prisoner receiving the death penalty
Would Jesus support the death penalty?

Is the death penalty morally wrong? The answer depends on who you ask – and their faith.

A new poll from Pew Research Center shows that Christians and atheists have very different ideas on whether capital punishment is morally justifiable, and if it should be legal at all. 

The poll, conducted earlier this year, asked a random sampling of Americans if they’re in favor of executing convicted murderers, as well as if the death penalty is moral, if it deters crimes, and if there is risk that an innocent person might be put to death.

Pew death penalty

When broken down along religious lines, there was a sharp contrast: Christians were overwhelmingly in support of executing convicted killers, while atheists were largely opposed.

Critics of organized religion argue there's a logical fallacy in these responses. "How can a group that calls itself pro-life be simultaneously so pro-death?" they ask. 

Does the Bible Support the Death Penalty?

According to the poll, some 75% of white evangelicals are in favor of executing convicted murderers.

What does the Bible say about capital punishment? Opponents of the death penalty often reference the New Testament, which tells of an adulterous woman brought before Jesus.

Mosaic Law demands she be stoned to death, but Jesus himself serves as a one-man jury and states “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” When the woman’s accusers realize none of them are without sin, Jesus releases the woman and tells her to sin no more.

For many Christians, support of the death penalty is a fine line to walk. Many likely agree that Jesus himself would not be in favor of state-sponsored executions, but believe that the death penalty serves as enough of a deterrent so as to be morally justifiable.

These views are undoubtedly colored by faith leaders, too. Many prominent evangelicals have long been in favor of capital punishment.

Pat Robertson’s on the record as calling capital punishment “absolutely biblical” and Jerry Falwell was a staunch supporter. In justification, Christians often cite Romans 13:4 and the Apostle Paul’s apparent pro-death penalty stance when he states, “But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”

One state senator in Wyoming made headlines when she took this logic a step further, announcing her support for the death penalty because “that’s how Jesus died.”

Atheists Go Pro-Life

On the other side of the issue, atheists argue that we shouldn't base our legal system on religious morality. Study author Stephanie Kramer says that in the absence of a deity to guide morality, atheists resort to “utilitarian calculus.”

They also appear more concerned about flaws in our legal system – a whopping 89% of atheists believe there is some risk an innocent person will be put to death.

From stories of lengthy and botched executions, to post-execution forensics that all but exonerate the deceased, there’s no shortage of high profile cases in recent years that have given opponents of capital punishment cause to object. 

What is your reaction? Do your religious beliefs shape your view of the death penalty?

136 comments

  1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

    I'm an atheist. And I oppose the death penalty. I think the biblical admonition in the old testament was just to keep the proletariat in line. It's still the same today.

    https://www.aclu.org/other/death-penalty-questions-and-answers

    Rev. Dave

    1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      Oppose the death penalty? For a human convicted of the murder of another? While at the same time Atheists love and support the murder of un-born human babies? Yea...I see your logic...kill the innocent and pay room and lodging for the convicted scum that society has deemed to dangerous to live outside a cage....How about you use YOUR money to pay for these scumbags for life....It will be like adopting a puppy for life!

      1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

        And will you give your money to support the baby that wasn't wanted for their entire life, providing food, shelter, education etc.? Or are you just one of those christians who don't put their money where their mouth is and really only care about controlling women and punishing them for having sex, even though there must have been a man involved somewhere. Oh, that's right, men can't be controlled, it's in their nature, so let them off, but that harlot, that whore, that slut, she deserves to have her life controlled by religious nuts.

      2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

        Got to agree, it's a different thing when you're the one paying 5he average $8 million for 5he appeals and housing.

      3. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

        How about you put your rage into positive action and start a movement to get men to control their sperm? Encourage all men you know over the age of 18 to get a vasectomy. That's the best method to prevent abortion. How hypocritical for men like you to claim you give a darn about "unborn" yet do nothing to prevent unwanted pregnancies, or get men to control their sperm, let alone take children out of state foster care into YOUR home. You are not capable of getting pregnant and you have no right to control a woman's uterus. Best you keep your zipper closed until you get a vasectomy. Keep your theology off our biology.

        1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

          Silly rabbit...you assume so much. After my first divorce, I did have the vesectomy procedure done to "put my body where my mind was". And, still have custody of my 4 children...kind of unheard of in Texas being a man and all. 3 of the 4 children are mine and I adopted the forth from their biological mother, who seemed to want to chase the glass pipe more than keep a family. As 'they' say "it takes two to tango"...How much are condoms now a days?...Women have no right to eliminate another person's DNA from their body. If a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman, why is that person charged with TWO counts of manslaughter? The best method to to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to practice "safe sex" and before you throw that retarded argument about rape and incest, the satistics show that is less than 1/4% of 1%of the millions of babies killed on purpose. And BTW...it's not 'rage' you are reading but major sadness about your generation.

        2. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

          Except rape it takes tow to tango.

        3. Morgan Mumma's Avatar Morgan Mumma

          And while you demand that men "control their sperm," what are you doing to make sure women like you keep your legs together for a change? Or is it all men's fault that you keep having unwanted children that you can't take care of and then get pissed when he ends up doing it for you?

          I'm a female, and I find it disgusting how women are currently attempting to blame men for their sexual promiscuity. Many of these women use abortion as birth control. This sounds like yet another one.

    2. Kristina Marie Brumby's Avatar Kristina Marie Brumby

      Dave, how can you put "Rev" in front of your name if you're an atheist? Are you that conflicted? It appears you may be conflicted with other issues.

      1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

        I put Rev in front of my name sometimes because I earned the title by paying my $5. I'm an atheist because I read the bible. Shocking how many atheists have that same story. I became ordained because I like to do weddings, and I do them for free. Rev DaveJ

  1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

    It is shocking how many "Christians" seem to have no idea of the point of the Biblical "eye for an eye." In Exodus 21:22-25, it states that “the punishment that must be paid is life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.” In Leviticus 24:19-22, it says "whoever causes an injury to a neighbor must receive the same kind of injury in return: Broken bone for broken bone, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Anyone who injures another person must be injured in the same way in return. Whoever kills another person’s animal must give that person another animal to take its place. But whoever kills another person must be put to death." Per Leviticus 24:17, "Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death." These passages were meant to teach fairness. In context, they were about a tendency towards exaggerated punishments. But each of these implies all but divine knowledge. One of the biggest problems with the death penalty, as it exists today, is the lack of certainty. The article above refers "to post-execution forensics that all but exonerate the deceased," I would go a step further and delete the phrase "all but." It is a fact that we have executed people, mostly black or brown, by the way, who were later PROVED innocent.

