Opinion by R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN
(CNN) - The death penalty has been part of human society for millennia, understood to be the ultimate punishment for the most serious crimes.
But, should Christians support the death penalty now, especially in light of the controversial execution Tuesday in Oklahoma?
This is not an easy yes or no question.
On the one hand, the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder.
In Genesis 9:6, God told Noah that the penalty for intentional murder should be death: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
The death penalty was explicitly grounded in the fact that God made every individual human being in his own image, and thus an act of intentional murder is an assault upon human dignity and the very image of God.
In the simplest form, the Bible condemns murder and calls for the death of the murderer. The one who intentionally takes life by murder forfeits the right to his own life.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians that the government “does not bear the sword in vain.” Indeed, in this case the magistrate “is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the evildoer.” [Romans 13:4]
On the other hand, the Bible raises a very high requirement for evidence in a case of capital murder.
The act of murder must be confirmed and corroborated by the eyewitness testimony of accusers, and the society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly.
While the death penalty is allowed and even mandated in some cases, the Bible also reveals that not all who are guilty of murder and complicity in murder are executed.
Just remember the biblical accounts concerning Moses, David and Saul, later known as Paul.
Christian thinking about the death penalty must begin with the fact that the Bible envisions a society in which capital punishment for murder is sometimes necessary, but should be exceedingly rare.
The Bible also affirms that the death penalty, rightly and justly applied, will have a powerful deterrent effect.
In a world of violence, the death penalty is understood as a necessary firewall against the spread of further deadly violence.
Seen in this light, the problem we face today is not with the death penalty, but with society at large.
American society is quickly conforming to a secular worldview, and the clear sense of right and wrong that was Christianity’s gift to Western civilization is being replaced with a much more ambiguous morality.
We have lost the cultural ability to declare murder – even mass murder – to be deserving of the death penalty.
Oklahoma's botched lethal injection marks new front in battle over executions
We have also robbed the death penalty of its deterrent power by allowing death penalty cases to languish for years in the legal system, often based on irrational and irrelevant appeals.
While most Americans claim to believe that the death penalty should be supported, there is a wide disparity in how Americans of different states and regions think about the issue.
Furthermore, Christians should be outraged at the economic and racial injustice in how the death penalty is applied. While the law itself is not prejudiced, the application of the death penalty often is.
Opinion: End secrecy in lethal injections
There is very little chance that a wealthy white murderer will ever be executed. There is a far greater likelihood that a poor African-American murderer will face execution.
Why? Because the rich can afford massively expensive legal defense teams that can exhaust the ability of the prosecution to get a death penalty sentence.
This is an outrage, and no Christian can support such a disparity. As the Bible warns, the rich must not be able to buy justice on their own terms.
There is also the larger cultural context. We must recognize that our cultural loss of confidence in human dignity and the secularizing of human identity has made murder a less heinous crime in the minds of many Americans.
Most would not admit this lower moral evaluation of murder, but our legal system is evidence that this is certainly true.
We also face a frontal assault upon the death penalty that is driven by legal activists and others determined to bring legal execution to an end in America.
Controversy over an execution this week in Oklahoma will bring even more attention to this cause, but most Americans will be completely unaware that this tragedy was caused by the inability of prison authorities to gain access to drugs for lethal injection that would have prevented those complications.
Opponents of the death penalty have, by their legal and political action, accomplished what might seem at first to be impossible – they now demand action to correct a situation that they largely created.
Their intention is to make the death penalty so horrifying in the public mind that support for executions would disappear. They have attacked every form of execution as “cruel and unusual punishment,” even though the Constitution itself authorizes the death penalty.
It is a testament to moral insanity that they have successfully diverted attention from a murderer’s heinous crimes and instead put the death penalty on trial.
Should Christians support the death penalty today?
I believe that Christians should hope, pray and strive for a society in which the death penalty, rightly and rarely applied, would make moral sense.
This would be a society in which there is every protection for the rights of the accused, and every assurance that the social status of the murderer will not determine the sentence for the crime.
Christians should work to ensure that there can be no reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed guilty of the crime. We must pray for a society in which the motive behind capital punishment is justice, and not merely revenge.
We must work for a society that will honor every single human being at every point of development and of every race and ethnicity as made in God’s image.
We must hope for a society that will support and demand the execution of justice in order to protect the very existence of that society. We must pray for a society that rightly tempers justice with mercy.
Should Christians support the death penalty today? I believe that we must, but with the considerations detailed above.
At the same time, given the secularization of our culture and the moral confusion that this has brought, this issue is not so clear-cut as some might think.
I do believe that the death penalty, though supported by the majority of Americans, may not long survive in this cultural context.
Death penalty in the United States gradually declining
It is one thing to support the death penalty. It is another thing altogether to explain it, fix it, administer it and sustain it with justice.
