Pro-Life Christian Politicians Postpone Florida Execution So Campaign Kick-Off Can Proceed

The Tampa Bay Times frames the issue perfectly:

There is no graver responsibility and act of state government than an execution.

In Florida this week, a campaign fundraiser takes precedence.

Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution scheduled for [Tuesday night] because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off reception.

Good Christian folk, both, who care deeply about the sanctity of life.

The execution they decided to postpone is that of double murderer Marshall Lee Gore — not that I’ll shed a tear for him when he finally goes.

That said: Florida, according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, has had more death row exonerations than any other state; and yet, Bondi isn’t shy about boasting of the executions she’s been part of.

I guess we should be pleased that, for political expediency, she didn’t try to get Gore executed earlier rather than later. Or that she didn’t have the guy killed as part of her fundraiser (one where donors could have their picture taken with Bondi, both smiling next to Gore’s corpse. Suggested donation: $1,000).

My guess is that within a generation, that’s where we’ll end up. In Florida politics, anything the Onion can conceive of, and more, is truly possible.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.

  • Holytape

    I can not think of a word in the english language that can accurately convey the utter contempt and hatred I have towards politicians like these assholes, nor a word that describes their complete and total uselessness to society.

  • the moother

    State-sanctioned murder is the most pathetic way to show citizens that murder is wrong. Not to mention the fact that the state is not infallible and, invariably, executes innocent people.

    Study after study has shown that the death sentence is not a deterrent… but it gets politicians enough votes by morons to keep them in power.

  • the moother

    If you do think of that word, then try thinking of the word to describe people that vote for them… Politicians, morons that they are, only ever pander to voters… it’s the voters that are the real sickos.

  • Bitter Lizard

    This is exactly what I think when people talk about how terrible politicians are. Politicians read the polls and pander to constituencies, because that’s how to get elected in a democracy. The views they espouse are just a microcosm of their constituents’ views. There would be no climate change-denying, creationist, anti-gay politicians in office if there weren’t a lot of climate change-denying, creationist, anti-gay voters. If the American people weren’t such morons, we’d have better politicians.

  • Tainda

    It’s like they forget every time and make their past voting mistakes into saints. I am SO sick of hearing how great Dubya was and really really sick of hearing about Reagan. Mostly I am sick of them bashing Obama for no fucking reason. He gets on my damned nerves but it’s because he has been a pussy and backed down on a lot of issues.

    For the most part, ALL of them are the same.

  • C Peterson

    Classy. Very classy. Florida style.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Life is *PRECIOUS* and worthy of utmost protection!*
    *(until after birth, then they are mostly going to hell anyway, so why bother with them).

  • Octoberfurst

    I often puzzle as to why right-wing “pro-lifers”—who keep insisting, when talking about abortion, how “precious” life is and say that no one has a right to take the life of the unborn– can be so callous when it comes to born human beings. They love executions and cheer on war. Plus they have no problem getting rid of the social safety net—especially programs like “Head Start” or WIC (Women, Infants, Children) that help people. Don’t they see the contradiction? . Oh wait, I forgot, they’re idiots. My bad.

  • baal

    Add to the reasons to get rid of the death penalty the shocking levels of racial disparity. An additional but lesser consideration is that having a death penalty allows the prosecution a tool to use to coerce guilty pleas. “Plead guilty or we’ll try to have the State kill you.”

  • baal

    yes and no
    Advertising and structural voting issues have a measurable impact. Both of these levers can and have been bought by the oligarchs – as has the entirety of the conservative media-scape.

  • allein

    The unborn are innocent.

    A toddler whose mom needs help buying milk has obviously done something heinous in his or her short life, like refusing to go to sleep one night, or being born, or throwing their mashed potatoes on the floor, or having a shameless hussy for a mom, so they don’t deserve help.

  • ShoeUnited

    That’s a bit morbid there, Terry. I’m against the death penalty and that’s a different debate; but that whole middle bit is a bit morbid.

