Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LIBERALS GONE WILD ON THE DEATH PENALTY AND OTHER MISTAKES THAT LIBERALS MAKE IN AND OUT OF THE CHURCH



I was stationed at our Cathedral in Savannah in 1989 when Police Officer Mark MacPhail was murdered in the line of duty. Eventually Troy Davis was arrested for this killing, found guilty and sentenced to death. Tonight that death sentence will be carried out about 45 miles from St. Joseph Church in Macon, Georgia in a town called Jackson where death row and the means for execution are.

I am 99.9% opposed to the death penalty and believe that cold-blooded murderers and others who would qualify for the death penalty should be given life in prison without the possibility of parole. Only if the prison system is so weak and the possibility of escape or leaving prison under some other means is present and for those who foment political unrest and terror would I be in favor of the death penalty.

The Catholic Church's teaching on this subject has evolved over the years and certainly Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict question the need for the death penalty in most cases. However, Church teaching does allow for it in extreme situations even today.

But this is where secular and religious liberals get into trouble. In the case of Troy Davis where there seems to be some contrived evidence that he may not be guilty of the crime, despite the fact that his case has been reviewed officially many times over, there seems to be a total lack of concern bordering on the callous as it concerns not only Mark MacPhail but his surviving family, including his mother and wife and children.

When you look at what has escalated the sex abuse scandal in the Church in almost apocalyptic proportions in terms of what it has done not only to victims, but to the Church in general and to bishops and priests in particular, one sees that liberal prelates of the 1960's and 70's listened to liberal psychologists and pop culture of the time in terms of love, love, love and the power of love to change and rehabilitate the most grievous offenders of the legal and moral law even pedophiles.

When you look at the history of this scandal unfold in the 1960's and 70's you see bishops more concerned about villainous priests but showing almost no compassion toward victims, their families and the potential victims of priests who having been counseled in residential psychiatric facilities for pedophilia and ephebophilia returned to ministry.

Victims and their families of clergy sexual abuse and enabling bishops have become so outraged that they have formed coalitions to shame the Church and her bishops into having more concern and compassion for the victims rather than the perpetrators. Some of these groups, like SNAP, have evolved into hate groups against the Church, bishops and priests. They have become radicalized.

Rather, pro-life groups in the Church and secular society when it comes to the death penalty should focus on justice apart from the death penalty and show as much if not more compassion toward the victims of heinous crimes such as the murder of Mark MacPhail.

One can protest the death penalty and even raise the issue of the possible innocence of Troy Davis. If there is a shadow of doubt about his guilt even after a legitimate conviction, life in prison without the possibly of parole may allow time for an innocent man to find more evidence of that fact. When Troy Davis is executed tonight, he has no chance of proving his innocence anymore. And if innocent he becomes like Mark MacPhail, a victim of killing. Troy Davis' family will also become victims like the family of Mark MacPhail.

21 comments:

pinanv525 said...

In cases of murder, rape, kidnapping, child molestation,drug dealing, and treason I am 99.9% in favor of the death penalty. Some try to argue that, in a civilized society, we should not need the death penalty. Fine. I agree...now let's be about civilizing our society...by generous use of the death penalty. Then, maybe we won't need it...quite as much, anyway.

Frajm said...

Pinanv525, your interpretation of both Pope John Paul II's vision and teaching on this subject as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church is, well, off the mark.

pinanv525 said...

Well, it may be but, as you say, the thinking on it has "evolved." Don't you just love that word...it is frequently applied to such documents as the US Constitution, the Bible, and any other law or concept that can be slandered as "authoritarian." It is, perhaps, the progressivist's favorite word after "racist" and "homophobe." So, I am counting on the fact that the continued plunge of our country into anarchy and egalitarian delusion will necessitate its evolving back.
Besides, it is inconceivable to me that a nation can call itself "civilized" (or Christian, for that matter) when it allows murderers, rapists, thugs, and terrorists of all kinds to continue to exist in the midst of our wives, mothers, children, and dogs. The prison concept is a laugh because liberal parole boards keep turning them loose. Nope, nope...I'm willing to strongly advocate for and profess my belief in the death penalty and trust God's judgement in the long run. Christ have mercy...

Mr. A. said...

