How does a Christian support the death penalty?
A protestor holds a sign calling for Georgia state officials to halt the scheduled execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis.
September 23rd, 2011
10:10 AM ET

How does a Christian support the death penalty?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - The debate over the execution of Troy Davis may have ended in the legal system, but it's continuing in the faith arena.

A day after Davis was executed in Georgia for the 1989 shooting death of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer, one contributor to The Daily Beast asked this question:

How can a “pro-life” Christian support the death penalty?

It’s a question that will probably find its way into some sermons this Sunday. Lee Siegel, though, didn’t want to wait that long to dive into the debate. He says in his piece for The Daily Beast that Davis’ conviction has a “thick cloud of doubt hanging over it.”

Siegel didn’t go into those details, but they’re well known by now. Since Davis' 1991 trial, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a district court in Savannah to review his claims of innocence in 2009, but District Judge William Moore ruled the following year that the evidence did "not require the reversal of the jury's judgment."

Doubts about Davis’ guilt persisted, though, and helped draw international attention to his case. Pope Benedict, South African anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter said the execution should have been called off.

Siegel says when he heard Wednesday that Davis’ case was in the hands of the Supreme Court, he thought “justice would be done” because three of the court’s justices are “devout” Catholics (actually five of the court’s members are Catholic).

Siegel then invokes the concept of Catholic “seamlessness.”

According to that doctrine, a moral stance that places human life above any consideration has to be consistent with other situations in which human life is at issue. If you are pro-life, you must also be against assisted suicide, against war in most cases, and absolutely against the death penalty, for the sake of moral consistency.

Catholics are Christians, which leads to another question: How can a Christian justify support for the death penalty?

Some Christian supporters of the death penalty cite the biblical call for an “eye for an eye.” Yet that passage comes from the Old Testament. Christian doctrine is ultimately based on the New Testament and the actions of Jesus.

What do you think? Is there anything in the New Testament that justifies support for the death penalty?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Courts • Culture wars • Death • Ethics • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (485 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Hey, Brown Note, when are you supposed to "graduate"? Are you on the 6-year plan? I suspect it'll take you a good deal longer if you keep wasting time here instead.

    No biggie, though. You won't be able to get a job or keep one in the real world anyway.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:21 pm |


      i have a great job and i make really good money without the degree

      im close to finishing my bachelors degree

      im doubled up on school so ill be finishing two years worth of classes in one year

      i decided to finish school just for more money

      any more assumptions you would like to make

      go right ahead

      the best part is that your kind try to insult me a lot and you just cant do it because i dont have a reason to lie

      sorry your feelings got hurt somewhere in these comments

      maybe if you pray to jesus or whatever your feelings wont be hurt anymore

      September 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

      im waiting patiently for you two come up with another pulitzer prize response

      maybe itll once again include an insult that involves telling me to write papers

      oh maybe you could complain about my double spacing

      perhaps my grammar will take the tip of your elegantly sharpened spear of wit next

      please dont hold back oh mighty internet thugmaster

      September 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Flash

      Tom, Tom,

      Christ, woman, do you eat your young too?

      Once in a while your zingers are humorous, but all too often you are more like a frenzied, mad hornet.

      September 24, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Flash


      You are doing fine. Keep up the good work.

      If parrying with these acerbic characters is fun for you, keep that up too. Go get 'em.

      September 24, 2011 at 12:13 am |

      a mad hornet without a stinger

      kinda sad and lonely

      September 24, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Funny that fundies love guns and the rights of citizens to own them but would deny women any rights to choose what to do with their own bodies.

    Hypocrites, every one of them.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Killing folks in an American tradition. Bring on the corn bread and apple pie.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, but only if the folks are already born. Killing born people is okey-dokey with the thumpers. They just care about fetuses, and then only if they reside in someone else's body.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts."

      Psalm 10:3-4


      September 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "God is in none of his thoughts."

      Probably because a bigger waste of time is hard to imagine.

      September 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Hey, Addled, how many unwanted babies have you adopted? Hmmm?