  • C Peterson

    Don’t call it murder. Misusing that word just gives ammunition to anti-choicers. Murder is unlawful killing. The death penalty is immoral and uncivilized, and your comments are dead on, but it isn’t murder. It is state-sanctioned killing.

  • Miss_Beara

    Once the fetus is born it becomes an original sin baby and they don’t like those.

  • the moother

    I get your point but I must disagree. The right to life is intrinsic to modern human philosophy. Nation states may not interfere with these rights.

    Apartheid was law in South Africa. But it denied rights to human beings. Apartheid was a transgression of human rights. In both these cases, the law is wrong. So that doesn’t make the act lawful. Apartheid was unlawful even though it was legal (in SA at least).

    So, it’s not the word murder that needs to be considered, it’s the word unlawful. I fail to see why state-sponsored execution is not premeditated murder. Calling it premeditated killing doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid.

  • flyb

    This is sick.

  • Travis Myers

    I am against the death penalty, but I don’t think it’s a contradiction to be for the death penalty and against abortion, any more than it is a contradiction to be for personal freedom while supporting jail time for those that break the law. We all agree that people forfeit their usual rights when they cause enough harm to society. Usually they only forfeit their right to personal freedom (i.e., they are sent to prison). Death penalty advocates argue that if a person causes enough harm to society, then they forfeit their right to life as well because every dollar spent on them in prison is a dollar that could be spent helping someone more deserving. That is a valid argument, albeit one that glosses over factors such as how to measure the harm that is caused in practice as well as the enormous harm that is caused by accidentally sentencing an innocent person to death.

  • Travis Myers

    As for the lack of a social safety net: that one makes no sense. I think the argument goes like this:

    Socialism = Communism = Godless = Bad.

  • C Peterson

    Killing can be at odds with what most of us consider human rights and still not be murder. Whether we like it or not, and regardless of our ethical views, the simple fact is that lawful killing of humans by humans exists.

    Misusing words in order to create inflammatory rhetoric is not generally a good way to advance a position.

  • the moother

    It costs too much money to lock someone up therefore we should kill them. It’s not as simple as that, I’m afraid.

  • Holytape

    A fetus is an abstract concept to them. A poor child is a reality. And we know how well the religious right handles reality.

  • Brad dayag

    No one “cheers” war you fucking moron, but when you fight them it has to be done with 100% effort and 100% commitment. Something out political leaders have yet to realize.

  • Holytape

    Well what is the onomatopoeia for the sound produced by eating nothing but thumbtacks and taco bell for a month. And the suffix that means “like that, but worse.”

  • Jim Jones

    “Greed, for want of a better word, is good”.

  • Tom

    Most incompetent politicians are only incompetent in specific ways, such as coming up with actually useful laws and policies, or keeping the country running. Even the most incompetent at running things will still be highly competent at getting elected. This is the key flaw in representative democracy as practiced in the west: it selects only for those most adept at garnering votes, not those who are most adept at actually doing anything.

    Some don’t just pander to voters, they manipulate and misinform them. The worst starve them of reliable facts and the ability to reason by dismantling the education system, they remove cultural checks and balances by encouraging an individualist social policy and allowing social cohesion to dissolve through neglect, and they overwhelm them with propaganda and appeal to emotion via a barely regulated media, cultivating and amplifying the bigotry, ignorance and other backwardness that got them elected in the first place, so as to maintain and strengthen their power base. This paves the way for even worse politicians to arise and get elected in turn. It’s a vicious circle that’s all too easy to get into and very, very hard to break once it’s established. The tea party may be a whole new nightmare compared to the previous incarnation of conservatism, but I shudder to think what might come after them.

    So, yeah, rotten politicians initially get elected by foolish, hateful or backward voters, but past a certain point it becomes self-reinforcing and the voters themselves start to look as much like victims as perpetrators of the whole mess they allowed to start.

