The state of Texas has been guided by a system of poor leadership and what I call a good ‘ole boy network as it relates to its hill billy notion of justice; I have only blogged about my thoughts towards the death penalty once before, but it is safe to say I am beyond angry with Gov. Rick Perry. As a pacifist and a Christian, I see no purpose in the execution of another person. The most sacred thing that we all possess is life; it is not up to us to decide who should live and who should be executed. It is my contention that if one believes in God, one should also believe that he holds all final calls. For years I have been a self-proclaimed social and economic liberal regarding the death penalty. I, just like so many people, have known innocent victims of crime. I am not an apologists for those who have committed horrible acts of crime: murder being the worst seeing that it violates one’s natural rights. Humans do not have the right to take such a life without it being a “just” cause. But when such an act occurs, I am not sure society gains by executing the guilty. The problem with the death penalty is that it does not deter crime. Furthermore, those that commit such crimes tend to come from lower socio economic groups. English intellectual John Stuart Mill stated that “if the death penalty worked, people would not pick pockets while observing a public hanging during the 19th century.” I have also noticed that blacks and the poor are executed at a disproportionate rate. I have been reading scripture looking for answers to whether subjects of a state should support the death penalty.
As of today, the state of Texas continued its pathetic cowboy and unenlightened image by executing another person.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have to decide whether a death row inmate lives or dies.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a rare ruling, has recommended that Robert Lee Thompson’s death sentence be commuted to life in prison. The 34-year-old Thompson is set for lethal injection Thursday evening for his part in the fatal shooting of a Houston convenience store clerk. He was not the triggerman when Mansoor Bhai Rahim Mohammed was gunned down 13 years ago during a robbery. But he was convicted under the Texas law of parties, which made him equally culpable for the slaying.The shooter, Sammy Butler, received life in prison. Thompson, tried separately, got death.
Perry is not required to follow the board’s recommendation.
As stated below in Romans 13 1 – 5, I do believe that we interpret certain verses too literally regarding the death penalty:
Paul instructs Christians to submit themselves to the authority of the state, because “The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Referring to the authorities, Paul writes in Verse 4: “For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” The reference to “sword” might be interpreted literally (to refer to capital punishment) or symbolically (to refer to the power of the state to punish wrongdoers).
For those that follow scripture, I have yet to find anything that substantiates the execution of a person that commits a wrong; in the teachings if Christ, such behavior did not transpire.
Another example found in John chapter 8 might be:
…This famous passage describes an adulteress who was scheduled for stoning. Jesus told her executioners He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. These verses have often been quoted to indicate Jesus’ opposition to the death penalty.
According to Christianity Today, white evangelical Christians are the biggest supporters of the death penalty, though a number have become bothered by the “proportion” of blacks receiving such execution.
While the issue before the Supreme Court is narrow, the national mood on capital punishment itself seems to be shifting. New Jersey became the 14th state to outlaw executions in December 2007. And a Pew Forum poll taken last August found that public support for capital punishment has dropped to 62 percent from a high of 80 percent in 1994. White evangelicals are still the death penalty’s strongest supporters, with 74 percent approval, but that is down from 82 percent in 1996. Some Christians have been disturbed by the disproportionate number of poor and African-American prisoners on death row, said John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, a conservative civil liberties organization.