    September 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

      how many have you adopted tom

      pot meet kettle

      September 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  4. SilverTrail

    Secular West kills innocent babies inside wombs and let murderers live on. A screwed civilization.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You dumbazz. There aren't any 'babies' inside wombs. There are fetuses. And you aren't in charge of what women decide to do about said fetuses. Unless you are pregnant, and that would truly be a travesty, it's none of your business WHAT women do.

      Get a life of your own, loser.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Wow, Silver Trail...you are a slug-useless l! To elaborate slightly on what Tom said, there is also the fact that women can not legally abort after the end of the 1st trimester (to put that in simpleton terms so you understand-3 months or 12 weeks). It seems to me and most rational minded people that the people who determined that factor are the ones who are educated to know when a zygote takes on the fetus role. Otherwise, I concur 100% with Tom.

      September 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  5. David Johnson

    As I explained to an idiot Christian the other night:

    Every life is precious. It can't be replaced.

    Believing in an afterlife, automatically cheapens this one. It makes it easier to kill – god will "fix it". It makes people accept unjust treatment because they believe in "Pie In the Sky".

    There is no evidence of a soul, an afterlife, the Jesus demigod, Satan or God. NONE. Our children are born atheists. Doesn't that tell you something? From the mouth of babes... LOL


    September 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      Our children are born atheist......hmmm...what else are they born? murderers unless taught differently?

      September 25, 2011 at 5:07 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Our children are born atheist......hmmm...what else are they born? murderers unless taught differently?"

      If there is a one true god, I would expect children to be born with at least a kernel of belief in Him. This isn't true. You could take a toddler of Christian parents, and raise him in Iran by Muslim parents. The toddler would grow up Muslim. The same could be said for a Muslim baby.

      Your parent's religion + the place you grow up in + the time you grow up in, determine what religion you will embrace.

      You might say, that people convert after they are grown. This is true. Muslims convert to Christianity and Christians convert to the Muslim religion etc.

      The god(s) are very unlikely to exist.


      September 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    How do Christians support the death penalty?

    Same way they support the Tea Baggers and their puppets the Republicans. The live in a fog of stupidity.


    September 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  7. SilverTrail

    Secular West is naive and has little sense of justice. The reason it got weakened as a civilization. All their toys won't save the Westerners in the last days. The West needs repentance as always. It didn't get a lesson properly from WW2.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Maybe won't save us, but we could take on the entire word and win. A Pyrrhic victory for sure. But we would not lose.


      September 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, 'cuz we all wanna be like you South Koreans. Not.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • SilverTrail

      Tom, I'm not South Korean. No one treats me as Korean because my parents are not Korean. I'm going to be fully American one day to annoy you.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please. Someone as stupid as you are can't annoy me. You just make me laugh.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Tom: we have no worries..she couldn't pass the citizenship test...she'd be arguing with the proctor about how it isn't based on her buybull and therefore it must be wrong. They put her on flight, purposely meant to crash in the middle of the ocean after instructing the pilot to jump to his safety.

      September 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  8. Indonesian

    Its look the owner of this site (cnnreligion.wordpress.com) is anti Christ, I saw how the post only oppose Christiany and supported sympathy on Islam. Looks like the atheist run this site.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Sometimes it looks like the atheists run the site. This is not actually true. The problem is, the Christians do a really poor job of defending their faith. It's hard to defend silliness.


      September 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      We're only here to help cure the world of the delusions that christianity has taught so many.

      September 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  9. The Liberals' Basic Problem

    They don't have any sense of justice. They have no trouble killing unborn humans for petty convenience, worship empty-headed women instead of God, want murderous villains live on and promote and boast sickening perversion and immorality and attack Christianity. Muslims are 1 million times better than the liberals.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @The Liberals' Basic Problem

      A fetus isn't a human, until it can survive outside its mother. A fetus has no rights. Anyone you would wish to execute is human, with all the rights bestowed upon our citizens.

      You worship a god who is very unlikely to exist.


      September 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • SilverTrail

      @David, human life starts at conception. You are a horror story. You are a fetus grown to be man who supports massacre of the fellow fetus.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Outrageous

      SilverTrail: "human life starts at conception."

