Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Thou Shalt Kill

Well, as predicted, the Freeper Fascists are all a'twitter about their hero Justice Anthony Kennedy bolting from the pro-death camp into the pro-life camp in banning the killing of children by the State.

A few facts:

  1. The death penalty does not deter crime. When the death penalty was banned in all states, murder rates moved up and down the same in all states. When the death penalty was re-instated in some states, murder rates moved up and down the same in all states. In other words, the death penalty has never prevented a single murder.
  2. The death penalty is not necessary in order to protect civilians. Locking someone in jail for the rest of his life with no possibility of parole will prevent him from ever committing murder again (well, at least murder of anybody that I care about -- who cares if he knifes a fellow murderer?).
  3. The death penalty isn't cheaper than life in prison. Because killing innocent people would be such a horrific crime against humanity, death penalty cases are very expensive to prosecute and go on for years. Put the millions of dollars spent prosecuting and defending a typical death penalty case into the bank instead, and you can feed and house that prisoner for life on just the interest.
So that's pretty much that for any utilitarian use for the death penalty. It doesn't deter crime, it's no cheaper than life in prison, and it doesn't protect the public any better than the alternatives. So why have a death penalty? Simple: Vengeance. Pure, emotional vengeance. Blood lust. Anger, disgust, and hate. (And who better to hate than a murderer?).

So much for that. Now, here's the question: Why do so many people who call themselves "Christians" also support the death penalty?

I've asked some of them, sometimes. They always point to something or another in the old Hebrew liturgy. Deuteronomy 19:21 (the "eye for an eye" one) is a favorite. The problem is that they claim to be CHRISTIANS, not JEWS, and Christians are supposed to be followers of Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ explicitly denounced Deuteronomy 19:21, saying:

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 cloak also.
-- Matthew 5:38-40

The Bible has many cases of Jesus saying that it's not for Man to judge God's law, such as the case of the woman about to be stoned for adultery (John 8:2-11) where Jesus challenges her accusers, saying unto them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Jesus's basic philosophy regarding killing based upon hatred and vengeance is summed up best by Paul:

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. -- Romans 12:19-20

Thus it is clear that killing out of vengeance is not a Christian thing to do. What, then, about those who claim to be Christians who support the death penalty?

Well, if the death penalty deterred murder, that'd be one reason. All killing is a moral blasphemy against God and his creation. But we are, after all, mortal men, and we have biological needs for self preservation and defense of innocents built into us. I somehow doubt that we will burn in hell for giving in to those needs. Thus all good Libertarians have no problem at all with killing someone in self defense. The problem is with killing that is NOT in self defense. The statistics show the death penalty doesn't deter murder. In fact, the states with the death penalty are the states with the highest rates of murder. Thus the death penalty as imposed by the State (as vs. by an individual who is in the course of protecting his own life) is not necessary for self defense.

Once you get beyond that, then there just isn't anything in the New Testament to support the death penalty, and you have to go back to Jewish Old Testament law. Which is fine if you're a Jew. But that's sort of problematic if you're a Christian, who is supposed to follow, like, Christ *doh!*. Even a herring-breathed penguin knows that much!

So how else do these supposed "Christians" justify taking vengeance upon themselves in contradiction of the teachings of Jesus and his disciples? Well, mostly they lie. They lie and claim the death penalty deters crime (when all the statistics show it doesn't). They lie and say that the death penalty is cheaper than life in prison (when all the statistics show it isn't). They lie and say that the death penalty protects the public better than prison does (when life in prison without possibility of parole protects the public just as well). They lie and lie and lie and lie and lie. What else is new? Have you ever met a right wing Freeper type who was NOT a liar? I sure haven't. Whether they're lying about decorated war veterans, or lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or lying about loving democracy at the same time that their favorite politicians overthrow democratically elected governments overseas in order to install right-wing dictators, they lie and lie and lie. It's built into them, like hate and envy.

There's nothing that we in the Reality Based Community can do about them being, well, fuckin' NUTS. But at least we can let others know that these nut case fruitballs aren't Christians, aren't moral, and if they are the majority, they're at least not a MORAL majority. Jesus Christ did not preach unto the masses, "Go out and kill yourself some darkies for Jesus." No. He taught,

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
-- Mathew 5:7-9

That is what Jesus Christ says to do -- not "blow the crap out of darkies who are sitting on *our* oil." Freepers aren't Christians. Period. And we do grave harm both to ourselves and our nation when we let them pretend to be without speaking truth and pointing out that they're about as Christian as the Pharisees who would have stoned that woman but for Jesus.

- Badtux the Christian Penguin

[ Note to any Freepers coming by: Don't bother posting hate-filled missives here. I will delete them. This blog is my private property, and as a Libertarian I have no problem with defending my private property. Go whine about "censorship" on your own property, scum. ]

Posted by: BadTux / 3/01/2005 09:25:00 PM  


This is a test of the Freeper detection system. In the event of a real Freeper outbreak, you would have seen obscenities, cursing, bad spelling and atrocious grammar here. This is only a test.
# posted by Anonymous : 1/3/05 10:33 PM  

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