    But in Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus refutes the eye for an eye doctrine, saying “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth," but he advises his followers to "turn to them the other cheek" and encourages them to "love their enemies." In Romans 12:17-19, he is reported to have said "Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord".” Interestingly, in Romans 13:1-6, he is reported to have implied that police are imbued with something akin to divine power, saying "there is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power" and "For the policeman does not frighten people who are doing right." Anyone with a television knows these statements are farcical, at least in our times.

    I can, and will, go on. In 1 Thessalonians 5:15, Christians are told to "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." In 1 Peter 3:8-11, Peter tells the Christian community "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”

    This should not even be a question for people claiming to be "Christian" and to follow the teachings of Jesus. The death penalty is wrong, both on a practical level (i.e., it is not an effective deterrent; we cannot possibly know for certain that someone is guilty; the death penalty has been misapplied many times, due to racism and for other reasons), and from a scriptural point of view.

    1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

      An assumption was made here that changes the meaning.

      Jesus was speaking to an individual not a court system.

      He said you have heard .... but I say ..

      He spoke to the behavior of a victim. Everyone knows that we aren’t allowed by law to be vindictive but we have to wait for the courts to do their jobs. That’s what this refers to.

      It’s wrong to tell a woman or child or any victim to continually allow themselves to be abused because Jesus said turn the other cheek and be peaceful. Ok we can take one slap that’s not life threatening so that we too don’t go to jail for assault by returning the strike. But that doesn’t mean don’t prosecute someone who just assaulted you. Also if we are talking about attempted murder it’s a commandment to defend your life not stand and be a victim.

      The individual is not a court system and the teaching doesn’t say don’t sue let yourself be a victim to be peaceful.

      1. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

        Hey Rabbi, "An assumption was made here that changes the meaning."

        From where I'm sitting. Are we assuming Jesus said any such thing? But let's assume a few things. Who is speaking? It's not Jesus. It's the Book of Mathew putting words into Jesus mouth. He was an ignorant fishermen. Mathew probably said no such thing. It was perhaps a Scribe? Who is he speaking too? Weren't the Roman's the ruling class and everyone else was a slave? Isn't that good advice to a slave? Who is he speaking too? A crowd of slaves. Is he simply trying to give them some sense of hope?

        The narrative is can be very confusing. We go back and infuse the text with our understanding of how we see the world today and ignore the reality they dealt with.

        Personally the only credit I would give Jesus for having said anything is where he disagrees with the church. My Two Cents!

        William

        1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

          Thank you, William for your post!!

          To better explain what I mean, I’ll use your post as an example.

          It’s important to know who is speaking when you interpret a narrative. My name shows the title Rabbi meaning I am Jewish and I don’t believe in Jesus, Christianity or the New Testament. Had you thought about who was speaking you wouldn’t have misinterpreted what I said so that you felt the need to inform me that the New Testament is fallacious and I needed to be corrected as to my “assumptions” about Jesus or Mathew or anything that you said.

          Secondly, to understand a narrative it’s important to know to whom you are speaking. I was responding to a post written by a person professing loyalty to the words of Jesus and those words that were written in the New Testament.

          That much said, I spoke hypothetically speaking to show that IF a person wanted to follow the words of Jesus as IF they were infallible ( quoting from them & speaking as if they were unquestionably true ) it would still be possible to show that the claims of Christianity can be disproven.

          1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

            And its very easy using history to prove the false faith of the tribe of Judah was just an amalgamation of two earlier faith traditions, and merged the gods Yaw and Weh into one. Also seeing as the god of Abraham if it did exist would easily be the greatest enemy to humanity to ever have existed, it would make all those who follow such a being traitors to all life on Earth and worse than those who abuse, molest,and murder children out of mental illness, for to serve a god that murders children as an act of authoritarian intimidation is truly to betray all who hold life as good and sacred.

            As long as you and other traitors serve a god who seeks dominion over man, expect to be treated exactly as those who vainly call themselves the chosen people deserve and have been treated time and again through history.

            You so utterly failed to understand were you have come. This is a secular site, those who follow a faith tradition that calls itself the only faith, and its followers the chosen of god will not be treated as other than insular enemies of freedom and humanity.

            Your faith is no more or less than christianity. Both are middle eastern faiths that no one who carries the blood of the tribes that lived along the ancient rivers of Eurasia should ever willingly submit to. Nor those who carry the blood of the ancient tribes of the islands now called the UK.

            All one has to do is look at the blood shed in the name of the god of Abraham for thousands of years to know those who serve it are evil.

            1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

              Ilmenhenru,

              If I post a comment to someone else’s post, please feel free to just overlook my name as I’m not addressing you. If you see my posts, you can ignore them, also.

              This organization is for people of all beliefs and as long as I see the Star of David in the ULC logo, I’ll keep participating.

              The slogan is that “We are all children of the same universe”.

            2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

              Ilmenheru: I have been trying to find references to these two gods you speak of, "Yaw and Weh." Cannot seem to find any. Where can I go to learn of them as you mentioned them? Thanks.

          2. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

            Hey Rabbi, I am Sephardic myself. I was responding to your opening comment, "Jesus was speaking to an individual not a court system." All my references were to the NT text itself. Jewish law is the focus of many passages in the Gospels. Jesus admonished his followers to observe the law unwaveringly (Matthew 5:17–48) Jesus comments on the Halacha are highly technical. He was a Jew after all and there was no New Testament then. So your response was confusing.
            As for "the claims of Christianity can be disproven." We are in the same boat. Both our Religions are a matter of faith. Certitude, as the Rav once said, will be the death of Judaism.

            Be well,

            William (Avraham)

            1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

              Hi Abraham,

              Thank you for your post!

              What I meant was that as individuals we react differently than the police or judicial system.

              So, for example “An eye for an eye” response versus “Turn the other cheek” could and I believe it is simultaneously true.

              As individuals legally speaking we can’t respond in the same way unless we are defending our lives because we will get arrested for assaulting that person.

              But we can and should report an assault to the police to have that person prosecuted in a court of law so that the justice system can bring about “An eye for an eye” judgment.

              Too often Christians believe that the phrase “Turn the other cheek” means to allow yourself to be continually abused in a domestic violence situation and that should do nothing about it.

              I believe the rest of the verse that says this is how to be peaceful means that you’re deescalating a situation if you don’t respond violently. If a person were to respond in violence the fight could become a murder.