We are about to find out if Americans have the determination to meet that challenge. Christians should take leadership to help our fellow citizens understand what is at stake.
God affirmed the death penalty for murder as he made his affirmation of human dignity clear to Noah. Our job is to make it clear to our neighbors.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The views expressed in this column belong to Mohler.
The Death Penalty is a good thing for individuals who cannot find remorse in their hearts for the heinous actions that they commit in today's society. The rapists, murders and those who commit the most heinous crimes should not waste tax payer money rotting in jail. I support the death penalty and it is sound justice for those who are uncontrollable and a threat to society.
What is an acceptable mistake rate ? We know that many have occurred.
The Death Penalty should be given to a person commited of a heinous crime and proven to be truly guilty
If you accept the death penalty, you are automatically supporting a percentage of wrongful executions. What is an acceptable percentage ?
If proven guilty once again they should be executed. If they still are uncertain than no. Simple
You're avoiding the issue. We know for a fact that individuals have been "proven" guilty in court and sentenced to death, only to see those convictions set aside years later when new evidence cleared them. What is the percentage of acceptable wrongful executions for you ?
The study determined that at least 4% of people on death row were and are innocent. The research was peer reviewed and the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published it, Gross has no doubt some innocent people have been executed.
Is 4 % your answer to the question ??
According to the studies performed by University of Michigan law professor, Samuel Gross who lead a team of experts in the law and in statistics that estimated the likely number unjust convictions.
Again, the studies you cite support the basis for my question, which you have now avoided answering three times. Given the studies you cite, what is an acceptable percentage of wrongful executions for you ?
I base off facts so I have to agree with the studies showing 4% which does not part with what I believe. Executions should only be done if sound evidence is provided like DNA samples or anything that can place the individual at the murder scene... The death penalty should be given to those who are not mentally stable and commit obscene crimes.. Locking them up won't do society or them any good...
If I may interject here, a 'wrongful conviction' is NOT acceptable even if the sentence is not capital punishment!
I agree which is why the people of the judicial system need to get their facts straight before going through Death process or any but work thoroughly to prove the person is innocent or guilty... However if proof of the person is guilty and if he deserves to be put down he should be put down because there is no reason for him to rot in jail or be let go to destroy lives again...
The studies clearly do part with what you believe. There is simply no way to make the system infallible. As a result, you are automatically accepting a percentage of wrongful executions.
Yes I do which I do in part wish when the death penalty is considered to further investigate and to prove the evidence is reliable if not than look deeper into the matter.
" Yes I do..."
Again, what is an acceptable percentage for you ?
What has this have to do with what i believe should be done regarding how the people should go about when considering the death penalty for someone? Nothing
It has everything to do with whether or not you support the death penalty. We know mistakes are made, your own citations support that fact. If you support the current system, then you automatically support a percentage of wrongful executions.
No I support being positively sure if the person is guilty or not if the evidence shows he did it or did not do it. Jeffery Domer for example we knew for sure he committed those acts... He deserved a death penalty...
I was addressing midwestrail with this:
"If I may interject here, a 'wrongful conviction' is NOT acceptable even if the sentence is not capital punishment!"
Vic – do you believe that it is possible to make system 100 % foolproof ?
No I don't believe you can make a system 100% foolproof, and that's why a not 100% 'evidence of murder' shall not get past the Justice System.
" No I don't believe you can make a system 100% foolproof,..."
Then if you support the death penalty, you are supporting wrongful executions.
No, you are playing with words. We SHALL NOT accept 'wrongful convictions' at all!
A 'wrongful conviction' shall be prevented by tackling the problem at the source which is the 'EVIDENCE OF MURDER' and NOT the sentence.
'Wrongful Convictions' SHALL NOT be acceptable regardless of the sentence!
No, Vic, is is absolutely you and justpro who are playing semantic games. There is no way to make the system foolproof. You said so yourself. Absent a foolproof system, supporting the death penalty means that you are supporting a percentage of wrongful executions.
Seems like you are playing mind games with this question and thesis which is wrong.... I don't support wrongful executions but I support executions of a person convicted and knowingly with the support of evidence that this person actually condone the crimes being persecuted for...
Charles Manson was proven to be part of the mass murders... Jeffery Domer was proven to commit the heinous crimes he committed with evidence of dead body parts in his freezer he too me deserved the death penalty...
justpro, as usual, you miss the point. Are there exceptions like the ones you mentioned ? Of course there are. The problem lies with the fact that you cannot establish a system that is foolproof. Any system of capital punishment will be administered by mistake-prone humans. You WILL, therefore, have wrongful executions. It was, and is, an honest question which you have studiously avoided multiple times. If you support the death penalty, what is an acceptable percentage of wrongful executions ?