      According to your supernatural scenario, "God" aborts around 20% of human pregnancies then.

      Nowadays, science has presented some help for women who have recurrent spontaneous abortions to carry their fetuses to full term and to outfox your Sky Monster.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • *frank*

      Adelina didnt get enough oxygen to her brain as a fetus so she has the IQ of a horseshoe crab with down syndrome 🙁

      September 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "human life starts at conception."

      A tomato seed has all the necessary DNA to become a tomato plant. But the seed is not a plant.

      A chicken egg, contains all the DNA necessary to develop into a chicken. But the egg is not a chicken.

      A spiders eggs contain all the DNA necessary to become a spider. But, the egg is not a spider.

      Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

      And so, a fetus contains the DNA to become a baby. But a fetus is not a baby. It has the potential to become a baby, just as a carrot seed has the potential to become a carrot.

      "Roe v. Wade:
      The Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a const_itutionally guaranteed unqualified right to abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
      She also has a right to terminate a pregnancy in the second trimester, although the state may limit that right when the procedure poses a health risk to the mother that is greater than the risk of carrying the fetus to term.
      In making its decision, the Court ruled that a fetus is not a person under the terms of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Const_itution." – Wikipedia

      "However, the Court also maintained that the state has an interest in protecting the life of a fetus after viability—that is, after the point at which the fetus is capable of living outside the womb.
      As a result, states were permitted to outlaw abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy except when the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of the mother. " – Wikipedia
      Hence, states allow abortions anywhere from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The majority being 24.

      The reason the 24 week max is chosen, is because the fetus in not able to live outside it's mother until 21 to 24 weeks, with 24 being the usual.

      The fetus, less than 24 weeks is not a person. The fetus is not capable of feeling any pain until 24 weeks:

      Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consists of a review of studies conducted since 1997 on the neuroanatomical and physiological development of the fetus. It concludes that fetuses at the 24-week stage of development do not possess the wiring to transmit pain signals from the body to the brain's cortex. Even after 24 weeks, the fetus likely exists in a state of "continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation," due to the presence of chemicals such as adenosine in the surrounding amniotic fluid.

      The womb belongs to the woman. The fetus, in her womb has no legal rights until it reaches a stage that it is able to live outside it's mothers body.

      "One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives."
      — Ayn Rand ["A Last Survey — Part I", The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. IV, No. 2, 1975.]

      Which brings to this:

      13th Amendment : "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

      Women or any part of their bodies, cannot be owned. Not by the government. Not by religious nuts.

      We can't legally force somebody to donate blood to save somebody else; it thus makes no sense to legally force a woman to continue a pregnancy that she doesn't want.

      Women are not broodmares. They have the right to abort the parasitic fetus, until the fetus is viable.

      This is not a religious debate. It is about a woman's right to do what she will, with her own body.


      September 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Adelina, you nitwit, life is in place long before conception. When life begins isn't even part of this issue; what matters is the law and when rights begin. Fetuses have no rights under the law. Get over it.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      How did you arrive at the 1 million figure. Are sure it is not 2 million?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hilarious. You, Idiot, are the real 'basic problem'. Women don't have to answer to you. Women are citizens with the same rights to bodily integrity and privacy that all citizens enjoy. Pregnancy doesn't negate those rights, you moron.

      What a freakin' idiot.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  10. *frank*

    Jesus framed the Hurricane!!!

    September 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @PRISM 123

      It is my belief, that believers barely have enough sense to come in out of the rain. You make them seem intelligent.

      Your god is very unlikely to exist and even if He does, I don't think He would like you.


      September 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  11. PRISM 1234

    I am a Christian who fully supports the death penalty, and and my convictions are totally biblically based. The death penalty was insti-tu-ted by God even BEFORE the Law of Moses. God has ordained it and established it, so that through the fitting punishment of the criminal the land would be purged of evil.
    Why all the outrage about it? It's simply this way: Those who commit hideous crimes against another human beings have FORFEITED their human rights. And consider this: if the death penalty was implemented, swiftly and without waivering, when the person's guilth is certain, and if it would be implemented in such way the the warning is stern to those who think they are invincible the violent crime rate would plummet, and our prisons would be lacking occupants..... But we have this circus we call Judicial System in this country, that drags its cases out for years, an by the time they're done, th reason WHY the criminal is in prison is all but forgotten. That sure serves honor to the memory of the victim, does it!?
    So, her is the question: WHY do those who "value life " so much, focus so much on saving the life of the criminal, but don't' mind to dishonor and devalue the lives of the victims.