              If a person were to stay in an abusive relationship to be “peaceful” by not doing anything the opposite occurs because the violence continues as a habit and often escalates so that can’t be the right interpretation.

              I agree many passages in the NT have a lost meaning to the average Christian as Jewish traditions were not explained but assumed to be already understood.

              For instance, you’ll see when Gentiles were spoken to a grace theme is present as they’re under Noahide law and when Jewish people are spoken to you’ll see an emphasis on obedience to the law. A person could look at Galatians and Hebrews with this perspective in mind.

              Every event had a Jewish perspective and meaning that was lost with time.

              But again remember, I’m not a believer in Jesus. I see the NT as a story of a religion that isn’t mine.

              1. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

                "I see the NT as a story of a religion that isn’t mine."

                “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

                Interesting comment Rabbi. The NT characters are almost all Jews and they are using the Torah as a reference point since the NT did not exist at that time. There is nothing "new" in the NT. Rabbi Tovia Singer addresses this at Outreach Judaism.

                be well,

                Avraham

              2. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

                Hi Abraham,

                Thanks for your post.

                Rabbi Tovia Singer is an Orthodox Jewish man. As I’ve said before, it’s important to know who is speaking when you interpret a narrative. I have listened to lots of his videos and he is dedicated to disproving the claims of the NT. He wouldn’t disagree with me saying that the NT is a book about a religion that isn’t mine because it’s not his either.

                You can’t pull verses out of context and attribute those words to anything and everything. They have to be understood by what precedes what was said in chapters before most of the time. That’s where Christians misinterpret prophecy by holding on to one verse to the exclusion of everything around it.

                That much said, the Jewish teachers of the NT were either misquoted, misunderstood or they themselves misunderstood. My take has been that they were misunderstood. That doesn’t take away from everything that was said if it lines up with true Judaism.

                They couldn’t have used the Torah as a reference point and be Jewish themselves because of the obvious mistranslation of Hebrew so for sure there was some misquoting and outright lies.

                Throughout history Israel has be hated for their unity and loyalty and ability to prosper. This is ONE of the reasons for all they have suffered. It’s also a reason why King James mistranslated and came up with his own version as he together with other governments were threatened by them. It was a political move to try to take their backbone which is their faith and/or keep others from converting to limit their growth.

                Rabbi Singer has some great points! Agreed on listening to him although I find sometimes his understanding of Christianity is a bit off and this effects what he’s trying to say.

              3. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

                Hey Rabbi, The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t know anything for sure.

                Christians think the New Testament is divinely inspired, sacred, and authoritative in matters of faith and conduct. The New Testament, however, did not begin as a unified collection of books that were divinely inspired, sacred, and authoritative.

                This is a complicated issue that would require more work than I'm willing to do to explain it.

                None of us really knows what we’re talking about. Not me, not you, not anybody else.

                Take care, Avraham

        2. flugo's Avatar flugo

          'bildo': Do your homework, to avoid further embarrassment to yourself! Matthew was a tax collector, NOT an' ignorant fisherman' as you erroneously propose. Matthew 9:9

          1. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

            It depends on what is meant by "ignorant". The Greek agrammatoi can literally mean “without letters” or illiterate. In a religious context it probably has a more limited meaning of ‘not trained in the law’.

            1. flugo's Avatar flugo

              'bildo': NO! Instead of your evasive crawfishing' on the adjective describing Matthew, focus instead, on the gross error in your describing his vocation as 'fisherman'. Again, do your homework, or . . . .more correctly: pull your head out!

              1. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

                We know that at least seven of the disciples were fishermen. The others were fishers of men. The great commission.

              2. flugo's Avatar flugo

                Again, looking ignorant, you are! Normal people know what the term fisherman means. . . . a catcher of fish. But, NO where in the Bible does 'fisherman' mean 'catcher of men'. Matthew was not considered a fisherman as you so intima ted. So, again you're evasively 'crawfishing'.

              3. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

                According to Marriam Webster the first known use of fisherman is found in the 15th century. One of the synonyms, applies to you, troller. The New Testament was not written in English, nor Latin, nor Greek. It was written in Aramaic. Find an original copy and let's talk.

                Take care,

                William

      2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        The old testament and the commandments are literally to be left behind as dust if one follows Jesus. And in fact yes early christians were 100% pacifist. It was one of the things that made them so popular compared to the traditions that practiced bloody sacrifice..

        1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

          Comment removed by user.

    2. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      Kill 'em all and let God sort them out. Those against the death penalty should just pool their money togeather and pay for the life cost of those ppl convicted and recieve life in prison. Free rent, medical, cabel tv, recreation, fan mail, visits from family....that stuff is expensive plus the guards to watch you...housing an inmate cost more per year than 1/2 this countries population make in a year...between 70 and 80k all for some piece of shit that could'nt make it in "polite society" without killing ppl.

      1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

        I'm not sure how your comment is a response to what I wrote, but...

        Do some research, John! In the US, it costs FAR more to execute someone than it does to "pay for the life cost of those ppl convicted and recieve (sic) life in prison."

        1. flugo's Avatar flugo

          'jondrone': ' . . . it costs FAR more to execute someone . . . .' WRONG! It isn't the actual execution that costs so much, it's the legals and associated expenses that's costly. Do your homework to avoid further embarrassment!

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    The death penalty belies Christians' Pro-Life stance. Christians are hypocrites when they support the death penalty, but oppose abortion.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Hmmm, imagine that. Organized brainwas....er I mean religion, responsible for horrific acts of violence including genocide, and people are shocked that they would support the death penalty...why? They will use quotes from the book of fiction to stand against abortion, then turn right around and use the fiction to support the death penalty. Tell me, is that the true meaning of turn the other cheek? We have another term for that, two faced. Peace ☮️

  1. William Diaz's Avatar William Diaz

    Interesting, if Christians believe in eternal life and that all is forgiven in the end if one accepts Jesus as their personal savior the whole thing seems moot.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Over 25% of the folks in Americans prisons say their name is Jesus Christ.

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'dog knob sphincter': You're so full of sh-t your breath smells! Statistics reveal only 5-7% of the US prison population claim to be some sort of spirituall being. Do your homework!

        1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

          @flugo Holy shit, you are right. It's now 45% in American prisons claim to be Jesus Christ. Can you tell me how you can tell the "real" Jesus Christ from an imposter?

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      That's exactly what I tell over-professed Christians who are sad when someone dies, and yet happy when someone is executed for punishment.

      "Why be sad for them, they're fine and in a better life."