Fr.,
In California, there are people (like members of the MS-13) in the deepest depths of the highest security prisons our nation has who still order assassinations of people outside prison. I'm talking about prisoners in maximum security prisons, causing the deaths of people on the outside. Such is the world we live in. In such a world, is "Life without parole" sufficient protection?

Templar said...

I would be in favor of renouncing the death penalty if the penal system returned to harsh living conditions coupled with even harder working conditions.

Frajm said...

Mr. A, I agree that these kind of people who pose a threat to those outside (like Mafia bosses, terrorist, etc) would fit the category for capital punishment. There are exceptions so I'm not 100% opposed to the death penalty nor is the Church.

Father Shelton said...

I'm not sure how it works now, but in Texas in the 1990's the average felon only served from 15 days to one month for each year of his sentence. After the recent London riots, I read reports that the looters had little to fear from the English judicial system. I suspect it is this failure of the state to effectively prevent known felons from re-offending that prompts calls for the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

Father,

You are one of few, VERY few priests who dares to make it clear that the Church does not automatically and completely oppose the death penalty. The way that the popes and bishops almost mechanically plead for clemency in every death penalty case certainly creates a different perception. Now, do I need to remind you that the head of your firm is one of prelates who asked for clemency in this case? Please, be careful about how you use your public forum. None of us want to see you get yanked.

Anonymous said...

I am completely against war and capital punishment. However, we merely men and must learn to deal with these things using our god given intelligence. My concern is that the killers are released from prison to kill again and that is the problem.

rcg

Frajm said...

I think I would ask for clemency in this case too, but not release from prison unless it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did not commit the murder. I oppose the death penalty in Troy Davis' case too and in 99.9% of all cases. I think too that Troy Davis is very much a different person that he was 20 years ago. I celebrated a funeral Mass for an executed parishioner in Augusta whose three murders while on drugs 20 years earlier were beyond a shadow of a doubt committed by him. However, 20 years later, he was a totally different person and on death row had gotten his life into order and was active in Catholic ministry at his Columbia, SC prison. One of the relatives of one of the persons he murdered was opposed to his execution also, but very happy to see him remain in prison for the rest of his life. Oddly the day that I celebrated his funeral, there was another Catholic funeral in town for a young women who had been murdered by someone who broke into her home.

Anonymous said...

From Para. 56 of Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), an encyclical letter on various threats to human life which Pope John Paul II issued on March 25, 1995.

"This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God's plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is "to redress the disorder caused by the offence."(1) Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfills the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated.(2)

It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: 'If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.'"

(1) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2266

(2) Cf. ibid.

pinanv525 said...

Fr., I have worked in prisons in two states. We used to call those amazing conversions "chain gang religion." These felons discover very quickly that there are great advantages in finding Jesus...lots of attention, visits from well-meaning and naive preachers and priests, little old church ladies with food and gifts, opportunities to get out as a "trustee" and speak about their "marvelous conversion," the literate ones even write books. People do not understand the terms "sociopath" and "psychopath" anymore (if they ever did). Meanwhile, we continue to glorify or "Hollywood up" prison life in movies such as Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, or disgusting tv series like OZ (which create sympathy and identity with felons), while grooming our youth for prison with video games about Grand Theft and Prison Breaks. I believe sincerely that we have collectively lost our minds.
Now, Fr., we should not even have to worry about how wonderful these poor victim felons are doing in 20 years if we execute them in only one or two years...like we should if the appeal system wasn't such a joke and the courts weren't so infested with liberal judges. Are any of these chain gang conversions real? Probably...but I'm betting that they are few. Besides, if they are genuine, we won't have to worry about their destination after we throw the switch, pull the lever, push the plunger, drop the trap door, squeeze the trigger, or effect whatever means we use to justly and righteously send them to their Final Judgement.

Anonymous said...

When I consider this argument, especially that Pin brings up I recall this:

"Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven;
And so am I revenged. That would be scann'd:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him: and am I then revenged,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?
No!
Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent:
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days."

Hamlet is wrong, of course, on many levels, but like the discussion of our attitudes toward Islam in the 9/11 blog entry, we can confuse our goals with that of God and justice. Again, I cannot buy my salvation with the life another innocent victim due to my inaction. If we cannot find it in ourselves to keep prisoners convicted of these crimes behind bars, and humanely treated, the the death penalty is our only alternative.