    Just couple years ago, there have been two young people murdered, two beautiful college students.... right here in surrounding area of Va Tech. They went camping out by the fire, discu-s-sing their future, and their plans for upcoming school year. They loved each other, loved their families, loved God, just beautiful two kids... They were bru-tally shot to death, in cold blooded murder. The beast who has done it is still on the run.

    Do you who say Death pe-nalty is "inhumane" think that he should live?

    If the laws of the land do not serve justice, and punish crime with punishment that equals the measure of the crime, how can then justice prevail in the land for the remaining people who want to live their lives in peace. I believe this is exactly what God intended when He ordained death pen-alty, to protect the society, cleansing it from evil. Those Christians who don't see that, do not know, nor do they understand the nature and character of God, having a false picture of Him, and they do not rightly divide the Word of God. If they did, they would never believe that the Death penalty is cruel, andf that OG d oposes it!

    September 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • News Flash

      Bla bla bla. MY version of the truth is the REAL one. How boring. I am a TRUE Christian, and ONLY those who agree with me are TRUE Christians. Grow up.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

      the nature of the bible god is pretty murderous

      so youre right

      it hates everyone that doesnt bow down and worship it

      and the deterrent for living in sin like going to work and getting married and loving your family are considered sins in the eyes of god if you dont worship it and say youre sorry to it

      and if you dont say youre sorry you get to burn in hell for all of eternity

      because its a sin to love your family and work your fingers to the bone for decades as an honest man without telling that bible god youre sorry for being such a terrible person

      September 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @TBN- so you think you have been good enough? What great goodness have you done today?

      September 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • ranira

      And the wolf knock knock knock...*....*....*..
      and the piggy said who is it..???
      and then the wolf said..
      iam a piggy teacher

      September 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @PRISM 1234

      If your god actually existed and was all powerful, all knowing and all loving and just... Then the death penalty would be allowable. Not something to applaud, but allowable.

      The problem is, humans are not infallible. We screw up. You can't give a person back their life. If they are imprisoned for life, you could free them.

      Since your god is as unlikely to exist as a talking snake or Santa... The death penalty should be banned. Only backward countries that believe in Zombies and Virgin Births want to kill to get even.


      September 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Uncouth Swain

      You asked: " so you think you have been good enough? What great goodness have you done today?"

      Hmm... I showed several believers how dumb their beliefs are. Does that count?


      September 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @PRISM 1234

      You babbled: "If the laws of the land do not serve justice, and punish crime with punishment that equals the measure of the crime, how can then justice prevail in the land for the remaining people who want to live their lives in peace. I believe this is exactly what God intended when He ordained death pen-alty, to protect the society, cleansing it from evil. Those Christians who don't see that, do not know, nor do they understand the nature and character of God, having a false picture of Him, and they do not rightly divide the Word of God. If they did, they would never believe that the Death penalty is cruel, andf that OG d oposes it!"

      I really don't like it when idiot Christians start "preaching", and telling everyone what about the nature and character of God. All of your comment is just your opinion. Like anuses, everyone has one.

      Before you start telling me about the nature of god, your first step is to prove your god exists. It is very unlikely that He does.

      You comment is a joke.


      September 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So, David Johnson, instead of beating up Prism over Jesus' truth, tell me. Why aren't those that recanted their statements in prison today? Could it be that heathens who have no understanding of Jesus' truth are sitting on the bench?


      September 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You asked: "Why aren't those that recanted their statements in prison today? Could it be that heathens who have no understanding of Jesus' truth are sitting on the bench?"

      Obviously, perjury is a terrible crime. In this case, it may well have cost a innocent man his life. I would have thought that having 7 witnesses recant their testimony, would have at the very least necessitated a new trial.

