumstances where it is not necessary for police to obtain a search warrant. No search warrant is necessary when the owner of a property grants police permission to search a space. Cars that have been stopped lawfully can be searched without a search warrant with proper cause. A search warrant is not necessary when a search accompanies an arrest, when the search is carried out necessarily to protect the public or prevent eminent destruction of evidence, or during hot pursuit of a criminal.

    Therefore, if Troy’s mom gave consent, there would be no legal need for a warrant, and the technicality would need to be a bit less obvious. But then, DNA testing was available in 1989, so it stands to reason that this evidence could have exonerated Davis if he were truly innocent. Sure, there may have been blood on the shorts, but if it ain’t the cop’s blood, the prosecution’s case is substantially undermined. But defense did whatever it needed to do to keep the evidence out of the court room, which doesn’t instill confidence in Troy’s alleged lack of guilt.

    That’s just marginalizing the argument without raising any substantive criticism of it.

    It was appellate court justices that used the term “smoke and mirrors”, chief. I’m just the messenger, here. You disagree with their assessments? I suggest you take it up with them.

    Due to the Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which prevents those convicted of capital crimes from presenting evidence after sentencing which was not presented at trial.

    Assuming your assessment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is even accurate, which I doubt based on my initial readings, you still have your cart before the horse. I never claimed or implied that the appellate courts were reviewing “new evidence”, only the proceedings and evidence of the original case. So your citing of this act is non sequitur.

    Does forgiveness, for you, mean pumping a man full of poison?

    Obviously not, which is why it’s so patently absurd to insist that capital punishment is a “Christian thang”.

    Posted by CB | October 3, 2011, 11:26 pm
  32. if Troy’s mom gave consent

    His mother “testified that police officers had threatened to break down her door unless she let them into her home.” http://multimedia.savannahnow.com/media/DavisMcPhail/1991/05141991HIGHCOURTAFFIRMSBAN.pdf

    I never claimed or implied that the appellate courts were reviewing “new evidence”, only the proceedings and evidence of the original case.

    Derp. That’s the whole point–the evidence changed after the original case, casting doubt on the sentence.

    Obviously not, which is why it’s so patently absurd to insist that capital punishment is a “Christian thang”.

    Select which one of these is true:

    (1) You are a Christian who doesn’t support the death penalty
    (2) You are not a Christian and you do support the death penalty
    (3) You are a hypocritical Christian who could give a fuck what Jesus said, you support the death penalty anyway.

    Posted by Ian | October 4, 2011, 5:29 am
  33. I’m still missing something here. Why are you defending the death penalty? Also, exactly how is it that the death penalty isn’t a christian thing (no one is claiming it is exclusively a christian thing)?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 4, 2011, 10:33 am
  34. His mother “testified that police officers had threatened to break down her door unless she let them into her home.”

    Yeah, well, according to you and other liberals, the sworn court testimony of “seven out of nine eye witnesses” was a lie, so why not the testimony of Troy’s mom?

    That’s the whole point–the evidence changed after the original case, casting doubt on the sentence.

    Not according to the appellate justice who reviewed the case — again, the “recants” were “smoke and mirrors”. It turns out that only two of the “recants” changed their testimony in a “material” way — the rest were minor wording changes that couldn’t have affected the outcome anyway. Of those two “material” recantations, Davis’ defense lawyers refused to put them on the stand and subject them to cross-examination, thereby nullifying them.

    Select which one of these is true:

    I suspect you’ve made your mind up already, but no,I don’t support the death penalty, Ian. Then again, I don’t support abortion either, yet, in both cases, I recognize that it’s the law of the land.

    Posted by CB | October 4, 2011, 10:35 am
  35. I need to make sure I understand this.

    I suspect you’ve made your mind up already, but no,I don’t support the death penalty, Ian. Then again, I don’t support abortion either, yet, in both cases, I recognize that it’s the law of the land.

    So you don’t support the death penalty (your bible sure does, but that’s your cognitive dissonance to deal with), but you’re defending the execution of this man?

    Wait, where one cognitive dissonance is found, more are sure to follow. At least you’re true to form.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 4, 2011, 11:41 am
  36. No “cognitive dissonance” on my part, Alex. Unlike you, I understand the gestalt of what the Bible says. What you apparenly refuse to comprehend is that God Himself already paid the full death penalty price, so I am not required to pay it. God forgives. God could have also forgiven Troy Davis.

    What I am “defending” is our country’s due process, nothing more. I am simply countering Ian’s “lynch mob” rhetoric.

    I can discuss two separate yet related issues without getting them confused. Apparently, you cannot. Or choose not to.

    Posted by CB | October 4, 2011, 1:27 pm
  37. Right, so you don’t support the death penalty, but you support this mans death… That’s what I call cognitive dissonance. If you don’t support the death penalty, then this was a lynch mob (i.e. a group of people who worked together to murder another person).

    I’m capable of discussing multiple topics, what I’m also capable of doing is recognizing when I’m holding two thoughts that cannot agree with each other.

