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October 20, 2009

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Mr. Smith thank you for this article, or should I say essay. First of all I read somewhere in the book of exodus that if a man kills another man....he to should be put to death....Is taking the life of another does not warrent death....then what does. Who give us the right to kill? Should not that same evil that was inflicted upon the victim be done to his killer? Who's life is more important? The victim who is killed by some madman? Or the madman's? What about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?

larry smith

One could, of course, respond with counter-quotes from the same religious text. However, may I suggest that you re-read the article for a better appreciation of the issue and the main point I was driving at - which is encapsulated in the final paragraph.

Andrew Curry

Larry, I dont think its incumbent upon our leaders to speak clearly on this issue? What we need to grasp is that we are all responsible for the quality of life in our country. What we do and say affects the outcome. For example if we pass a peice of garbage on the street and we say "I didnt drop it so why should I pick it up ? Or it doesnt matter if I pick it up. We just affected the outcome and the outcome is a dirt community. It is clear that the vast majority of Bahamians think it is our leaders job to make our county better. Because if you look at the outcome you can see we have a mess . Untill we truley get that its OUR job to make our country better then it will just stay the same. Playing the blame game just moves the responsibility from US to over there. Ultimatley we always get the Government we deserve. Its incumbent upon the people , all of us, to speak clearly on what we want .

larry smith

While I am in general agreement with what you say, on this particular issue only the legislators can make a difference one way or the other. And neither party has chosen to speak clearly on this issue despite the public outcry in favour of hanging.

Fran

Mr. Smith, are you saying that you are in favor of the death penalty? Or you are saying that in the Bahamas are leaders have not yet spoken out for or against it. But for me I think that if the evidence cleary points to the assilant then would that not be sufficent to warrent the dealth penalty?

Phil Collins

This was an extremely well written article on this important topic. Sadly, too many Bahamians don't see the hypocrisy in their proclamation of The Bahamas as a 'Christian' nation. They are partial to the divinity of revenge rather than the divinities of mercy or forgiveness.
As I read this piece, I never discerned that you took a position - yet you were challenged by some commentors as one not in favor with hanging. LOL! We have to mature to the place where we again accept & encourage dissenting point of views and seek to learn from each other. But perhaps that requires too much work. It's easier to say: 'Damn all those who disagree with my position'.

Julian Russell, MDiv, ThM

Larry, contrary to your statement, the death penalty does not "...fly in the face of the NT..." Christ did not destroy the Law - He fulfilled it. Further, Paul reminds Timothy that the Law was made for the "lawless". Sir, since a murderer cannot receive forgiveness from his victim, he/she must face the full brunt of the Law. Since man is made in God's image, it is a very heinous offence when that image is destroyed - hence capital punishment. Most importantly, Christ Jesus suffered the "summum supplicium" via crucifixion - the most vile form of capital punishment - in accordance to the respected will of God. All humans will die one day. Capital punishment affords some of us that great opportunity to prepare for the inevitable.

larry smith

According to the Old Testament, God wants people to kill, torture and get even big time.

But I always thought that the New Testament repudiated these harsh prescriptions, as in Matthew 5:38-41:

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile."

Opponents of capital punishment see it as exactly the kind of revenge and human judgment that Jesus warned against.

The argument of a Biblical mandate for capital punishment is also contradicted by the fact that many of the capital crimes in the Old Testament are considered relatively minor today.

Very few people in the Christian world would support capital punishment for such things as doing work on the Sabbath, false prophecy or making false statements about a woman's virginity.

Julian Russell, MDiv, ThM

Larry, please do not miss the centrality of Christ's ultimate sacrifice to the story of Christianity. Paul sums it up as the preaching of the Cross. So what if we die and go to be with the Lord? Have we really lost? Sir, governments have a divine right to uphold the law for the good of societies. Therefore, they appoint law enforcement officers, and soldiers, who during the course of their lawful duties, sometimes kill others. I submit that these same governments have the divine right to pass judgment - not revenge - on all lawbreakers. Also, please do not try to skirt around Paul's warning to Timothy (see 1 Tim. 1:8-11). Time is short, sir, let's get all men, especially those on death row, prepared to meet ther Maker. That is the greatest service that Christians could render to their own communities.

larry smith

This is no more than jibber jabber.

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