      There are 38,000 different denominations of Christianity. Each believes that they understand Jesus' truth. Many are contradictory. Many believe only their members will be saved.

      Obviously, all of the denominations can not be right. In fact, all may be wrong. The Muslims or the Hindus may worship the one true god.

      No one has any evidence that their religion or brand of a religion is correct. Without evidence, it is just a matter of personal choice.

      I speak to you in a parable: Two boys found the answers to a test they were to take the next day. They took the test, and got the highest score possible. This raised the curve to such a degree, that several kids failed the test. The boys felt bad, and confessed to having cheated. One boy confessed to his teacher. The other to his counselor. The teacher beat the boy with a rock. The counselor bragged on the other boy for feeling compassion for his fellow students. Other children seeing the teacher's reaction vowed to never confess about anything ever. The children who saw the counselor's reaction agreed among themselves, that doing what is right and having empathy for the failed students was good.

      moral: Praising a good behavior is more effective than punishing bad.

      2nd moral: A god of any flavor is highly unlikely



      September 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Heaven Sent, thanks .... but you know, the words that a man speaks are valued by the character he displays, and the image those around him through period of time come to form about him... JD is a looser here...

      His posts don't impact me nor do I take offence in them, considering who they come from... .. in fact I don't bother to read them past that first line...

      @ DJ
      if my posts are babbling , what are YOURS then considered to be?

      September 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  12. XYZ

    I am an Evangelical Christian, but I do not like the "death penalty" hype, and I feel that we do not reach out to the minorities. I am also for religious tolerance too.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

      why would you even openly admit that youre a christian

      thats like me posting on a forum that i worship zeus and everyone knows that zeus is a myth just like the jesus god

      September 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      What's wrong with saying you are a Christian bowny?

      September 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Then if thou wouldst be perfect, do one more thing. Give up this silly notion that there is a god. Become a Humanist.


      September 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Uncouth Swain

      You asked: "What's wrong with saying you are a Christian bowny?"

      He just told you. Read his post again.

      Being helpful!

      September 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      XYZ, you sound like a Christian that attends man made churches and listens to man made nonsense instead of reading Jesus' truth (the Bible) yourself to learn His wisdom. I'll give you a hint. Jesus' hates unrighteousness.


      September 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  13. Anthony

    2 Timothy 3:16
    "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness"

    I really just felt the need to put an end to all of this Old Testament vs. New Testament debate.

    On this subject, I posted something on Facebook before that I will sum up here. The real question is why the death penalty. Some would say that it is for our safety that we need to put people to death. As Pope John Paul II noted however, given todays level of security and technology there is very little reason we can't just lock a person up for life. So this takes us back, why death. We were not created to be a people of revenge, but instead a people of Love. Christ came to teach that lesson. That we are to love our neighbor no matter what their sins are against us. Part of love is forgiveness. There was a mention before this of "Hammurabi's Code and Mosaic Law". These used to be the way of life and taught the lesson an eye for an eye and in the end that leaves everyone blind. When Christ came he taught something radically different. He taught you to love your enemies, because in the past you were taught to hate them and that was wrong.

    I will end this here, but really all I have to say is that we should show a bit of compassion toward human life. Its far too precious....and everyone deserves a second chance.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

      jesus also said he wasnt there to abolish the old law

      christians are idiots when it comes to the bible

      they dont realize what the bible says

      and most of them interpret the bible to meet their personal needs so they dont have to do anything

      even though the bible says no scripture is a matter of interpretation

      christians are all mongrel idiots

      September 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • BG

      The BROWN NOTE (sorry, I still cringe at your name for some reason... ) called all Christians "mongrel idiots."

      Who talks like that? It seems that Brownie might have just outed himself as a muslim.

