I did a post on Facebook recently that seemed to stir up quite the hornet’s nest when it comes to debates.
Generally, when I make a post about an opinion, I just let the words flow from my thoughts and I just put it out there – raw, unfiltered, and uncut. This can end up being a double-edged sword in many ways. Usually it happens when it comes to matters of religion or law, since my opinion differs quite a bit from most, and some of my best friends end up calling me to task on the statement (thank you for that – I mean it). When I was writing stories on paper, one of my other friends would read it over with the mission of poking holes in the plot. It also was a good exercise in keeping my mind going and refocusing my energies.
So what was the latest hot-potato issue, you ask? Well, it’s one that’s been going around the news for a while – it’s about when criminals should and should not be given an execution. Yes….it caused a stir.
I saw an article about a man who was imprisoned for over two decades, and then was released many years later after finding out that the man did not do the deed after all (it was a murder trial). My first instinctive thought was “I’m just glad they didn’t give him the needle or the chair – you can’t undo that!”, and then of course, that chained into “Why are we even doing punishments like this anyway?? What makes us right in putting someone to death for a crime??”
Well, then I was reminded that this sort of system has been in place for a very long time – back even to the days of the Bible, when it was commanded by the Lord that people were to be stoned to death for various sins – and I’m sure other faiths around the world have had similar circumstances throughout history as well. People throughout time have been put down for heinous offenses, sins, or other criminal activities.
To me, it still sounds harsh in a way. I guess, being an artist, I have a very visual imagination. I can visualize what the perpetrator did from the victim’s perspective, and it’s horrifying – especially when it comes to young lives – the ones who have no defense mechanism or ability to fight off these people who are affecting their short lives, cut even shorter by someone who has no conscience or moral fiber of any kind. When I visualize what happens when the criminal is executed, I guess I’m seeing it from the thought patterns of an innocent person. Seeing the person strapped down to a table, getting a needle put into them that will soon deliver a liquid that they KNOW is going to kill them and there is no turning back. Yes…..accidents have happened where people have lived through getting electrocuted, injected, or what have you, but for the most part, their ticket has been punched.
Am I looking at this issue all wrong? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not seeing this from the viewpoint of someone who just doesn’t care – someone who is proud of what they did – someone who pretty much doesn’t give a crap about the next human being. I guess to them it’s a badge of honor – a status symbol for their followers, saying “Well, they can’t do anything else to me!”.
Exodus 20:13 states the part of the Lord’s ten commandments – stating “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. Some translations have changed this to “thou shalt not murder”, which may have been the intention of the original text, because I don’t know of anyone who still speaks the ancient tongues the original scrolls were written with.
So I accept that this type of punishment has been around for a very long time, and it’s been even written in the Bible, so it’s something I’ll need to accept as a part of life. I at least know this much……….I have no intention of ever being the one committing such a horrifying, amoral act. It’s just not me.
So in closing, I’ll just pray for peace to all, and hope everyone lives as best of a life as they can.