Thursday, June 14
I must comment on the demise of the country's most infamous Tim. Now that McVeigh is dead and the hoopla dog and pony show is over, it’s time to review the death penalty. I'm against it. Didn't always feel that way, and my knee-jerk reaction to the infamous criminals still makes me want to dispense frontier justice. Too bad we can't have our cake and eat it too. The problem with the death penalty isn't that it's wrong in the McVeigh case specifically, it’s just wrong. History shows us the folly in giving the state the right to kill its citizens. It inevitably leads to abuse. From an historical standpoint, Christians should remember that it was the state that killed Christ. And a little further back it was Socrates, although he was given the poison and like McVeigh gladly accepted his fate. Socrates was formally charged with the religious crime of impiety, and Christ, a similar charge, so it would behoove us all to reexamine our blood lust in light of history. Unfortunately, many more contemporary examples are easy to document. We've actually gotten to the point in our society that it isn't even necessary to be CHARGED with a crime to be executed. Don't believe me? What do you think happened in the case of the missionary plane shot down in Peru? Mother and child killed for SUSPECTED crimes with the consent and approval of the US military. Internal corruption in the judicial process is also rampant. Look at the abuses of the FBI just in the last few years. Waco, Ruby Ridge, Richard Jewel, and Wo Hen Lee come immediately to mind. And these are the high profile cases we are all privy to. How many poor suckers slipped under the media radar during that same time frame? Too many. Just too dangerous to give the state that much power. Conservatives who constantly preach less government and less regulation, (because they don't trust the state), seem reluctant to join with their liberal counterparts to protect our society in the long run against tyrants who will inevitably arise and abuse this power. The Europeans have a longer history with abuses of power and tyrannical leaders, so they’ve banned capital punishment. We shouldn't let a false pride that our system is so much superior to theirs lull us into thinking we've somehow overcome the basic nature of power to corrupt. Nor should we foolishly think we are too advanced to make the same mistakes that our ancestors made time and again. The English outlawed slavery thirty or forty years ahead of the United States. Maybe we should follow their lead on this matter as well.