      September 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |

      im an atheist

      you make an awful lot of assumptions

      i still cringe at the stupidity of people who make assumptions

      September 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @TBN-"im an atheist"

      And a jerk too it would seem.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • hey there where do you think you're going?

      hypocrites love to accuse others of what they do themselves as if that made them more moral than the other person.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm |

      very christian of you to call me a jerk swain

      dont forget to repent before bed time

      wouldnt want jesus to be mad

      September 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Anthony

      Mr. Brown,
      My intention here was to open the door for positive discussion. That being said if you have a biblical verse backing up your claim that the bible says it is not open to interpretation that would be awesome. If you could provide me that verse I would love to further discuss this. I have been studying different religions for 10 years now and believe myself to be very open to other possibilities including the fact that I am wrong. I would love to hear your take on it. I only ask that you be respectful and I will do so in turn. Look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

      September 24, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Anthony, the Pope should be in prison for the rest of his miserable life. The POPE hates Jesus as the Catholic church broke away from Jesus' truth 400 years before Jesus walked the face of the earth (read the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah to see how the church got polluted). That's why he insists that the priests don't preach the Bible (Jesus' truth about life and the hereafter) book by book, scripture by scripture.


      September 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Anthony


      Have you even been to a Catholic Mass? We use three readings...directly from scripture...every day. Over the course of a 3 year cycle, the entire bible is read to the people. Finally, Peter was the first pope. I don't know how its possible they broke off the teachings of Christ before he was born but check history on this one. Jesus gives Peter the keys to the kingdom and says that upon him (Peter, petros, and any other translation you would like) Christ would build his church. Furthermore in 1 Timothy 3:15 it states that the Church is the pillar and foundation of faith. Now how can any of the popes teachings be rendered invalid (more nowadays that back in the middle ages because there was a major corruption of power for the use of conquering and war) when all he teaches is to love, serve and honor those around you? I know my history sir, and I know my bible. If you would like to discuss this further and more in depth I would love to exchange Email addresses and do just that. 🙂 Peace and Blessings

      September 25, 2011 at 2:22 am |
  14. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    Hosea 13:16
    Samaria shall become desolate ; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces , and their women with child shall be ripped up .

    Obviously God favors the death penealty AND abortion.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Amen! Go get 'em God!

      September 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

      Ok I admit I may have taken this verse out of context. I attended a Christian Hich School. We had to write a paper using Bible references to show the Bible is against abortion. I used this verse to illustrate that God did indeed value humans, children and fetuses all the same. Logically if he demands adults and fetuses killed for the same offense they have the same value. What's sick is that I got an A.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Guest

      Infants are being punished for "the same offense". you really believe the infants have committed any offense? It boggles the mind.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

      the verses can only be taken out of context if they are interpreted

      the bible says not to interpret it

      so if you read a scripture then the words are to be taken literally

      god likes killing people more than chuck norris apparently

      September 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • AGuest9

      @Guest, You've never heard of "original sin"?

      September 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Infants are being punished for "the same offense". you really believe the infants have committed any offense? It boggles the mind."

      There is no end to the stupidity that the Christians will believe. Truly this is a gift from their god. LOL

      It is believed that original sin is passed on to each child through the father's semen.

      St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 C.E.) understood Paul to have taught that Adam's sin was hereditary. He held that Original Sin passed on from generation to generation through the father's sperm in the act of $exual intercourse


      September 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  15. Redneck louie

    ah hopes they gots a spare troy davis cause the original is gone

    September 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Redneck louie

      That's the sad part, dude. Once someone is dead, sorry just doesn't bring them back. They are gone forever.

      I think humans should admit they are not as clever as god and stop deciding who is deserving of death.

      We may well have murdered an innocent man. God probably would not have made that mistake.


      September 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  16. Mike F

    The article asks, How Does a Christian Support the Death Penalty?"

    That's an easy one to answer: They don't.

    The fake ones do.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

      the bible says killing is ok

      it is the christian way

      September 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Brown Note, you claim you're a student and whine about having to "write papers". Why don't you get busy doing the work required and stop procrastinating by posting your crap here?