4% which is the percentage of wrongful executions that was done in the united states unless the numbers changed that percentage is pretty low. I support the death penalty people who commit henious crimes deserve to permanetly be taken out of the human society.
justpro, are there exceptions like the ones you mention ? Of course there are. The problem lies in the fact that you cannot establish a foolproof system where only those individuals are dealt with. Any system administered by mistake-prone humans allows for a percentage of wrongful executions. The question was, and is, a legitimate one which you have studiously avoided multiple times.
There is the same for wrongfully releasing a person who gets out and recommits the same crime too... So yes the system can still be not 100% fool proof
The approach of doing away with the capital punishment —the ONLY punishment that fits the crime of murder— is UNDISCIPLINED and contrary to a well-established system.
On the contrary, tackling the problem at the source, which is the 'EVIDENCE OF MURDER' and NOT the sentence, is very well disciplined and consistent with a well-established system..
Apologies for the double post, I believed the first one to have misfired.
Vic, your own words convict you of wanting to have it both ways. You admitted it is not possible to have a foolproof system, but you support the death penalty anyway. AND insist that wrongful convictions are unacceptable. Which is it ?
“I think it’s an appropriate punishment, and that’s what we’re talking about here, punishment.... You have to keep in mind that these cases are not the standard murder case that you come across. No murder is good but these are particularly horrendous. They’re off the charts,” he said. “One case I tried was a fellow who was almost 6’ 6,’’ almost 300 pounds, and he literally butchered his girlfriend and her two-year-old baby – gutted them and cut the little girl’s head off.”–Bob McCulloch
I have to agree with Bob here this man does not deserve to live... Heinous crimes like that needs to be executed... You don't want this guy sitting in prison with the chance to escape this person does not deserve to live....
Therefore, instead of cracking down on capital punishment, we should be cracking down on 'murder and wrongful convictions.'
How on earth did Dr. Mohler get tempted or baited to write this opinion piece on the "belief blog"?
He is generally very adept in communicating hot button issues that affects Christian values, which a are scripturally grounded with the exception on this one.
The editors sure used a good bait to trap Dr. Mohler into writing this one..
/are scripturally grounded with the exception of this one.
Let us review some of the statements of Topher.
"I'm in favor of the death penalty, but we have to be certain."
what can be more certain than a self confessed murderer, yes, I did it.
"I have broken all ten commandments."
Well that would include murder. So Topher a self confessed murderer should either have been executed or be serving a life sentence in prison. How these born again fundie jesus freaking nutters attempt to reason is just amazing, sheer hypocrisy. They defend it by trying to tell everyone that they also are biblical sinners as if this applies to those that have not bought into the delusion. Go preach your nonsense to the converted and not ram it down childrens throats, you are dangerous, Topher.
Capital punishment is permitted in scripture to those who remain unregenerate and unrepentant of their crimes. Topher, like David, has repented. That is not to say that anyone may go unpunished, as with David, his born of his and Bathsheba’s sin (2 Samuel 11:4) would die, and not only that, but God told David that since he committed violence against Uriah, his house would be continually plagued with violence (2 Samuel 12:10), and since he had done evil to another man’s family, he would receive evil in his own family (2 Samuel 13:1-14, 13:28-29, 15:1-12, 16:21-22).
As for Topher, only God fully knows the extent of the results of his sin. BUT, we must remember, although there are temporal consequences to sin, anyone can be forgiven of anything.
"his son born of..."
Whatever is written in your book of silly may apply to those that have bought into your delusion. That would be about 2 of 7 people and even less if you kick the catholics out because they are not true christians. Quit trying to impose biblical BS on those that do not believe it.
Than don't impose your stupid beliefs in a Christian blog....He has a right to post biblical passages all he wants to... Bible has never been proven wrong in any thing while Evolution has all delusion in it. So shut up don't like what he says go find a secular blog..
The death penalty was never employed arbitrarily or frivolously. In fact, observing the use of capital punishment in the Old Testament actually shows us how precious human life is to God. Because human beings are image-bearers of God, murder was such a serious affront to both God and man that it had to be answered with the blood of the murderer. Genesis 9:6 suggests that this sense of justice is woven into the moral fabric of Creation:
Whoever sheds man’s blood,
his blood will be shed by man,
for God made man
in His image. – Genesis 9:6 (HCSB)
So why did Cain get a pass. So many contradictions in the book of silly, thanks for pointing out another one.
I can't emphasize it enough that the real issue here is the 'evidence of murder' itself and not 'capital punishment.'
The Justice System SHALL NOT convict without 'clear and unequivocal evidence of murder' at any cost, even if it requires overhauling the entire system for that.
Once a rightful conviction of murder is established, I believe the punishment that fits that crime is the capital one.