    No “cognitive dissonance” on my part, Alex. Unlike you, I understand the gestalt of what the Bible says. What you apparenly refuse to comprehend is that God Himself already paid the full death penalty price, so I am not required to pay it. God forgives. God could have also forgiven Troy Davis.

    I’m not even going to pander to this one. I mean, I couldn’t have given a better example of cognitive dissonance if I wanted to…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 4, 2011, 3:52 pm
  38. I think CB is [unintentionally] demostrating exactly my first point.

    As CB points out, the New testament is about fogiveness etc.. and how Jesus came to Earth spreading forgiveness, and he forgave the soldiers who killed him etc…

    Will points out the death penalty in the Bible how God order captial punishment etc…

    Yet, if I take one of them, I have to take the other. I can’t just take the forgiveness parts and say forgiveness is a Christian idea, and then ignore the death penalty saying it isn’t Christian as CB is doing.

    I also can’t just take the death penalty part and say the death penalty is a Christian penalty, and ignore the forgiveness part saying it isn’t Christian like Will did in the article, and others are doing in the comments.

    In other words, this whole debate is about both sides using the same logic, and copyingrighting it so only they can use it.

    Posted by Alison | October 4, 2011, 5:04 pm
  39. Alison, while what you say is true — if we accept the death penalty, we must accept Jesus’ exhortations to forgiveness — it is still unacceptable to me as a life philosophy. I am opposed to the death penalty, so it matters not if Jesus was in favor of not executing everyone on death row. If he was in favor of executing any of them then I disagree with him.

    (By extension, if Jesus advocates pardoning ALL death row inmates (which he does not), then why have the death penalty in the first place?)

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | October 6, 2011, 10:23 am
  40. I have to concur with Will. Accepting terrible things, even while forgiving others, is an insane idea. Especially when it’s some fantasy person I can’t talk to or reason with who gets to decide.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 6, 2011, 12:11 pm
  41. …you support this mans death.

    I do? Really? Where did I say that?

    If you don’t support the death penalty, then this was a lynch mob…

    Oh, okay, so you are personally defining “lynch mob” as “the entire population of a state that happens to have capital punishment”.

    Including the atheists.

    So I guess Stalin’s Russia/USSR was a “lynch mob” run by atheists. Ditto for Pol Pot’s Cambodia/Kampuchea, and Mao Zedong’s China.

    Got it.

    I’m capable of discussing multiple topics, what I’m also capable of doing is recognizing when I’m holding two thoughts that cannot agree with each other.

    If I happen to be independently wealthy and single, buy an expensive diamond ring, and give it to some random woman, no strings attached, answer me this: From her point of view, was the ring expensive or free? Or both? Or neither?

    Posted by CB | October 6, 2011, 1:47 pm
  42. So I guess Stalin’s Russia/USSR was a “lynch mob” run by atheists. Ditto for Pol Pot’s Cambodia/Kampuchea, and Mao Zedong’s China.

    Got it.

    Yep, you’ve got it! Seriously. Nobody’s arguing that atheists can’t support the death penalty–the argument is that atheism doesn’t commit you to supporting the death penalty, while an orthodox interpretation of the Bible does.

    Posted by Ian | October 6, 2011, 2:01 pm
  43. LOL. Thanks, Ian. Once again, CB’s ability to mis-read a perfectly simple statement shines through.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | October 6, 2011, 2:11 pm
  44. You are categorically incorrect, Ian and Hamby. You fixate on Leviticus and ignore the NT completely. I see that no one bothered to answer my question about the diamond ring. I guess it stumped you…

    Posted by CB | October 6, 2011, 4:42 pm
  45. I had to repeatedly spank Ian over old vs. new covenant in another thread — must we repeat that here? Death Penalty == Old Covenant. Forgiveness == New Covenant. Christianity == New Covenant. But go ahead and keep ignoring this fundamental precept. Doesn’t support your anti-Christian Crusade, after all.

    Posted by CB | October 6, 2011, 4:50 pm
  46. CB, your pusillanimous opposition to the death penalty isn’t convincing anybody. In practice you’re a decidedly pro-capital punishment conservative Christian, whining with the rest of them about us bleeding heart liberals. Go ahead and insist that Christianity is a religion of forgiveness, but it sounds like a weak, impotent kind of forgiveness to me, that doesn’t have any affect on the world.

    As for your ring analogy, suppose that after the ring is given away, an envious mob approaches the the woman and forces her to pay for it anyway. Lost in the crowd, somebody quietly mutters, “Umm–that was free, she shouldn’t have to buy it,” then rejoins his friends in clamoring for the ring to be paid for. Not too impressive, is it?

    Posted by Ian | October 7, 2011, 5:58 am
  47. As for your ring analogy, suppose that after the ring is given away, an envious mob approaches the the woman and forces her to pay for it anyway. Lost in the crowd, somebody quietly mutters, “Umm–that was free, she shouldn’t have to buy it,” then rejoins his friends in clamoring for the ring to be paid for. Not too impressive, is it?

