the death of Saddam raises questions

My friend J.R. posted a thoughtful response to the execution of Saddam…

I commented this way…

“good thoughts man, i used to argue for capital punishment all the time… then i thought about it more deeply… i have felt and thought exactly the same kind of things that you are expressing… we should all ask ourselves is in regard to your closing thoughts, do we have all the answers? do we know enough? i know we think we do… but do we??? N.T.Wright has some interesting thoughts in his recent book _Evil and the Justice of God_… in Nov i heard him speak about the war in the context of this book and during the Q & A it was clear that many of the Americans (it was an all American audience in the DC area) really struggled with one of the concepts that he put forth: FORGIVENESS… now, that is not to say that there should be no consequences… but CAPITAL PUNISHMENT???? I dunno, man… thanks for getting the conversation going in my head and in the head of others… do we really know enough to kill? Oh, another study on this subject is the film ‘Capote’… but that’s another post and comment isn’t it?”

Here are some quotes from a page on which i have three flags in my copy of the book…

“Forgiveness doesn’t mean ‘I didn’t really mind’ or ‘it didn’t really matter.’ I did mind and it did matter, otherwise there wouldn’t be anything to forgive at all, merely something to adjust my attitudes about.”

“Nor is forgiveness the same as saying, ‘Let’s pretend it didn’t really happen.’ This is a little trickier because part of the point of forgiveness is that I am committing myself to work toward the point where I can behave as if it hadn’t happened. But it did happen, and forgiveness itself isn’t pretending that it didn’t; forgiveness is looking hard at the fact that it didn’t; forgiveness is looking hard at the fact that it did and making a conscious choice – a decision of the moral will – to set it aside so that it doesn’t came as a barrier between us. In other words, forgiveness presupposes that the thing which happened was indeed evil and cannot be simply set aside as irrelevant. Along that route lies suppressed anger and a steady distancing of people who no longer trust one another. A much better plan is to put things out on the table, as indeed the New Testament commands us to do, and deal with them.”

Okay, that’s too much quoting… this is too long a post… I need to think more… but the death of Saddam raises this question: is capital punishment okay? I’m not sure anymore…

Jesus died to forgive sin, which can enable us to be forgiving too… if we are willing…

1 Comment

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One response to “the death of Saddam raises questions

  1. Laci and Keri Németh

    I think I am getting where these thougths are leading, but then it raises another question: can we(or should we) separate christianity and government?
    ON a more personal level: I am not sure if I ever truly forgave to Slobodan Milosevic. when he died I felt nothing… I was kinda feeling good, but not really because I was mad he did not faced human justice…
    And now we get to the real deal… Why kill a person here if they will face the TRUE JUDGE after their death? and we have to be carefull with this because it could lead to a crazy liberalism…why having laws and rules and etc. but in general these are the first thoughts…
    Oh yeah one more… Bush really screwed up the execution of Saddam… doing it on the morning of their most holy celebration… I think this just jackes up Iraq even more…

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