      And, "You think that's punishment, they just got sent to a better life."

    3. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      That's exactly what I tell over-professed Christians who are sad when someone dies, and yet happy when someone is executed for punishment.

      "Why be sad for them, they're fine and in a better life."

      And, "You think that's punishment, they just got sent to a better life."

  1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

    I thought christians were "pro life." Right, just a bunch of brainwashed, hypocritical, racists and misogynists led by lies, and fake greedy pastors who have never really bothered to study their historic bibles. There is no guy in the sky obviously, since they get off on murder and torture while proclaiming "our god is good." Just looking at their despicable and disgusting image of a man bleeding to death with his head hanging and blood pouring from his body on a cross is beyond sick. They actually get off on this too by claiming "he died for our sins." Get real. The bible was written by Emperor Constantine and 4 of his scribes, taken from the ancient Sumerian clay tablets which were thousands of years old. Christians are a bunch of blood thirsty barbarians who know their religion has done nothing to improve peoples' lives around the world. They have made things worse. Jesus as a god, was a fabrication and there is no discussion among christians where he was for the first 30 years of his life. No, he wasn't a carpenter. He was in Tibet, India and Egypt studying as he was an Essene, a mystical tradition. "Eye for Eye" is from the tradition of Hebrews and has nothing to do with Christianity. If you believe your god approves of this, then your god is a nasty, evil entity.

    1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

      All great assertions.

    2. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      LOL!! My momma always said if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all....That being said, If you or your children were brutally kidnapped, raped and then eaten by a dude like Jeffery Dahmer, and the only real satisfaction you recieved from the 'guilty verdict' was knowing that all his food, rent, and medical bills, trips to the prison libary, recreation, cabel T.V. and otherwise clean living conditions were coming out of YOUR taxes, it would make you feel all warm and fuzzy eh? Good ole Jeffery killed,raped and then ate 17 boys from 1978 to 1991...Exodus 21:23, which you cite, was to LIMIT retailiation...not endorse it. In other words, if I accidently killed your goat, thinking it was a wolf, you can't kill my whole herd in retailiation...The rest of your "info" about the early life of Jesus is just bullshit rendered by morons that can be easily de-bunked by an honest inquirey.

      1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

        John, I'm afraid your comment is incoherent. You start out with an argument, based entirely on emotion, FOR retaliation. Then, you (correctly) point out that Exodus 21:23 was meant to limit retaliation. Huh? What is it you are trying to say here, John?

        1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

          My comment was directed to a non-christian who has no faith in a 'sky daddy'...so one must appeal to their animal instinct. Nothing I say here will sway her opinion towards the truth. She only attacks Christians through emotion and non-facts.

    3. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

      Believers use their " holy" books of myths to dictate their lives, yet none of those books can be proven to be true. There is no evidence for any god, and certainly nothing about the monotheistic god is worthy of praise, respect or worship. In the United States, nobody's Holy Book of Immoral Nonsense should be used to dictate any legislation at all. The Constitution is the only law of the land. I'll go so far as to say that taking an oath of office, or swearing to tell the truth in a court of law, with a hand on any holy book is a violation of every American's first Amendment.

      Anyone who supports capital punishment can never say they are pro-life. Ever.

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    According to the bible unless they truly repent and are sorry for what they have done they are not forgiven. I have my own beliefs and respect Jesus quite a lot despite not being christian but those who kill out of cold blood, child molesters, and rapists deserve to die for such evil acts

  1. Ryan S Romanek's Avatar Ryan S Romanek

    He who is without sin let him cast the first stone, why do we believe in the Bible and its truths and STILL WE COME UP WITH OUR OWN PLAN, Jesus Forgives anyone who believes and willing to repent. A sin is a sin is a sin no matter the size we choose to put on it, all of have fallen short of the Glory of God and that is why Jesus came and died for us because we couldn't do it alone. Worty is the lamb that was slain for OUR Sins, he was blameless and without blemish. So no Jesus doesn't support the death penalty, though shall not murder, and we shouldn't either as true Christians following Jesus. I can tell you there will come a day when Jesus Will Return and when he does those that don't believe he will reap, those that do will be taken to the safety of heaven, may God truly have mercy on our souls.

    1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

      A sin is a sin no matter the size...

      A misinterpretation. Each sin is dealt with to the extent of that sin. There were different types of sacrifices depending on the sin and as for the courts there were different amounts of money owed or retribution. Christianity would teach one Jesus sacrifice for all but as I already wrote about that I won’t repeat it.

      A court system of justice was a Jewish commandment. It was never supposed to be Jesus who took our punishment otherwise why do we have courts, jails and prisons. Even if we’re sorry we still have to face so sequences. It’s always been that way.

      If a person wants to follow Jesus ok. But follow what he said.
      1) Don’t worship me, worship G-d 2) Only G-d forgives sin 3) Don’t follow miracles as a sign 4) He is the son of G-d but so are we all children of G-d 5) I and the Father are one - but so are we all one with G-d as we all need the life giving energy to exist

      Now if Jesus said only G-d forgives sin then he didn’t die for the forgiveness of sin & if he said don’t worship me worship G-d then he wasn’t G-d in the flesh.

    2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Oh, the Bible has some truths in it Ryan? I know the one that I own has all the pages numbered correctly, so I guess that might be a start. I know some places have been unearthed archaeologically. Anything else?

      🦁❤️

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Christians are just like Muslims when it comes to punishment.

    1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      You are so right! Did you see the recent be-headings of the thieves, and adulterers, and homosexuals at the last church service at St. Patrics in New York? OH YEA! That was Saudi Arabia! Hope they put it on pay per view...The muslims shoot it real time and put it on all the Gov. channels to "maintain order"

      1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

        We have such short memories. Remember the Inquisition, John? How about the Crusades?

        1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

          How about the ripping children away from the families of indigenous folk and sending them to schools far away where many of them were never returned to their tribe, having been killed and buried at the white man's school? In the name of Christ for many of them.

        2. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

          Seems you are confusing Catholics with being Christian silly rabbit...just like muslims do when making the same claim. At the time you are refering to the RCC was being run by completely corrupt degenerates posing as "men of God" Their god was their greed and lust. There was something called the Reformation, you may have heard of. Getting rid of the Apostate church that the RCC had become and still is...Like Jehovah's witness, Mormons LDS, Jim Jones, and all the other psychopaths that take the Lord's name in vain.

      2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        John, Are you in support of the the pastor who on one Sunday admitted to congregation he sexually assaulted young women (minor) What did the good Christians at the mega-church do? Arrest him? No, they stood up and applauded. This was live, not pay-per view.

