I’ve had several emails from readers about my earlier posts on this blog about the execution of Tookie Williams by the state of California (Another human being snuffed out by state-authorized and funded lynching and Austrian Greens call for revoking Schwarzeneggerâ€™s citizenship over his role in the killing of Tookie Williams), so I think it might be to clarify a few points.
I absolutely 100% oppose the death penalty. I don’t really care if the condemned person is a completely reformed person who is contrite and repentant, or if the condemned is defiant and hateful even to the end, because in the end the issue is not about the goodness or badness of the person being killed, but rather the fact that a killing is taking place and that all members of society (even those of us who believe that execution is wrong) have to pay for it.
I also oppose any other form of state-funded killing. I think war is also wrong and I believe that tax-payer funded abortions are wrong (I know, I’ve just upset my progressive readers too). I don’t think anyone should be compelled to pay for something they don’t believe in.
As far as the Tookie Williams case, I discussed him because first I oppose all executions, but secondly because his case was one in which there was a serious question of innocence at stake,and because he had been living a good life behind bars and was doing society good. And there was no good done by his killing, except to appease the blood-lust of our sick and crazy society. (or in other words, even for those who believe the death penalty is right in some circumstances, this particularly execution could be wrong for them too)
Also for the person who asked how one “could be Christian and read the same Bible I do and not believe he should have been killed years ago.” I would encourage you to read these words of Jesus (who I might add was a victim of the death penalty in his day)…
“You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:38-48 (NRSV)