  • Octoberfurst

    But if you go around saying that “life is precious” but think killing someone is ok because of the crime they committed then you really don’t think life is precious. At least that is how I see it. I can understand the argument that if you take a life you forfeit your own but you really can’t say that if you claim to be “pro-life” because then you’re not really pro-life. You’re just pro-fetus. In my book if someone is truly pro-life they would be against the death penalty, abortion, war, euthanasia, cutting funding for the poor, etc. But the vast majority of pro-lifers are only against abortion. At least that has been my experience. So in my opinion they are hypocrites.
    I also would like to point out that many people who had been falsely convicted have been freed from death row due to DNA evidence. So there is always a chance that you can kill an innocent person which is just another reason why I am against the death penalty. That and the fact that I think it is bizarre that we kill people to show that killing is wrong.

  • Octoberfurst

    Really? What world do you live in Brad? Right-wingers cheer on war all the time. (Have you ever watched Fox News or listened to talk radio?) They love the idea of us going in and “kicking ass!” and look upon diplomatic solutions as something pussies do. And if you don’t agree with them that war is the answer then you are obviously a “traitor” and an “America-hater”. Seriously Brad you need to get out more.

  • Stev84

    Given the lengthy appeals process and the long time many spend on death row, executions more expensive than one may think.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    No one “cheers” war you fucking moron

    Thank you for explaining to everyone that you lived in a cave during the years of 2001-2005 and have never looked at the news, you fucking moron.

  • Terry Firma

    To me, the part that’s shocking to the conscience is not that people can be against abortion but for the death penalty. It’s that taking a life is such a trifle to the Attorney General in question that she will dick around with Mr. Gore — AND with the family and friends of his victims — to suit her agenda. Not even her political agenda, but her actual calendar. For Pam Bondi, putting a man to death is no weightier than making an appointment with her hair dresser.

  • Kodie

    They hate women and want them to have consequences of premarital sex. As far as I can understand it, they are not against social safety nets per se, they are against it as an incentive to have as many children as you can to collect on the benefits.

    They would rather penalize everyone than let one so-called “welfare queen” through, but then they think nearly everyone on welfare is a cheat. A lot of the problem here is they don’t really sympathize with the cycle of poverty as a reason, nor do they grant validation for mental illnesses that might keep someone from working steadily or at all. The answer is Jesus and the other answer is keep your knees together, because Jesus.

  • guest

    Too many people in this world already. We need more abortions and more executions of murderers, rapists and pedophiles.

  • rustygh

    Real answer ; they don’t care about any life. Its simply a means of getting votes from the religious pro-life wack-jobs. If it came down to it they’d hatchet the unborn or new born themselves if it meant a vote.

  • Tainda

    All you had to say was Toby Keith. He disgusts me.

  • JSC_ltd

    Perhaps I’m being uncharitably cynical, but I think they are against a social safety net per se, at least when people other than themselves need one. The current take on it seems to be that social safety nets promote laziness, and getting rid of them would encourage people to be productive.

  • Antinomian

    Florida: Come for vacation, go home on probation, return on a violation.

    Source: I am a Floridiot.

  • Oswald Carnes

    You first.

  • Mario Strada

    I can think of at least one person that’s most definitely over the quota.

  • Derrik Pates

    They spend a lot of time talking about welfare queens – particularly *black* (or otherwise non-white) women – having lots of kids and getting lots of stuff on the public dime. Maybe that actually happens once in a long while, but as far as I can tell, it’s not an actual, serious concern. Personally, I see it as part of the “other-ization” of those in need, which makes it easier to justify eliminating the social safety net – because it’s only gonna go to lazy welfare queens and other undesirables anyway. (Note: that’s not *my* opinion, but what I gather living in a red state.)

  • wmdkitty

    There’s a reason Fark has a Florida tag.

  • wmdkitty

    Also, here’s the Fark thread — oh boy.

  • Zaydin

    Don’t blame me for Pam Bimbo or Governor Voldemort; in the latter case, I voted for Alex Sink, and I think in the formers case, I voted for the Democrat on the principle that Bondi was a Republican.

  • Itarion

    True, that’s the argument, but not a single one of those equals marks are accurate.

  • Itarion

    disdain, derision, antipathy, disregard, scorn, animosity, hostility, acrimony, disgust, revulsion, loathing, abhorrence, and aversion. Any of those do it for you? The sum of all, perhaps?