Do you like the things that life is showing you?

Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?

You can’t preach the Gospel to a dead person.”

“Compare the number of times in scripture that Jesus broke bread and shared story in the streets and homes where people lived, versus how many times he invited people to church.”

Religion’s relevance to this is that it’s a quick shorthand for these more important, but difficult to articulate values.”

“It happened under Reagan, and it is American evangelicalism’s political sin.”

“Vineyarders may implore God to help fellow-members of their church, but otherwise, in Luhrmann’s account, pretty much everything seems to be about themselves.”

“We have nothing to fear from those who do not believe in God; we have much to fear from those who do not believe in sin.”

“When I’m faced with a tough decision I won’t hesitate to make a sin offering — an intern, or a young bullock, or even seven rams without blemish — to make sure we restore our values and get people working again.”

“It takes a great deal to shock even us, and this may be one of the most-shocking and disgusting stories we’ve ever done.”

This is about sex and property, not life and morality.”

No one has been killed, yet, with a Nutrageous in his hand.”

“History shows that it is always the aristocracy that behaves in spendthrift ways, not the middle class.”

“Marked by a liquidation of the public sector, the destruction of pensions and facilities for the aged, an explosion of student-borne costs in higher education, and intense competition for jobs by desperate workers on the brink of pauperism, Florida’s predicament is a tiny slice of Greece in the Most Magical Place on Earth.” (via)

“Resignation reflected in their eyes as they glanced over their shoulders to the dead end of the street where you can still see the light from the burn off of the oil refinery, for now.”

Congress’s addiction to short-term transportation bills could actually be holding back infrastructure investments around the country.”

A state-by-state, nation-wide repeal of the death penalty once seemed impossible, but now that movement is steadily gaining momentum across the United States.”

(Today’s title in honor of Diana Ross, who turns 68 today.)

  • Tricksterson

    I think that by “sin” the author means a sense of right and wrong.

  • Tricksterson

    So do you have any plans to list Brony as your religous affiliation? :D

    Hey if Jedis can get away with it, why not?

  • Anonymous

    While we do have far too much (read: “any” is far too much) abuse of the system, it also seems like the courts often fail to utilize it properly, which is where the bigger failing feels like to me. As a random example, the penalty for sexual assault is as little as 30 days in prison in Oklahoma. Just knowing makes it hard for me to feel like I can rely on prison as a deterrent to crime. In those cases, the death penalty becomes a kind of solace — “At least some criminals get what they deserve.”

    As an example, that’s kind of… Irrelevant? The existence of the death penalty would have zero effect on the minimum sentencing for anything. If someone gets sentenced for a month in jail for sexual assault, then their judge evidently wasn’t going to consider having them killed. It’s a debate that happens purely on the extreme far end of the bell curve, as an alternative to life without parole. Cases of excessively lenient sentencing, while tangentially related in that they take place within the same judicial system, are kind of meaningless when the conversation is supposed to be about whether capital punishment is justified or not. 

    Also, I’m not certain that you’re quite aware of how many cases there are of death row inmates being found innocent (sometimes posthumously) for their crimes? The simple fact that it’s a non-zero possibility should really be enough to make capital punishment in any circumstance an extremely dicey proposition with a history of overuse, but I’m kind of surprised to hear someone speak so positively about it so soon after the case of Troy Davis. 

  • Nathaniel

     Its not an argument I’d personally endorse. Just an argument I’ve heard others say in response to your charge.

  • Lori

    Ah. Got ya.

    It’s a weak argument, but I’ve heard weaker so I can see someone making it.

  • Chris

    I was glad to read the anti-death penalty article.  I’ve never thought the state should reserve the right to murder its citizens.  Especially being from Michigan which hasn’t had capital punishment since the mid 1800s.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I oppose the death penalty on the grounds that human law, enforced by humans, can never be perfectly just. For this reason, it must always be possible to undo a miscarriage of justice, and execution makes this impossible.

  • AnonymousSlactivist

    As a member of this community (who’d rather not identify himself) who has been to prison, I am profoundly disturbed by the simplistic, tv-show stereotyping of what prisons are like by people who I typically expect a more informed discourse out of.  While I’m pleased that there is a general recognition that the system is broken and horrible, the focus on extreme outliers even in this discussion makes rational discussion of prison policy impossible.  Words can’t convey how awful even a minimum security prison is, not for the violence or rape which both exist and are problematic, but for the constant petty abuse of power, absolute stupifying boredom, and lack of meaning.  Fundamentally, the prison system is caught between rehabilitation and vengeance and as a consequence fails (horribly) at both. 

    As for life imprisonment versus the death penalty, it is deeply troubling ethical issue that is not relevant for the vast majority of cases in which it is applied.  In a just society permanent incarceration/death penalty should only be considered for those who are incapable of being rehabilitated or placed in monitored communities.  That discussion is getting caught up in the biblical retribution model of criminal justice rather than an evidence based system that focuses on creating a safe, healthy, and prosperous society.  Education, job training, behavioural therapy, psychiatric medication, and relocation are what is needed for the vast majority of inmates (I’d guess at least 98%).  Once the vast racist abuse of human rights is taken care of then the cost (moral and financial) of permanently imprisoning or killing the remaining outliers is a reasonable discussion to have.  As someone who has lived through imprisonment, I would vastly prefer death (painless with the aid of a doctor) to life in prison and I consider solitary confinement to be torture and something so inhumane I wouldn’t even do it to an animal long term.

  • Anonymous

    “So do you have any plans to list Brony as your religious affiliation? :D”

    On my Facebook page under “Religious Views” I’ve listed myself as a “Celestian/Lunite”. (Although I’m partial to the Moon Goddess, I’m a big fan of the Sun Goddess as well.)

    Here’s the Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/CelestianLunite?ref=ts

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    There are many, many reasons to oppose capital punishment. Many of these have the dual advantages of being both moral and practical. But personally? My mind keeps coming back to the same words:

    “Deserves [death]! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.  For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
    - Gandalf, in The Lord of the Rings, Book I, Chapter Two.

    I think that the majority of the USA’s massive incarcerated population should not be there. The brokenness of our criminal justice system and the “War on Drugs” have caused drastic harm to lower-income and minority groups. The cynical part of me sometimes thinks that this is entirely intentional, while the more hopeful part thinks that it is the cumulative result of injustices at nearly every level rather than an overriding ideology.

    Then I make the mistake of reading the comments section of news articles, or I receive the latest SPLC intelligence report, and I am reminded that there are a lot of people responding to the death of Trayvon Martin the same way they responded to the death of Emmett Till.

  • Tonio

    In a just society permanent incarceration/death penalty should only be
    considered for those who are incapable of being rehabilitated or placed
    in monitored communities.  That discussion is getting caught up in the
    biblical retribution model of criminal justice rather than an evidence
    based system that focuses on creating a safe, healthy, and prosperous
    society.

    What you describe as two different things are really the same principle. The biblical retribution model is based on the idea that some people deserve to die or suffer. A truly just society would accept from the outset that death and suffering are never deserved, even if they are necessary in some instances. Executions are unnecessary and are inherently judgments on the convict’s and victim’s worthiness to live. That’s not the case with incarceration, which in part is about keeping people from society who have shown themselves to be a danger to it. There seems to be general agreement here that incarceration should be made as humane as possible, and that our current system is horrifically inhumane. Still, that should never be treated as a rationale for the death penalty.


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