And, again, it's been pointed out that establishing "guilt" is largely a function of how good an accused defence team is. "Justice" smiles more upon the rich in our system. So, unless you've come up with a new technology that can positively establish guilt beyond all need for defence, all you're left with is your fantasy of some all-knowing judge in the sky convicting everyone who slips through our courts, and who compensates all innocent people wrongfully convicted as well.
You shouldn't emphasize that. Conviction is one thing, sentencing another. This whole debate is about sentencing.
Verdicts are flawed. Evidence is often sketchy, prosecutors can have misplaced motivations, and judges, defense lawyers and juries are imperfect.
It is precisely because the verdicts are imperfect that the sentence of death is immoral.
An omniscient God would know this. More evidence, right from the bible itself, that it is not true.
To all readers:
This has nothing to with Salvation.
This has to do with the Law of the Land pertinent to "Natural Law" that is revealed to all of us. Please visit the above referenced link in the OP.
Basically God wants that the sinner repents and lives. Therefore a Christian should not call for the punishment of any sinner too fast. It may be justified, if there is extreme hardness of heart (for example Bonhoeffer said that Hitler was impenitent, and therefore Bonhoeffer had supported his execution or as-sas-sination).
Together with Jesus two evildoers were crucified. One of them became penitent in the last moments of his earthly life, and Jesus forgave him. Even extreme crimes can get forgiven.
St. Paul had been a Jewish extremist who persecuted the Christian Church. Saul repented, God forgave him, and he became St. Paul, the apostle of the Lord.
David murdered the husband of his later wife Bathsheba. Even this extreme wicked crime was forgiven when David repented.
Moses was no murderer. The Egyptian he killed was himself an evildoer. As an Egyptian prince Mose had the right to execute the evildoer. There was noting to repent, and nothing to forgive.
The Church is slow to judge, nevertheless Genesis 9: 6 is valid. Certainly, the authority can act according to this verse.
Yet, a Christian or the Church doesn't consider only Genesis 9: 6 but also John 8: 1-11
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
and Luke 23: 39-43
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
There are few people on earth never having harboured thoughts of revenge, after they had been treated unfairly by somebody. Everybody has got the potential to become a murderer. Let us thank God when he preserves us from doing evil. Let us be patient with the people having stumbled.
Before the war criminals of the Third Reich were executed, they got opportunity to talk with a pastor. It is good when people who are sentenced to death get an opportunity to repent in the last moments of there life. The authoriy cannot be too patient, it isn't even her task, but the Church always seeks the salvation of the sinner.
" It is good when people who are sentenced to death get an opportunity to repent in the last moments of there life"
Sure and this is another part where it should steer one clear of Christianity. This is basically saying this 'evil' person is getting a free pass just for speaking to the air (no evidence to support prayer working) regardless of how miserable and wretched they were in this life; yet the non-believer who lives a good solid life and remains skeptical (and is not likely to repent on their death bed) is doomed to an eternity of torture. How does this seem moral or just to you?
I personally disagree with the death penalty but that is due to the overwhelming piles of evidence showing that too many innocent men have lost their lives when the true evil-man is still lurking. Take them out of society, feed them minimally-enough to substantiate living, no contact with the outside world...make them go crazy with their own thoughts.
And Lutheranism's brand of wayward Christianity continues to ooze from the fingertips of RHB.
wow, rainy fuhrersucker speaking for god again....isn't that charming?
Great post Rainer.
Although God alone has the power and the right to either pardon sins or to deliver ultimate justice, man, through government, is given the responsibility under the sun to restrain evil and to protect its citizens from it (Romans 13). As a part of that, although we see that it is not given as a punishment in every instance if the one guilty of the crime will repent (such as with David), where capital punishment is deemed necessary to the unregenerate and unrepentant, it should never be taken lightly as it is a severe, graphic, and sober means to deter evil.
Before I got born out of Water and Spirit (sacramental baptism) I had an opinion which was similar to the opinion of Mr. Albert Mohler. Since I am born out of Water and Spirit I have changed my mind, and consider the issue more carefully. The subject of a Christian is not the punishment of the evildoer, but the salvation of the sinner though, of course, there is severe punishment through the authority. The Church is a divine insti-tution and the authority is a divine insti-tution. They have different tasks.
" The subject of a Christian is not the punishment of the evildoer, but the salvation of the sinner"
Matthew 26:52 – Jesus told Peter: “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword”
Jesus was reminding Peter that the penalty for killing one of His enemies would be to perish himself through execution, which the Lord here acknowledges would be justified.
A Christian shall always commend his cases to the Lord, and shall not fight back, or take revenge. God will concern himself with the enemy.
Jesus was the legitimate king of Israel. As he was a pious king he did not enforce his kingship by using earthly means (weapons and violence), but he commended his case to the Lord.
