Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hussein Executed

I have one question to ask; why? The man was locked in a cage. He could do no more harm. What good was accomplished by this execution?

Here's Mark Harris' summary:

...The news broadcasts are talking abou the imminent execution of Saddam Hussein. Just for the record, although I know it matters little, I'm against it. I'm against his execution for three reasons: I am against Capital Punishment; I am against turning over a prisoner to a government that makes use of Capital Punishment; I believe our capture of Saddam Hussein, whatever its moral value, was an extension of an illegal war and his imprisonment is our responsibility...
When one human being takes the life of another human being, it is always a tragedy. We did not create life. We have no right to take it.

When we do so, we are claiming the role of God. When limited, finite beings play God, disaster is inevitably the result. I believe this act of revenge will also result in disaster.

A consistent life ethic recognizes that the ethical dilemma for a Christian is very much the same regarding a myriad of issues involving the taking of a life, or a potential life, including war, euthanasia, abortion and the death penalty.

From the 1991 General Convention of the Episcopal Church:

RESOLVED, the House of Bishops concurring, that this 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirm the position taken in opposition to capital punishment by the 1958, 1969, and 1979 General Conventions; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church oppose federal initiatives to establish constitutional procedures for the institution of the sentence of death for various crimes; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church deplores the expansion of capital offenses by federal legislative action; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church support state and local initiatives to establish a range of community sanctions and services offering alternatives to incarceration and reducing recidivism; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Presiding Bishop’s Open Statement on Capital Punishment be sent to the President, the Attorney General, and every member of the Senate and Congress of the United States of America; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church urge the provinces, dioceses, parishes, missions, and individual members of this Church to engage in serious study on the subject of capital punishment and work actively to abolish the death penalty in their states.
From the BBC:

...Most Western European countries abandoned the death penalty in the 1960s while Eastern European states did so in the 1990s.

Russia, a member of the Council of Europe, has yet to formally abolish the death penalty - although it has had a moratorium on capital punishment since 1990...

...The US and Japanese governments - both of which exercise capital punishment - welcomed the former Iraqi leader's sentence when it was passed...

...The US stands alongside China, Saudi Arabia and Iran as carrying out the greatest numbers of executions per year. According to Amnesty International 94% of the 2005 executions took place in those countries - with about 80% of those taking place in China...
Which of those countries listed would you consider to contain the most "Christians"? What a witness we are offering the world.

Before someone mentions it, let me be clear that I recognize, and have experienced, situations in which the use of force is necessary to stop acts of violence. This is not one of those situations. Hussein was no longer a threat. But his death is now on our heads.

May God have mercy on us all.

J.

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