    Thank you. I just didn’t want to bother thinking of the appropriate response. At least she has a real physical object and people can agree on it’s size, shape, color, cut, clarity, etc… This “forgiveness” is more like a certificate of ownership of a ring.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 7, 2011, 8:05 am
  48. …it sounds like…

    What it “sounds like” to you is irrelevant. What is relevant is the truth.

    Not too impressive, is it?

    Not too appropriate, either. Really, you guys are masters of inappropriate analogies. How the mob reacts is completely immaterial to whether that ring was in fact free or paid for.

    Posted by CB | October 9, 2011, 9:00 am
  49. In practice you’re a decidedly pro-capital punishment conservative Christian, whining with the rest of them about us bleeding heart liberals.

    You haven’t a clue what I am “in practice” or otherwise, so quit trying to pretend that you do. It’s unbecoming. In truth, I oppose the death penalty on the grounds that the State simply shouldn’t have the power to execute an American citizen for any reason, no matter how heinous the crime. I am a limited-government conservative, and again simply don’t believe that Government should have the power to kill its citizens. Period. And I don’t need to make a martyr out of a convicted cop-killer to support my position. Furthermore, I would be more than willing to join your anti-death-penalty crusade if not for some self-righteous ignoramous telling me I would be a “hypoocrite” for doing so.

    Alison has a strong point — Hamby’s crusades may indeed be noble, but his methods of execution go beyond blinding stupidity. One should try to make bridges and forge alliances if one truly wants to change the world. Aggressively alienating those with whom you disagree in general, even when there is agreement on the topic at hand, accomplishes nothing in that regard, even if it does make you feel better about yourself at some smug, childish level in the short run.

    Posted by CB | October 9, 2011, 11:11 am
  50. How the mob reacts is completely immaterial to whether that ring was in fact free or paid for.

    Someone who believes in both the doctrine of forgiveness and in the legitimacy of retributive justice is like the mob demanding that the gift be paid for. That’s the point of the analogy.

    In truth, I oppose the death penalty on the grounds that the State simply shouldn’t have the power to execute an American citizen for any reason, no matter how heinous the crime. I am a limited-government conservative

    While I applaud your conclusion, I’m puzzled by your shift from arguing against the death penalty on the basis of Christian forgiveness to arguing against it on the basis of libertarian politics. Nobody’s arguing that libertarians are obligated to support the death penalty.

    Aggressively alienating those with whom you disagree in general, even when there is agreement on the topic at hand, accomplishes nothing in that regard

    Think you might benefit from taking some of your own advice, CB?

    Posted by Ian | October 10, 2011, 3:44 pm
  51. Someone who believes in both the doctrine of forgiveness and in the legitimacy of retributive justice is like the mob demanding that the gift be paid for. That’s the point of the analogy.

    Well, the real issue is that you took the liberty of hijacking my analogy before even bothering to answer the original question my analogy posed, so I am under no obligation to acknowledge any “point” you were trying to make. My point is that there is no “cognitive dissonance” whatsoever in observing that Christianity absolutely does not obligate the Christian to favor capital punishment. Period.

    While I applaud your conclusion, I’M puzzled by your shift from arguing against the death penalty on the basis of Christian forgiveness to arguing against it on the basis of libertarian politics. Nobody’s arguing that libertarians are obligated to support the death penalty.

    My point is that

    nobody

    should be arguing that Christians are “obligated” to support it. Any such “argument” is firmly grounded in abject ignorance.

    Posted by CB | October 12, 2011, 9:22 pm
  52. Oops, wrong tag. That should be…

    My point is that nobody should be arguing that Christians are “obligated” to support it.

    Posted by CB | October 12, 2011, 9:24 pm
  53. Genesis 9:6: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.”

    If you take the view of scriptural authority that you (and most Christians) take, and you’re committed to the moral perfection and immutability of God, and you want to argue that NOBODY should be arguing that Christians are obligated to support the death penalty, then you’ve got your work cut out for you, CB.

    Posted by Ian | October 13, 2011, 7:36 am
  54. And yet again, you trot out an OLD TESTAMENT/OLD COVENANT Bible verse. Utterly predictable. Utterly obtuse. You guys simply and stubbornly REFUSE to learn. So yes, I do have my work cut out for me, thanks to your own thick-headed recalcitrance.

    Posted by CB | October 13, 2011, 9:03 am
  55. We trot it out, because it’s the basis for your religion.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | October 13, 2011, 10:50 am
  56. We trot it out, because…

    …you don’t know any better, and have no desire to learn.

    …it’s the basis for your religion.

    1. You’re obviously free to believe any foolish thing you want.

    2. What does that even mean, anyway?

    Posted by CB | October 15, 2011, 9:45 pm
  57. Think you might benefit from taking some of your own advice, CB?

    I’m not the one who is a blogger on a crusade, here. Hamby is, and my comments were directed accordingly, based on Allison’s observations.

    Posted by CB | January 21, 2014, 2:15 pm

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