  1. Larry Mager's Avatar Larry Mager

    I admit that I'm reluctant to be in favor of the Death Penalty, but to a certain amount of eye for an eye and all that. What I would like to see in the case of M toF rape is the rapist be put through a forced sex-change complete with Hormones and, if needed breast implants and THEN put them into an all male prison!!!!! And, yes to be fair, Reverse it for Women Rapers and there ARE some!

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      I like that that, but let 'em pay for their own hormones and implants. Just cut that weezer off.

    2. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Larry - Since rape is a crime of violence, there is no reason to think that forced sex change would actually be effective. A form has of this has actually already been tried with sex offenders; not a sex change, but so-called "chemical castration" with drugs like Depo Provera. It didn't work! Further, forced sex changes would probably be considered a crime against humanity.

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    Aren't the fervent christians the ones who keep telling us that the Old Testament is trumped by the New?

  1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

    ... worthy is the lamb that was slain

    The Passover lamb was NOT a sin offering. There are many different types of sacrifices that are acceptable that have nothing to do with blood.

    The verse is speaking of the life of the flesh is in the blood speaks to the soul which is in our blood. Not that a blood only sacrifice is necessary so we need Jesus.

    An animal had to be a sacrifice without blemish & Jesus was full of those, the location was all wrong, and human sacrifices are unacceptable as one person can not take the sins of another. G-d would not violate his own commandments and the new covenant had nothing to do with Jesus’ sacrifice as the new covenant hasn’t happened yet.

    A person could offer a meal offering if they were poor in temple days. Jonah in the belly of the whale looked “in his heart” toward Jerusalem where the temple would have been then prayed for forgiveness & this is the teaching of King Solomon. When you are unable to go to the temple (or there isn’t a temple) you can do this in repentance. The Ninevites put on sackcloth and fasted and this also is an acceptable way to be forgiven. Both Jonah and the Ninevites used different methods and both methods were received.

    G-d put an end to blood sacrifice because it became routine & no one’s heart repented. At that time, there were already in existence other alternatives. Giving or service to the poor and disadvantaged is also acceptable. Plus, most animal sacrifices were also food. We don’t eat humans. The Passover lamb was also food. If we wouldn’t eat Jesus because eating a human is disgusting he wasn’t a Passover lamb that was to be eaten. The analogy is all wrong.

    The Passover lamb was NOT a sin offering. It was an obedience offering. The reason was to see who was going to obey G-d in the exodus as following their deliverance was the Omer count a purifying time and then the receiving of the commandments.

    Btw, the commandments given specifically to the Jewish people after the exodus not the Gentiles who were and still are under the Noahide laws given to all nations. Therefore whatever sacrifices given to the Jews in the commandments after the exodus applied specifically to the Jews not to the gentiles or nations that they should assume they needed a sacrifice when those commandments weren’t given to them. Likewise the New Testament refers to a new covenant to replace these original commandments I refer to just now that were given specifically to the Jews not the Gentiles that a religion and a book should not be based on that misinterpretation.

    When studying the “Bible” you must look at who is being spoken to and not assume it is to anyone who is reading.

    The idea that Israel equals all saved Gentiles is also a misinterpretation. If a person wishes to convert they are welcome to do so and become part of the tribe of Judah and be accepted as a Jewish person with all that comes with it but being born again doesn’t constitute conversion.

    So a Christian is under Noahiide laws which are far easier than Jewish law. Jews have always been held to a greater accountability for their willingness to obey which began with the Passover sacrifice of obedience not sin offering.

    I encourage you to go back and study every reference to new covenant and look at who is being addressed. Also, look to see what the conditions are that must be fulfilled for this event to take place,

    It’s a misinterpretation to assume all people are treated the same.

    If you will listen to people who say, I’m ok with G-d when they seem to do less than you, believe them. They instinctively follow Noahide laws. If you feel called to a greater level of obedience then follow that calling.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      First, Ilmenheru, you are way way out of line telling someone else what can be said and what this site is about, unless YOU own it, it is insulting to the Rabbi and to ME to be so controlling and presumptive...and further, it then authorizes anyone else to instruct YOU.

      Next, Francine is absolutely correct on the history and context of both testaments, and it is rather important critical instruction for you so that you learn history and truth so as to not make you look so foolish in your conclusions and judgmental pronouncements, which I suspect you just make up off the cuff and therefore liable to be as changeable as a mood or the wind.

      Third, ganging up on someone as you do by invoking some imagined "we" is simple childlike schoolyard bullying, where you feel inadequate on the basis on your argument so you look to slyly press in others in order to bully by force what you know you cannot do with logic and knowledge...in my profession we refer to this as "sniping," i.e. gunshot from someone who feels the need for cover while shooting someone from behind. The cure for such cowardice is to remove the sniper's cover, since the sniper showed he needed it to perform the cheap shot in the first place. There is no authoritarian "we" that I can see for you to use as a sword against someone, certainly you do not speak for me at all so please do not count me in your "we" to help you use me as a weapon to attack someone unless you obtain my permission first. Thanks very much.

    2. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      Peter and the 11 preached that gentiles would be saved through Israel's RISE to kingdom glory (Is.60:1-3 : Zech. 8:20-23 ; Acts 3:19-26) The apostle Paul preached that gentiles would be saved through Israel's FALL. (Romans 11:11-15; 25) "What must I do to be saved?" Peter; 'Repent and be baptized' Paul; 'Believe in the Lord Jesus' (Acts 16:31) The Gospel of the grace of God was kept SECRET since the world began "BUT NOW" (Paul"s ministry recieved by revelation from our ascended Christ) Romans16:25-26 ;Eph.3:5 brought in a new dispensation of god's mercy and Grace. Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith (alone) NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast" Paul-"Master builder" (1Cor.3:10-11) Paul- "a pattern for us" (1Tim.1:15-16) Peter is the 'Apostle to the circumcision' AKA Jews (Matt.3:2; Matt. 4:17; Matt. 9:35) Matt.10:5 "...Do NOT GO into the way of the Gentiles, but rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel" Paul is the Apostle to the GENTILES "The gospel preached by me came through revelation of Jesus Christ, not by man" (Gal.1-11-18) You are right! While all the bible is for us not all the bible is TO US!

      1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

        Hi John,

        Thanks for your post!

        As you took the time to list some verses, I went ahead and read them.