The Lord saved Jesus through the resurrection and the glorification and ascension to heaven. At his second coming he will appear as king of Israel, and it will become manifest that God conducts the cases of the faithful.
Justified, or was Jesus simply stating the karmic truism that violent people usually die violent deaths?
No, because so-called "karma" doesn't exist.
Maybe not in the religious sense, but the whole "reap what you sow" and "chickens coming home to roost" sense of the common meaning sure seems to be evident, eh?
Poor l'il Rainey. He is SO deluded, that he actually thinks he *knows* what "god wants" ... and not only THAT, but he NEEDS to let us know what that is. Rainey is SO humorous.
It's all very confusing. What exactly are Christian values? Some say only god can create and take life, then boom, they turn around and say criminals should be murdered. They say all life is sacred, so abortions are akin to murder, then they turn around and support the death penalty. So wierd to me.
well..llets put it this way....what has an unborn child done to deserve a mother murdering them?
kermy: i think you should run, not walk, to the local police station and report abortions as murders. see how far that gets you.
Stupid remark..thats not how we are going to do that.....and you know it....
kermi: Abortion is not murder. Why would you wish a child to be brought in to this world to potentially live a life unloved or to suffer poverty or abuse? Why would you wish a woman to have to face the knowledge that the child was not a planned child and instead that of a rape (this does happen), thus risking the child be hated (as sad as that is)?
Abortions will be gotten through much less safe ways if they are not legal.
Given that you can't have an abortion or that you have no right to a say over what a woman does with her body, it is not your business. In the end it doesn't matter what your uneducated opinion is, the issue is resolved (see Roe v Wade) and Christians lost. So scream all you wish, your voice means nothing on this matter.
The following is worth reading and explains how your god is the greatest abortionist ever (to shut you up on a matter that you don't merit an opinion on):
With respect to destroying sperm (or eggs) as being akin to abortion, give us a break!!! Human male sperm is analogous to the millions of tons of inactive deuterium floating harmlessly in the ocean but combine it in a fusion reaction, it becomes the energy of the Sun.
Then there is this:
Hmmm, so a growing baby is considered by some to be nothing more than an infection? Talk about having no respect for human life!!!!!
And Nature or Nature's god is the #1 taker of everyone's life. That gives some rationale for killing the unborn or those suffering from de-mentia, mental disease or Alzheimer's or anyone who might inconvenience your life???
We constantly battle the forces of nature. We do not succ-umb to these forces by eliminating defenseless children!!!!!
Reality: So you're against abortion? The point is that Christians scream about it being murder and yet fail to consider that by saying their god is the giver and taker of life, they in turn condone abortion in an obscure way. The paper is merely an opinion piece showing why Christians are hypocrites on this issue.
The horror of abortion is easily prevented. It is called practicing safe se-x. See my previous comments on the Brutal Effects of Stupidity.
And yes I am against abortion and support groups like Mother's Homes and the Gates Foundation who is supporting studies on finding a better condom.
Reality: Thanks for the honesty. I will say for sure we all entitled to our opinion. My issue on this is that it is a personal choice and I can somewhat understand the reasons behind why a woman might decide this. On a personal level, it would have to be extreme for me to make that decision-ie; the infants life at risk or my life.
I am in full support of finding ways to prevent the necessity for abortion but at the same time I understand, we'll probably never fully get to that point. Better education goes a long way in ensuring we don't see as many unwanted pregnancies.
When it comes to this very controaversial topic, it bothers me most when people like kermi give free pass to their god for murder but yet condemn a woman for having an abortion...it's simply hypocrisy.
Why would you wish a child to be brought in to this world to potentially live a life unloved or to suffer poverty or abuse? –> woiw what a dismall view you have there your arguments are moot...come on..get real....to have THAT view point..klets kill ALL children and end this human race! lol....that's the conclusion of your argument..whether intended or not..as for "safe ways" that's also a moot point....women should NOT Bbe getting rid of children period..and also the child be hated? that's fallacious and a shallow argument..shows MORE how you all do not value life at all..you give value ONLY if it is "wanted" that's very poor and shallow..
Not at all dismal, I'm simply looking at it from varying viewpoints and am not blind as to what is happening in this world. I do not believe any child should suffer and that includes putting them at risk of being born to a mother who already feels hate.
In the end and I can't say this enough, it is strictly not your business what a woman does with her body. Abortion is never mentioned in your bible, it is strictly one more thing Christians took on so that they'd have a reason to whine and even after they have lost they're still doing it-get a clue, your side has lost here, just like you're side is losing the LGBT battle. The more you dolts speak out against this stuff, the less people who care about facts are listening...thank you for driving people to our side.
by the way..leave God out of this..c Im am referring to HUMANS>.I was against abortion even Before I believed in a God..this God thing is a strawman and you know it
Why would I leave god out of this when that is exactly what you bring in to every conversation? I can say what I wish, just as you can.
