Monthly Archives: January 2007

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…

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New Years Day

was a pretty awesome day… i transfered my prayer list into my new moleskin daily calendar (thanks Jo), listened to some great music AND I discovered that I could listen to the New Years Day concert from Wien (Vienna) live on WVTF, but I enjoyed the WHTJ broadcast of Walter Cronkite hosting the concert in the afternoon in an edited with some great visual images from Wien… my dream is to be in attendance on New Years Day in Wien before I die…

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