Friday, April 23, 2010

There's Always Been Both Grace and Punishment

I just finished reading an article in which a Utah man whom murdered someone 25 years ago is now out of appeals and is set to receive the death penalty.  He chose the firing squad.  For those who want those details, read the article.  There are just a few things on which I want to comment.

The followings is a quote from the article, quoting a representative who wanted the law to ban the death penalty by the firing squad and only allow lethal injection:
"I was just hoping to end that focus," said Allen, adding that she's displeased with the prospect of another firing squad execution. "I fear that the proper attention will not be paid to the victims of the crime and the atrocity of the crime."

It seems to me as if anyone was really concerned that proper attention was paid to the victims of the crime, he would have been put to death 25 years ago.  That's a quarter of a century ago that the crime took place!  Is the victim's family even still living?  Unbelievable!  As for the "atrocity of the crime," I think a rain of bullets serves him right for unrepentant murder.  The family members and friends of the victim ought to be the ones who get to shoot, though, although it should have happened a quarter of a century ago.

Another quote from the article:

But despite Utah's strong religious roots — it's the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — most here support the use of the death penalty.

But despite strong religious roots, most support the death penalty?  What do you mean "but despite?"  It seems to me that a strongly religious person would support the death penalty the most.  Are not "strong[ly] religious [people]" the most just?  They ought to be, and justice for an unrepentant murder is DEATH. 

Continuing on, the article stated:

"I think in Utah, when it suits their purposes, they go back to the Old Testament and the 'eye for an eye' kind of thing," Kalish said. "These people may be the worst of the worst, but if the best we can do is repeat the same thing, it's so obviously wrong."

Obviously wrong?  Back to the old testament?  What is wrong with this Lydia Kalish?  She is the one who is wrong.  So, what are you supposed to do with an unrepentant murderer, Lydia?  Lock him up in a cage for the rest of his life and charge the law-abiding citizens, including the victims of his offense, for his upkeep?  If that was my husband or son or father or friend whose life was unfairly taken, and the offender had absolutely no remorse, I'd want the man dead.  A responsible person would not want such an evildoer alive, nor would not to send the message to the rest of the population that they can get away with evil and still live!  
It appalls me that we have such foolish people in our high offices and running the nation and states.  It's no wonder we have such an ever-worsening society.  I see the main problem here.  People have the erroneous idea that under the old covenant, people got punishment--the death penalty for most things--no matter what and that under the new covenant, people should get grace, no matter what.  Absolutely not!  That is not right.  There has always been grace by God for those who deserve grace and punishment for those who deserve punishment.  There were those who found grace who lived under the old covenant, because of their deep repentance.  And under the new covenant, there are still those who deserve punishment, because they do not repent. 

The old vs. new covenants has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with punishment vs. grace.  If one thinks that, he is terribly illiterate of the scriptures.  The old covenant focused on the carnal heart and the letter of the law.  The new covenant focuses on the spiritual heart and the spirit of the law.  The law was never "done away," and grace is not a new thing. 

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