        Isaiah & Zechariah in the chapters you mentioned refer to a time in the future when the Gentiles will follow after the teaching of the Jews. They don’t rise per se to anything but they’ve always been called to preach and teach. Another persons calling is to be a scientist. Everyone has their own purpose. Acts 3 doesn’t parallel those chapters. The Gentiles don’t fall or rise because of Israel but each person individually for his own actions.

        Israel never fell. In Romans 11 it mentions that the “elect” did attain to that which they worked for meaning that they were found to have followed the law faithfully. If we were to see Israel as a group that fell does that mean the elect fell also even though they didn’t because they were a part of Israel? No, they didn’t. The entire group everyone in it would have had to fall to be true and it isn’t. So, you see there are some Jews, the elect in this passage who didn’t need a Jesus sacrifice and it goes without saying there are some Gentiles the were ok, too. So, Jesus didn’t die for the whole world because there were some who didn’t need him, the elect for example. Now if it were possible for the elect to “attain what they were working for” meaning they obeyed faithfully, then it’s possible to do this and the Christian claim that “none is righteous” speaking of the entire world Jesus died for who were “unable to obey” is false.

        Isn’t it possible that the NT was a big misunderstanding?
        Picture the vine as Israel who does have to follow the law Picture those branches as those who do get cut off for disobeying Picture the Gentile branches that get grafted in being “wild” for following Noahide laws Picture the admonition to the Gentiles don’t boast because your laws are much easier to follow And yes, almost everyone needs grace (forgiveness for mistakes) except the elect who get what they worked towards.

        John the “Baptist” was quoted as saying he wasn’t Elijah and as asking who is Jesus. Jesus was quoted later as saying yes John is Elijah in spirit. In Jewish traditions a person goes into a mikveh and it is a lake or any natural body of water. So, if John didn’t know who Jesus was and didn’t claim to be Elijah these weren’t baptisms but mikveh observances.

        IF we were to assume John the “Baptist” was Elijah in the spirit as it is quoted that Jesus said this, then what’s the point of being born again. The whole premise is that there’s only one life and you can’t get it all right in that life (unless you’re the elect?) so only Elijah and Moses (which is said of him in other passages) reincarnate? If Christianity is based on the claim that we’ll know who Jesus is because Elijah will reincarnate and point toward Jesus then reincarnation is a valid fact so Christianity can’t claim there’s only one life.

        I say that in order to say. what baptism can there be I should repent and receive? The premise of a baptism is that there’s one life and you rise from the dead through your faith.

        1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

          Far too many "ifs" creating a very closed set of assumptions to be taken as fact, when they are all in fact speculation. Why did you even bother with this post, your arguments are not even arguments because they are so heavily restricted by this large amount of your own qualifications with no test of them. Sorry Rabbi, this is one post of yours that does not make sense to me, or rather, functions as arbitrary. Read your own words here to see what I mean, you postulate all these if's and then continue as if all of your speculations were granted or proved...and they are not, so your conclusions and interpretations here that arise from them actually do not arise from your postulate "if's." You need to go back and at each point ask "Where could I be wrong? What if I was wrong here?" You cannot assume that you are right without at least trying to establish it so. Meaningless.

          1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

            Hi Rev Marc D,

            As I’ve said before, it’s important to know who is speaking and to whom they are speaking.

            I’m pretty sure in going back over my posts that I wasn’t replying to anything you posted. I say that in order to say that knowing who I’m replying to influences what I say and should be interpreted that way.

            I’ve said before that it is possible to disprove the claims of Christianity by “assuming for the sake of argument/debate” that what Christianity believes to be unquestionably the words of G-d infallible and without mistakes contradict each other so that it can not be true.

            If I were speaking to an atheist or someone who doesn’t believe in the authority of verses of any kind then it would seem meaningless.

            You obviously didn’t understand what I said or the meaning behind what I said on top of all that you said you were coming from a place of total confusion. Which is fine but if you don’t understand something stand back and look a bit.

            You’d have to know Christianity & Judaism to understand what I said and looking in from the outside .......

    3. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      You do grasp this is a non denominational secular minsitry site right? We do not as a rule speak as if a given faith tradition is right and true, nor bibilical myths as other then fiction written by humans. To speak as you do actually makes you an enemy of all that is good and right in society and a servant of the ancient enemy in the eyes of those like myself who have left behind humanity and become something more.

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    A follower of the Christ will never raise hand nor voice in support of harm being done to another, only in protest against such.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Yes, I guess only God is allowed to kill little children, and adults, that’s if those stories/tales are correct. 🤷🏼

      🦁❤️

  1. Marathuzula's Avatar Marathuzula

    Of course god supports murder... a Genocidal Murderer has no problem supporting murder... Few things are as homicidal as the god humans have imagined.

  1. Gary Stephen Lowden's Avatar Gary Stephen Lowden

    Wow, I don't know if I can accept lectures from a rabbi on Christianity. The Torah was written in the captivity. There are 3 or 4 authors at least. Your concept of God, Yahweh, apparently had no problem with genicide let alone murder. I personally don't think the Bible should be involved in any of our laws and more than the Veda texts or the Koran etc.

  1. Robert A Stiff's Avatar Robert A Stiff

    of course the religiously affiliated support the death penalty. Killing others is what chistianity does best; a trait finely honed over the centuries.

  1. Vernon Wayne Rust's Avatar Vernon Wayne Rust

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind ~ Gandhi I staunchly oppose tge death penalty. It is barbaric and all too often mistakes are made affecting black and brown skinned people that are innocent/wrongfully convicted. I consider myself a follower of Jesus but not the very 'un Christian' kind we see in the US. They are hypocrits. I also actively support the work of the Innocence project and Sister Helen Prejean.

  1. Healing seed expressive arts ministry 's Avatar Healing seed expressive arts ministry

    First my opinion comes from my belief in the bible was written by men. I also believe that we created God out of our own image, rather than he created us in his image. Ancient human looked up to the sky and being astonished by its vastness asked the humanistic question "why". With this human kind needed to make sense of a world they knew little or understood about. The projection of human behavior created God. Now I do believe there is something greater than us within and of the universe divine we just haven't reached the ability to understand the vastness of it all with our finite limitations. This ability is still true to where human kind is to this day. Most definitions of a Supreme being is a grown up Santa Claus letter for adults. If you are good you get gifts if you our bad you get nothing. Grown up version if one is good off to heaven with your loved ones or if you are bad off to the flames of hell hmmmm.