      September 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm |


      i work full time and i go to school full time

      i havent whined about anything

      heres the funny thing

      you accuse me of being a child

      and if that were the case and you were the uppity adult you profess

      then you wouldnt be so easily annoyed by my words

      so it makes me wonder if you get so easily annoyed by a comment section on a website

      real life must be an absolute hell for you to endure on a day to day basis

      you go home and cry a lot i bet

      and you are probably an avid fan of the twilight series

      theres nothing wrong with that

      be sensitive

      some day youll make some guy very happy

      in prison

      September 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, I must have hit a nerve with the little twerp. Poor widdle fella.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:16 pm |

      why is that

      because i took two whole minutes to write a reply to you

      the funny thing is that you keep trying to insult me

      and you are doing a really bad job of it

      please dont offend me anymore by calling me a twerp

      it hurts my internet feelings

      oh no youre going to attack my comment by telling me to write more papers

      oh no i didnt see that coming

      September 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  17. Petri Dish

    Since when does the church have a history of being 'sane' or factual?

    September 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      And another thing, why would anyone serve tortillas with BBQ chicken, and then not even offer any salsa to boot? That is just wrong.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  18. Kai

    Since when does the church have a history of being 'seamless' or consistent?

    September 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  19. Joan of Arc

    Does God torture beings on other planets too or does he just hate us?

    September 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Great observation!!!

      September 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • News Flash

      He sent his other child, a daughter, to die on the other planets, and those beings listened, and din't crucify her, so he likes them better.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Silly question. Is not the earth at the very center of the universe. Does not all the other heavenly bodies revolve around our planet? Did not god himself set the foundation of the world?

      Our world is special. Did not god choose one of our inhabitants to knock up?


      September 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  20. Reality

    Hammurabi's Code, Mosaic Law, and Justinian Law --------------

    "If anyone was convicted of murder under any of these codes/laws, they too, were killed."

    September 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nahh. Pllllllllssssssssttttttttttttttvbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb. Ain't gonna hit "abuse" unless it's on YOUR posts, troll. Eat that!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Good post! I might remind all the "Christians" who think their god invented the death sentence of the Egyptians and the Romans and all other civilizations. Their god(s) also required death sentences.

      If you want to cut down on murders, OUTLAW GUNS. The national murder rate would surely fall if widespread gun availability didn't make it so incredibly easy to kill another human being.

      I bet if Jesus was in charge, He would outlaw guns... and wooden crosses.


      September 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Reality


      Good point about the problem with guns but the issue is complex.

      "Gun Control – Arbitrary Comparisons Between Countries, http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html

      The U.S. has a high gun murder rate, whereas a country like England with strict gun controls has almost no gun murders and a very low murder rate. Doesn't this show that gun control is effective in reducing murder rates? Not exactly. Prior to having any gun controls, England already had a homicide rate much lower than the United States (Guns, Murders, and the Const-itution: A Realistic Assessment of Gun Control, Don B. Kates Jr.). Ja-pan is another country typically cited (see Ja-panese Gun Control, by David B. Kopel). (Briefly discussing the difference in ho-micide rates between England and the U.S. is Clayton Cramer's, Variations in California Murder Rates: Does Gun Availability Cause High Murder Rates?)

      Gun control opponents can play similar games. The Swiss with 7 million people have hundreds of thousands of fully-automatic rifles in their homes (see GunCite's "Swiss Gun Laws") and the Israelis, until recently, have had easy access to guns (brief summary of Israeli firearms regulations here). Both countries have low homicide rates. Likewise this doesn't mean more guns less crime.

      The U.S. has a higher non-gun murder rate than many European country's total murder rates. On the other hand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Mexico have non-gun murder rates in excess of our total murder rate.

      Incidentally in 13th century Europe, several studies have estimated homicide rates in major cities to be around 60 per 100,000. (Even back then, the equivalent of coroners, kept records.) "

      There are many, many factors, some much more prominent than gun availability that influence homicide rates and crime in general. (See this excerpt from 1997 FBI Uniform Crime Report and GunCite's "Is Gun Ownership Correlated with Violent Deaths?")

      Due to the many confounding factors that arise when attempting international comparisons, this approach would appear to hold little promise for determining the influence of gun levels (or handgun availability) on violence rates."

      September 24, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • David Johnson


      As usual, you have given me an education. Thanks! I for one always enjoy your posts.


      September 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      David Johnson, you're too twisted as you pat yourself on the back.


      September 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5
About this blog

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.