Revenge

Some people are downright nasty.

I don’t mean that as a put down, I’m just being frank, some people really are. I’m not sure if it’s due to some chemical imbalance or bad upbringing, but some people seem to be just born mean.

There are some that are worse. Some are born killers.

I’m not making excuses for them. I am merely saying that things are what they are.

To try to imagine what it would feel like if one of these people hurt my little girls is something I cannot even think about. The amount of pain that would bring me in indescribable. My heart goes out to those who have been hurt by such evil, and I feel we should help them in every way possible.

But killing the killers is simply not a solution that I abide. I refuse to become evil, just because someone committed and evil act against me or those I love. This is not a question of turning the other cheek, this is a question of the survival of my own morality in dark times.

Life must be precious to us for us to maintain our humanity. Life in the womb, life in our autumn years, life in saints, and life in sinners, it all must be precious to us. For us to take it, there simply must be a better reason than revenge.

There are times when the death penalty is appropriate. This is actually rather easy to assertain. If the murderer is unstoppable, and we have no way to take away his ability to kill, we are allowed to take his/her life as a protection of our own. For example, if a soldier on the battlefield goes crazy and starts killing his comrades, and you are far from friendly lines, you may not have a choice. If you allow him to live, he may pick everyone off, one by one. Another example would be a tribe living in isolation who has no ability to hold a criminal for an extended period of time. To make it simple, if the man can be incarcarated, then you can’t kill him. If there is no way to hold him, and he continues to be a threat, then for the protection of life, you may end his.

The key here is “for the protection of life”. No one can seriously suggest that we do not have the ability to incarcerate a criminal or that that person continues to be a threat to the average person. He is locked up tight in our culture. The only reason for killing him at this point is for revenge.

Revenge. No, I will not become evil for the sake of one who is evil. To be honest, I feel a lifetime without liberty is a far better punishment anyways.

There is another thing to think about. The reality is, we have killed men who were innocent. One such death should be enough cause to end this forever, and yet, it goes on. I simply cannot trust any human system with the choice between life and death, not only because it is wrong, but because we make mistakes.

I can’t vote for murder at any time. I cannot allow murder to be socially acceptable. I totally understand that there is darkness in the world that we must deal with, but I refuse to let death be the answer. 

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5 thoughts on “Revenge”

  1. TOTALLY agree!

    How can someone be anti-abortion and pro death penalty???

    For that matter, how can one be Catholic and pro-choice????

    Inconsistencies appear all around us. But the good news is that God knows our heart!

    1. You know, you raise an interesting point here. How can someone be anti abortion and pro death penalty?

      I think it has to do with the emotions of the situation. It’s not hard to love a sweet, innocent baby, but to love a hardened serial killer? Not so easy. Downright hard even. I think our american culture of thinking with our feelings instead of our noggins is at fault here.

      But Catholic and Pro-Choice? Not possible. Mutually exclusive. No person who truly defines themselves with a Catholic morality can possibly condone the slaughter of children.

      Again, I agree. There IS hope, because God DOES know our hearts, even the hearts of those who do not choose to use their brains.

  2. “But when a man kills another after maliciously scheming to do so, you must take him even from my altar (compassion, mercy) and put him to death.” Exodus 21:14. Jesus said: “I come to fulfill the law, not to abolish the law.” The condemned murderer must expire with grief over his crime. The victim’s innocence must be vindicated. Priests can forgive sins, even premeditated murder. What the priest cannot forgive is the temporal punishment due to sin. The death penalty is the temporal punishment due for capital one homicide to fulfill Justice. On a case by case basis must every homicide trial be determined and judged.
    I can forgive my murderer, but I cannot forgive your murderer without becoming an accessory after the fact. I become an accessory before the fact, an enabler, if an unrepentant murderer is allowed to live and given the opportunity, kills again, other prisoners, the warden, guard or contractor, even teachers, or enjoys his taking of the life of an innocent person, reliving his crime while spending his time in prison.
    When Pope John Paul II said: “War, no more”, it was not intended to prevent a necessary just war to protect the people and the church from armed aggression and violence, but a fervent prayer that men would settle their grievances in friendship before actual combat.
    The death penalty is to bring about conversion
    Before atheism denied man’s immortal soul, judges said after pronouncing sentence on a condemned murderer: “…and may almighty God have mercy on your immortal soul.” The only way to ban the execution of capital punishment, the death penalty, for capital one murder is to expunge homicide.

    1. I could not disagree with you more. Well, that’s not true, as the Catechism does it more effectively:

      “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

      If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

      Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
      2267 – Catechism of the Catholic Church

      You are right of course, priests cannot forgive temporal punishment due for sins, but God can, and so can the Church through its methods, indulgences for example. Murder is simply not an appropriate penance.

      Here’s the main thing. Your Exodus quote makes a really bad assumption, and that is that homicide removes you from the mercy of God. Only complete despair against the Holy Spirit has this capability.

  3. I’m always a ltilte conflicted about this. I am religious (Christian), if not espcially devout. I waffle on not so much the morality of it, but on whether the morality of it necessarily applies to a action taken by the state. In other words, I might be able to reconcile myself to the idea that someone could do something so heinous that the only remotely just thing people of this world could do is to take the perpertrator OUT of the world. It’s not a warm and fuzzy kind of idea though.I reconcile the concepts, and therefore have more or less come down in full fledged opposition to the death penalty in ordinary civilian usage, by saying it’s simply too much power to give to the state. Doubly true given the imperfect nature of policing/law enforcement as a human institution, and uneven quality of policing/justice in America. If we ever reach the conclusion that Cameron Willingham was, in fact, innocent, well, there’s not a whole hell of a lot we can do about it now. And whether or not he was innocent, the point remains – if an imperfect state screws THIS up – there’s no pardon to be issued, no financial restitution to be paid. Better just to avoid the whole issue. Exceptions for military crime, and perhaps a few other things of a different character than “normal” crime, e.g. international piracy, to pick something in the news.

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