Are you telling us you're a born-again Christian? That would largely explain the extremism and harsh defense of as god that can't be proven...slightly crazy in your thought process, some odd need to grip to the stories and deny everything that goes against them no matter how much evidence there might be...very closed minded way of living.
"well..llets put it this way....what has an unborn child done to deserve a mother murdering them?"
at this point I would like to direct you to the myth of Noah and the flood.
Good point. I must forewarn you that in past comments kermi has made it very clear that be believes if god condoned it, it is okay for it to have happened....the whole crap about God is the giver and taker of life (or so it seems). I'm sincerely hoping he is open-minded enough to read the link I provided but yet I'm not quite that foolish to think this man actually cares about anything that could potentially put a crack in the bubble of his delusion.
I was already expecting that to be the response.
and that point of Noahs myth has no bearing on the argument..IM talking of HUMANS not having right to murdering their children..I even believed this BEFore I believed in Noahs ark and stuff.....it has nothing to do with that.....its a strawman
and there it is.....
kermi: You ignorant dolt!! Murder regardless of who does it is wrong! However, your argument against abortion while giving a free pass to your imaginary friend god is pure hypocrisy. Your ilk has lost this battle, give it a rest now because arguing it further only makes you look more ignorant and drives people who care about facts away from your ilk...you only hurt your belief system (a truly beneficial thing to society).
Grow up and understand that what a woman does with her body is none of your business!
Leaving religion out of the situation:
The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an atheist guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...
The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:
: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.
Added information before making your next move:
"Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."
See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4
"Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)
Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.
The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
– (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
– (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)
Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).
"On the one hand, the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder"
Who cares, we live in a secular society.
"On the other hand, the Bible raises a very high requirement for evidence in a case of capital murder.
The act of murder must be confirmed and corroborated by the eyewitness testimony of accusers, and the society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly."
The Innocence Project has recorded 316 DNA-based post-conviction exonerations. 18 individuals were on death row before DNA tests revealed they were not the perpetrators. In the vast majority of DNA-based exonerations, the defendant was convicted via faulty eyewitness testimony. Mohler's opinion piece is just another example of how alleged biblical wisdom is confounded by simple, empirical data.
"We have lost the cultural ability to declare murder – even mass murder – to be deserving of the death penalty."
-Actually that's factually false.
If anything, Southern Baptists aren't known for their honesty or integrity. They tell it only as they (sorry, as God) sees it.
Why Christians Should Support the Flat Earth Theory:
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor
Ya know, boston, that's a great hermeneutics...I never saw those verses like that.
One would think that Satan would have at least taken him to the moon...or to believerfred's "place" of God being outside of time...to give the overall view...
you serious? the knowledge of the world at the time would have shown that this was nOT a literal seeing of all the nations.....it would be impossible to see them all from a mountain top..even they would have known this.....ever heard of a figure of speech? prove to me its not a figure of speech..prove to me they could actually believe they can see ALL the nations that they were known of at the time and can see it from there....
Oh, kermy....you just told someone else somewhere that they can't read the Bible with 20th century eyes and language...there were no Departments of Aramaic Literature back then.
You say it's not literal...I thought you were an Evangelical.
And, kermy....come on...."the known world"...really...have you ever cracked a history text? And how is that Satan, a supernatural being, talking with the Son of God, another supernatural/all-natural being, wouldn't know that there were kingdoms all around the globe and that, IN CONTEXT, Satan wouldn't have taken him just a little higher than the mountain top?
It might be because the Biblical perspective and imagery could only see a mountain top as the highest height to attain...
You are an endless source of hermeneutical entertainment.
I Never said we cant...read my post again..people sem to READ it AS IF ORIGINALLY written by todays people! They forget or do not realize it was written by JEW (another culture) over 2000 years ago (Another time) in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek (other languages) we ave to read it in THAT context..I never said we couldnt read it as you said..I never said its not literal...the Biblke contains Literal TRUTH..and some parts are literal in they happened..for example...Pslams mostly have literal truths (you glean truth from it as one could do with poetry) and then you got literal stuff like the historical parts..that literally happened...show me that satan took Jesus and had him see LITERALLY all the nations from a high mountain top....show me that they were being LITERAL instead of using a figure of speeech
So, the test of whether something in the Bible should be taken literally or not is if it doesn't match our current knowledge?
Face it, the Jews who lived at that time had no knowledge of any civilizations beyond what they could travel personally, so they probably did imagine that you could see Persia, Rome, Egypt and everything else that they were familiar with if you could only get high enough.