    Does an almighty creator really need my praise.?God is an angry God,a jealous God. All human attributes. So back to saying the bible or God is in favor of the death penalty makes no sense to me. Human kind supports it not the creative energy of the universe that we don't understand but just bottled enough of it to manipulate our faiths or actually created our religions and dogma.

    1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      Oh my gosh, someone who has done biblical research. Zechariah Sitchin's work has had a profound effect on our knowledge of the history of gods. All one has to do in biblical research is to re-read Genesis. "And God said, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE." US??? No monotheist god at that time of the ancient Sumerian writings on clay tablets which were found. "God" was ANU.

  1. Greg Formoe's Avatar Greg Formoe

    Governments have the authority to kill designated criminals to protect the society. God, is always hoping a sinner will wake up and change. God does not interfere with our governments or laws. So would he kill? No. Would he watch us do it? Yes.

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

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  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    I believe in a eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth that's called reality people that kill other people should never see the inside of a prison they should have done to them what they did to the victim read me if I would have had an opportunity when I was younger to have the person that raped me go to prison and go through everything that I went through if I could change it I would have but I was there to make sure that I was at every one of his parole hearings so she would not get out of prison plenty of times I wished him harm but now it's been so long that eventually I forgave not him but forgave

  1. Gary's Avatar Gary

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Gary's Avatar Gary

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  1. Gary's Avatar Gary

    The Mishnah (an early codification of Jewish law) Makkot 1:10 makes some very interesting observations regarding capital punishment. The follow is an excerpt:

    A Sanhedrin (court) that executes a transgressor once in seven years is characterized as a destructive (murderous) tribunal. Since the Sanhedrin would subject the testimony to exacting scrutiny, it was extremely rare for a defendant to be executed. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: This categorization applies to a Sanhedrin that executes a transgressor once in seventy years. Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiva say: If we had been members of the Sanhedrin, we would have conducted trials in a manner whereby no person would have ever been executed. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: In adopting that approach, they too would increase the number of murderers among the Jewish people. The death penalty would lose its deterrent value, as all potential murderers would know that no one is ever executed.

    Source for the above translation: https://www.sefaria.org/Mishnah_Makkot.1.10?lang=bi&with=Commentary&lang2=en

  1. John Anderson's Avatar John Anderson

    Part of the problem is the idea that punishments are considered as part of a deterrent to criminal activity. This was disproved when capital punishment was removed for what are considered misdemeanors. (Under British law, you could be executed for stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family, for example.) When there was talk of removing this, the main outcry was that it would lead to rampant crime because there was no deterrent. However, when these laws were repealed, crime actually went DOWN until the Whitechapel incidents. Punishment is NEVER an effective deterrent, because, unless it is already a capital crime, the criminal is aware of two things: police are overworked, and therefore will move on to the next crime soon enough; and, if they can keep quiet about their crime for a few years, the statutes of limitation will kick in, and they won't be able to be prosecuted for it. Police will not waste their valuable time and resources on misdemeanor offences unless there is some reason to do so. There are simply too many misdemeanors being committed to justify concentration on every single one, as that would steal resources from felony investigations.

    1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      In fact, pickpockets used to routinely work the crowds that would gather for hangings... even though at least some of the criminals were being hanged for... wait for it... picking pockets!

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    The death penalty does not seem to be working.There are still evil sins being carried out.Rape, Murder etc.We don't have the death penalty here in the UK . People still murder etc.When their caught they end up in prison then released back into society.Where they can do it again.So no it is not a deterrent.Yes Jesus was crucified but why and what a terrible way to go.Literaly hung out to dry.

  1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

    John Condron, He goes off like that every time he's here. Nonsensical and raging with exclamation points and snarkiness. If it wasn't pathetic, it would be funny. If he really knew the history of genocide and torture committed by Christians around the world, he would refrain from such drivel. The goat thing is pretty funny. Maybe it was the "blood thirsty barbarians" which set him off. He makes personal attacks like a coward. Some fragile types just can't take the truth or facts about Christians and the Crusades, the Inquisition, genocide of indigenous people, the Salem witch trials and the KKK.

  1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

    Leaving religion completely out of the equation, there is definitely something wrong with our country and I don’t claim to know what is the solution.

    Our country has more people in prison in the world aside from one other country I think it’s China. Why is that? Are we more criminal as a people or are we more likely to shove people in jail, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little of both.

    I think maybe we are too into a life for a life without seeing the situation. For instance in self defense it’s not so easy to prove you were defending yourself by the evidence. Also if you are defending another person whose life is being threatened you can be charged with murder for the same reason. Dna evidence can be placed at the scene of a crime and lies told from witnesses can convict someone. We’ve seen a few crime shows to know it can happen. Not to mention that our prisons are run by gangs not by guards. Any prison leader will fully admit they’re not in charge there’s a whole other system that runs by the idea predator or prey. Take your choice. How does that solve anything when a person has to be a victim or be an abuser or murderer to survive. Like I said I have no answers but it’s wrong.

    Also I see people all too willing to take someone’s life who insulted their race with hurtful words. Not that words don’t hurt but equal justice wouldn’t mean attack to kill. Also people are quite racist a complete ignorance I have to say. An entire race isn’t guilty for the actions of someone else in the past or the actions of another individual currently or the actions of a government & it’s military.

    Why would someone protesting fly into a rage and destroy a person’s business who btw may have the same race as you plus risk setting them on fire or hitting them with debris. That business owner isn’t guilty of anything that the protesters are aware of personally. This wreck less ness isn’t right and makes no sense. Now look at our cities destroyed. How embarrassing our country looks now and no one wants to be a tourist anywhere in the US anymore. We have become an international shame and some other countries following in that shame.

    The murderers Id be looking at for the severest of penalties would be those who admit they did it ( not all because some admit to a murder they didn’t do to strike a deal and keep a third party safe) in addition to a psychiatric exam that shows the individual is psychotic meaning that they don’t have feelings of remorse at all not even to feel sorry for themselves. These types of people can’t be reasoned with because they are beyond redemption. They can’t be counseled or taught to have empathy. They actually want the death penalty because they know who they are that they can’t change. If you ask their opinion that’s what they will say and they will fully confess what they’ve done without shame because they don’t understand remorse it’s an emotion they don’t feel so they can’t feel shame.

    I think those who are psychotic need a reincarnation and to start over because something went wrong that can’t be reversed in this lifetime. I speak from a court system point of view.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Is there sufficient demonstrable evidence then to prove reincarnation is a fact?

