I added the following to the Facebook group, "Abolish the Death Penalty II":
One of the things this group can do is be a forum where refutations to pro-capital punishment assertions may be stated, suggested, refined, etc. For example, one assertion is that the death penalty is simply a tool, as is a car, and that the tool itself isn't the problem but rather how it is wielded. This than brought to mind the following: "Let he who is without sin drive the first car."
Consider the tools. One tool is to take life as a penalty or punishment. The other is to get from place to place. The descriptions certainly could be expanded and semantics could take us all over the place into many interesting and fruitful discussions, but I have stated here the primary reasons for the death penalty and cars.
Note that in the terms "death penalty" and "capital punishment," deterrence and preclusion are not primary.
Now, consider the concept of unintended consequences. Even if the person being executed is guilty as charged, the intention is killing to penalize that is to punish. The consequence is not unintended.
Consider the difference though with driving a car where malice is not the motivation. What people call accidents do occur. They are truly unintended by the non-malicious driver. That driver does not intend to penalize or to punish anyone involved in any accident where the driver is at fault for whatever reason including gross negligence.
I won't belabor the point that the analogy between 1) committing the offense of capital punishment and 2) driving a car is illogical. It is actually an excuse for vengeance even if that vengeance is taken out on those innocent of the so-called capital crime.
I raise the fact here that the analogy is unworkable because the idea of "Let he who is without sin drive the first car" as a refutation is not known because it's never been used verbatim before this.
The idea that the death penalty is hypocritical is certainly known and properly asserted. The counter, "Let he who is without sin drive the first car," cuts right through the bad analogy. It does so in a memorable and self-evident way where those asserting its opposite should be convicted by conscience. However, we have seen that there are those who simply refuse and continue on in the hope that the Big Lie tactic of repeating and repeating the bad analogy will drown out the truth that the analogy is a farce and an embarrassment for anyone using it to promote killing criminals rather than rehabilitating them and also first addressing the root causes of crime in the first place, which is the real right approach even while we deal with ongoing crime.
The problems with cars can and should also be likewise addressed of course.
What I am not saying here though is that the taking of human life by fellow humans as deliberate punishment suddenly becomes acceptable once guilt can be accurately ascertained 100% of the time forevermore. Separation of the unrepentant and not yet rehabilitated is one thing. Tormenting and "eliminating" them is quite another spirit indeed.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)