The bigger question here is: Who witnessed this interaction between Jesus and Satan? Jesus was alone in the wilderness, right? Satan didn't invite any apostles to tag along with him and Jesus as they zipped around, did he? That leaves somebody either taking the ravings of a Jesus starved for 40 days in the desert seriously, or actually interviewing the Devil. Which was it?
As mentioned in my previous post..the Jews KNEW of Egypt..and they KNEW of the surrounding geography of Israel (mountains valleys) etc..and thus they would KNOW they can NOT see Egypt from there! much less other nations (Greece, Turkey, etc) thus atheists who claim that the writers believed in a flat earth are not using critical thinking skills
Most people back then did think the world was flat. Tallest mountain wouldn't allow you to see the whole world. They could have said that Satan flew Jesus around the world, but they didn't. They could have said that Satan took Jesus into orbit around the world, but they didn't. They chose a mountain top. The authors of the NT fully subscribed to the geo-centric view of the universe with a flat earth. All your revisionist rationalization won't change that. Please don't tell me about the biblical description of the earth as a circle, a flat earth with a circular boundary is not a spheroid. I must say that the creativity shown to retroactively explain the bible flaws is impressive. Please continue, it is fascinating to watch.
YOUR argument hols no water..you said mOST people..that does NOT support that the writers of NT believed it.....very weak argument....again SHOw me they were NOT using a figure of speech....
The NT is the evidence. Try reading my post before saying it holds no water. The author could easily have said Satan flew Jesus around the world on a giant bird, but they didn't. There is no writing from that time in the Middle East of the recognition of a spheroid all earth. It was being debated in Greece by aristocratic philosophers earlier than this, but not by Middle Easterners. Your NT is compelling evidence not of God, but of primitive understanding of the world.
You demanding 'proof' shows a deep defensiveness on the issue. This is about objective evidence. All the evidence supports the fact that the Christian writers saw the earth as flat. There is no evidence, zero, that they knew the earth was spheroidal but chose primitive language instead. Your contention is desperate rationalization that flys in the face of all the objective evidence and asks others to believe in a hypothesis that they knew but chose to write from ignorance.
WHAT EVIDENCE???? Y
OK... this blog is messing up...I shall try again....
WHAT evidence??? you all keep saying it...but don't show it! the fact is..NO writer in the Bible thinks the world was flat..that is an assumption and it shows you are willing to disregard figures of speech......again the very logic of "seeing all the nations" from a high mountain top..I am very sure people have been up there and seen only so far! It doesn't take a village idiot to figure this out....the people pretty much could tell that if they went to a high mountain..they could not literally see all the nations (even in their limited view of all the nations that they thought to exist) it is very smallminded to think anything less
Ill give an example.....they know egypt to exist..yet they have NOT been to any moutains to see Egypt....they did not stay in the valleys all their lives.....they could know they cannot see Egypt from Israel....this is very stupid and unreasonable argument presented by the atheists who tell us to use critical thinking skills....
Does this guy lead other Christians? That is too bad
"Led by R. Albert Mohler Jr. and served by a world-class theological faculty, Southern [Baptist Theological] Seminary is relentless about the task of training this generation of ministers to preach the gospel and take it to the ends of the earth." - SBTS web site
(interesting side note: I noticed on the web site that they have a whole special Women's curriculum for WIVES/future wives of their 'ministers')!
".....and served by a world-class theological faculty"
Meaning they could make used car salesmen look like Paragons of Full Disclosure?:)
Fortunately I escaped the Fundamentalist Christians forty five years ago. It seems they are not spreading anything but hate and discontent.
I am so grateful that I am not a Christian. I guess they don't mind murdering innocent people. The death penalty should be abolished.
One could justify all sorts of poor actions and behaviors using the Bible...luckily most reasonable people don't.
Thanks CNN for allowing L'll Albert to yet again demonstrate what idiots they are at southern Baptist Whatchamacallit.
When it's convenient, Christians, (and the founder of their religion, ... Paukianity...) St. Paul, says they are freed from the old law. L'll Brain Al is doing the same. If there WAS a Jesus, he was a radical. THAT alone should make a Christian re-think the death penalty. Actually Dr. Eagleman (Texas U) has made a very compelling case why some human brains do not chose (are not "free") to do what we see as "evil". Mohler's just spouting pious nonsense, cuz that's what they do there. In fact the brains of many criminals are abnormal. Of course L'll Al would know that as he never listens to NPR.
Can you imagine if you actually paid good real money to go to a school like the one he practices his fraud at ? What a waste.
King James Version (KJV)
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
I am so glad there are nice "gods" to choose from. Didn't your "three in one god" Jesus say he was ending the old law. I know how you guys like to use it when it suits your needs.
This guy is a nutcake. I hope he wanders in to look at the comments.