It is not trivial to think that our fickle justice system could risk the souls of prisoners who have indeed done great wrongs by rewarding their child's game of avoiding punishment. If the prisoner's conversion is questionable then we have misled the prisoner's soul more certainly than the person who led him into the life of crime and mayhem that got him in prison. If we do not fear God for letting the criminal continue his trade, then why should the criminal fear God for doing it? However, as Samuel Johnson said, nothing focuses the mind as the prospect of being hanged.

rcg

Anonymous said...

"If we cannot find it in ourselves to keep prisoners convicted of these crimes behind bars, and humanely treated, the the death penalty is our only alternative."

If we err or lack will power or have bad legislators, then the "only alternative" is to kill a criminal? They die for our failures? Where does this come from?

Anonymous said...

I've started writing a comment several times and then stopped. Although I'm opposed to capital punishment, those of you who aren't have made thoughtful comments here that are in fact making me reflect.

I suppose the one thing I would say about others' comments is that I don't think that we should see execution as a remedy for a broken criminal justice system, which is sort of where pinanv525's argument takes us. The true remedy is to fix the rest of the system. Our government is just as competent at determining guilt in capital cases as it seems to be in other endeavors (which is to say not very competent at all), so I think executing people when some of them may not be guilty is a pretty bad way to fix society or a criminal justice system.

I don't know if doctrine offers any support for my following view or not, but I'm both intellectually and emotionally ok with it: if someone broke into my house tonight, or otherwise thratened me or my family (and yes, that includes my dogs), I would be quite comfortable with the idea of using deadly force against the perpetrator to defend these things at the time, in hot blood; but I see society's cold-blooded use of the death penalty after the fact as something literally dehumanizing to the people in that society, and thus unacceptable (except, as the church notes, in the gravest of circumstances). The Davis case isn't suitably grave.

pinanv525 said...

Anon, Execution is not for a broken criminal justice system. It is a remedy for capital crimes.
And, how de-humanizing is it to allow theses cold-blooded killers, rapists, kidnappers, etc. to get off with parole and light sentences and continue to victimize citizens? Which is more cold-blooded...executing a criminal legally and justly and after due process, or allowing convicted felons out on the street to commit more murders? I haven't much use for a government that won't protect its citizens. I have nothing but contempt for Christians who march up and down in front of a prison whining for clemency and who never march in front of a victim's house or attend a victim's funeral, or advocate for the family of the victim. These people are not protesting the death penalty; they are angry at authority, structure, and anything they identify with morality and decency. They are malcontents who identify more with the felon than with their fellow law-abiding citizens. Most of them are simply acting out their unresolved anger at Mama and Daddy and throwing a publicly sanctioned trantrum. I find it disgusting and abhorrent.

Templar said...

Romans 13:1-4

Let every soul be subject to higher powers. For there is no power but from God: and those that are ordained of God. 2 Therefore, he that resists the power resists the ordinance of God. And they that resist purchase to themselves damnation. 3 For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and you shall have praise from the same. 4 For he is God's minister to you, for good. But if you do that which is evil, fear: for he bears not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.

pinanv525 said...

Templar, thank you! Most apropos!

pinanv525 said...

I see they finally executed RAH (Rough as Hell)...that was Davis preferred street name that the media never used. All the media showed pics of a bunch of do goods crying and moaning, refering to MCPhail as "the dead cop." They called the execution "gruesome." Right, all sedated, quiet, just go to sleep...no sparks, no gas, no bullets, no nothing. I wonder how gruesome the murder of the policeman was...hmmm... the explosion of gunfire, bullets tearing flesh and internal organs, the smell of blood and cordite, the last racing of the heart, the last frantic gasps, flashing thoughts of loved ones, perhaps. BTW, the liberal infested Supreme Court voted 9-0 to kill the scum.

Anonymous said...

To Fr. McD: I'm the anonymous who just a moment ago submitted a long comment. On reflection, I think posting it would be counterproductive and I request that you not do so. Thanks.

Frajm said...

I deleted a post, hopefully it was the right one!