Apologists like to say that the Jewish officials had to get the Romans to execute people, but don't the Gospels have the people carrying out their own capital punishment through stoning? They hit people with rocks until they were dead, right? The Mishnah expressly proscribes stoning blasphemers, and it was based on Pharisaic traditions common even in Jesus' time. If Jesus was such a blasphemer, why didn't the Pharisees simply get a crowd together with some rocks to take care of Jesus?
Too hard to balance a rock on a steeple.
my guess is Jesus supported death penalty!!! of course, he had no choice. LOL.
Sorry, I'm a Christian, but I also love a good joke...where would Christians be today without the death penalty? Hint: Jesus was sentenced to death.
Indeed he was. Unjustly! And that makes all the difference.
Wasn't the death of Jesus preordained?
Yes, much to Kirk's dismay, Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) must die. Her death was pre-ordained.
(City on the Edge of Forever, Star Trek (TOS) Season 1, Episode 28)
From the Jewish standpoint he was a blasphemer, if he ever actually did claim to be God. The image of Pilate being unwilling to nail up an individual Jew is almost laughable, if you take Josephus's judgment of character seriously. Certainly, the Romans would never have put such a softie in that post. More than likely the Romans just executed him for being a rabble-rouser; coming into town at the head of a parade and causing a disturbance in the temple.
An evolving opinion about the death penalty from a Christian: Used to be in total support of the death penalty. Realized that this position was reached with no real thought other than out of my own desire to see retribution. Maturing in faith, I realized that my desire to see retribution has no place in my relationship with Christ. I'm not sure if the death penalty is state sanctioned sin–but I can't control that (outside of the voter's box perhaps), but I've also concluded that I don't need the death penalty for justice to be served. I believe God would, in all circ.umstances, honor mercy to the unmerciful, even if he would also not find fault in applying the death penalty. Therefore I would rather follow a path that God would honor, as opposed to him simply not opposing.
Before the page rolls over again:
To me, this obvious problem —the issue of capital punishment and justice at all— is a clear indication, out of many, that there is "Ultimate Justice" beyond this lifetime and realm, that this short existence is only the tip of the iceberg.
This lifetime is clearly an unfinished business.
it seems to me that the idea of justice post mortem is a hope of humans who feel powerless
It sure would be nice if the bad guys always got their just rewards in the end but, unfortunately, even comic books and children's cartoons have stopped perpetuating this fantasy. It may very well be that evil very often gets away with it. we just have to be adult enough to accept that awful truth.
It also sure would be nice if we did have extra lives, like in a video game. I really can't see how believing that we get an extra existence actually adds more meaning to this life. Quite the opposite, actually.
I believe that only God has the authority to take life, just as only He has the ability to create it. I believe that God calls on us to preserve life at all costs. I believe I am ashamed to be a member of a Southern Baptist congregation if this thinking prevails at the highest levels. You disgust me.
If you are at all familiar with Mohler, none of this should surprise you.
God Almighty Is the Giver and Taker of life, no doubt.
I also, believe that God's "Natural Law," of which is "Justice," is revealed in our hearts, we know it before we even speak it out loud. We know "Justice" in our hearts before we speak it out loud.
When a crime involves a human life, I believe it puts it in a separate class of its own, as opposed to any other crime. Murder, hence death, is irreversible, so is physical harm in so many cases, every other offense pales in comparison and can be recovered from, pretty much.
"God Almighty Is the Giver and Taker of life, no doubt."
No doubt in your mind, but plenty of it in others' minds
Vic, this is somewhat ambiguous.
Usually one isn't put to death unless murder is involved.
Where do you stand? I don't see you taking a position here.
I am conflicted about the DP, but I admit it.
"We know "Justice" in our hearts before we speak it out loud."
I love dogs, but I don't equate the life of a dog to that of a human. However, most people who own a dog would feel justice should be done if their dog was killed by someone. It is because they got to know "that" dog which made it important for "that" person but not for all people. Our sense of justice and inner feelings of right and wrong are purely influenced by our environment and who we are exposed to as we grow up. If i'd grown up with a pot belly pig as a pet I might not like bacon so much. We only take the death of a human more seriously because right and wrong and morality itself is subjective.
"I also, believe that God's "Natural Law," of which is "Justice," is revealed in our hearts, we know it before we even speak it out loud. We know "Justice" in our hearts before we speak it out loud."
Well, I know in my heart that a sentence of eternal torment for the thought "crime" of simply not being convinced that something is real certainly can't be "Justice".
Only your god has the ability to create life?! That's funny. I'm pretty sure I have the ability to create life and if my parents didn't have that ability, I wouldn't be typing this right now. I know that people, animals and plants have the ability to create life – I've seen it happen. I have never seen a god create life though.
It's funny how that simple reality falls through the cracks of some christian minds.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.