      🦁❤️

      1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

        I hear you, Lionheart! No, there’s no proof other than a belief in written texts that are words of men..... However, in physics the many worlds theory is in the process of being proven. :-)

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          I do like that thought of many worlds, or dimensions, Francine. It would be nice if somehow physicists can expand on that theory and prove it to be true. Thank you for your comment.

          🦁❤️

    2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Are you mentally ill? Your post makes no sense and seems the ravings of a madwoman. Than again any who think the BS that are all the cults to the god of Abraham are anything but evil are evil themselves. Like you for example. You have with your posts outed yourself as one who serves the ancient enemy of all mankind.

      1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

        The G-d who you call “the enemy of all mankind” allowed you to exist today, for you to think, to form opinions, and have fun expressing them, gave you access to the internet, a computer or phone to type on, fingers and hands to use to type, an ability to read, someone who taught you to read, your eye sight, etc ..... as you curse his & my existence. It would have been better to claim to be an atheist than to say he is your enemy.

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          To even speak as you do marks you as an insular minded cultist of the god of Abraham. To even suggest as you do shows you to not be a minister in good standing with the ULC,and thus have no valid position to speak from.

          To suggest your idea of god is the only and one true faith, is an insular attitude that goes against the ideals of the U.S. and its citizens. Secularism is the core of this nations ideal of freedom for and from faith for all. The moment you try to suggest to me your god is somehow real, you make yourself out as no better than some sharia law honor killer murdering their daughter because she dated someone outside her faith tradition.

          Its like you are actively seeking to be so terrible you want to make us all into anti semites.

          What is hilarious is you are a woman, and by your faith tradition( which I will hold you to the rules of) you have no place to speak to any man ever as other than a lesser being. A daughter of eve is always at all times to be suboridnate and subserviant to the sons of adam. This is in the earliest known writings in cuniform of what is now called your holy book.

          Then again, seeing as you believe you and all your kind came from a single bloodline, I shall sum it up by calling you a bunch of inbred insular cultist and remind you once again that to suggest your idea of faith is the one true faith, makes you an enemy of every minister of the ULC in good standing with our ordination. We are 100% secular here, seeing faith as a personal intagible thing that no one has any right to put above anothers, except when one goes all insular, than you will find we are happy to flip the script, play your game, and make you understand each of our faiths even if they are sinfualrly un ique to us is no less, and in fact to each of us far far greater than some cult born from cousin raping goat herders thousands of years ago.

          1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

            Ilmenheru: Do you think that in Heaven, Allah is not aware of how you abuse his name, and the sadness he feels at your misbehavior and abuse you practice in His name?

            1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

              If I was a whinging mortal I might care. However unlike you I am a being whose spiritual energy surpasses that of any gawd every imagined by round eared hairless monkey folk like your species. I have been since before the spark, and it was my perception that brought into being all that has become even the gawds of mortal kind across the cosmos.

              Enjoy oblivion, I just ate your soul. It tasted like black jelly beans....bleh.

            2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

              There is no white guy in the sky. No guy made us. There is no man up there in the cosmos watching over the billions of humans on this planet. How childish and sheer fantasy. It is all myth based on ancient pre biblical texts and you will graduate from 3rd grade knowledge if you are brave enough. Sturdy the works and research of Zecharia Sitchin, Michael Cremo, and Gerald Clark. We are creations of the Anunnaki. Wake up.

          2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

            Ilmenheru: It's rather plain that you need no help from others to be an anti-Semite. Sorry to say, of couse, but it seems quite evident from your comments.

      2. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'heruterik': This 'ancient enemy of mankind' to which you refer . . . . you'd better change your opinion. Some day soon, He will assign you to your eternal destiny. According to Psalm 7:11, God is angry with you on a daily basis! Your view of Him is blasphemous, foolhardy, and the epitome of futility. ONLY by recognizing your depraved condition and a ccepting ONLY Jesus' payment for your offenses, is there any hope for you.

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          Likely no better way to prove I stand on the side of all that is good and right than to have flugo here come out against what I say. This is a degenerate who openly advocates for child abuse, and says if there is no god than he would happily rape his sister or mother. He has said these very things in these forums in the past. So if this is someone that sides with your idea of faith and gawds, than Ill will stand very high upon my lofty perch in confidence that you all stroll hand in hand in the offal pits with the worst vermin.

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    This is really a moot and pointless article, because it is based on a pole and artificial distinctions and divisions. Every case can only be decided on its own individual merits. Most intelligent people know that. This is just about getting ratings for some reason. If you can't create polls and other vehicles to Garner people's attention, how can you make a living if you're a pollster?

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Spoken like a true member of the far right. We who oppose the death penalty in all forms like myself can always fall back to the simple and utterly inarguable position of you can rarely be 100% certain of a persons convicted guild, especially in our very corrupt society. As such it should not be the use of the law to inflict punishment. The idea we need to punish wrong doers rather than seek to help them become viable citizens shows a serious disconnect from modern civilization and ancient archaic savagery that has no place in modern times.

      You attack ULC and its articles once again, becuase you as always do not like the secular nature of this site and demand respect when you desrespect all just by taking an insular view of your faith.

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    Within the ancient Norse-Germanic worldview was the concept of schild, paying restitution for being convicted of a crime.

    This could be monetary (Wergild being the fine for a killing and was dependent on the victim's social status), confinement for a time, involuntary servitude (either permanent or limited), or exile as an outlaw (i.e. Wolf's Head).

    At that time, any free man's weapon could be turned against the outlaw, and they could be killed out of hand.

    The meaning of outlaw was someone no longer under the protection of the law. This is a little different from what the word has come to mean more recently. Outlawry could be permanent, or have a time limit attached.

    In example, I was a member of a court for a Heathen organization to which I belonged. 2 men were brought up on charges. After a 3 month trial, where a lot of evidence was presented. One was outlawed for 3 years, with a fine levied, which he did pay, and was thus reinstated after the 3 years. He quietly retired thereafter. The other man's behavior was much more injurious to the organization and he was set as a permanent outlaw in the eyes of the group. He likewise faded from view.

    While I do adhere to a worldview, which includes Offering Worship to the Holy Powers of the North, particularly the Aesir and Vanir of Norse Mythology, I much prefer our more modern system where such killing by government as a penalty is in the hands of our elected representatives and the courts, which have been constituted.

    I should like to see a federal level appeals court (speaking specifically to a US of A situation) especially for reviewing all capital cases. I would pay a little extra in taxes every year for this. Establish judges, prosecutors, defenders and investigators whose only reason for being is to confirm the veracity of the heinous nature of the crime, and the death penalty being appropriate.

    If the process does not find that death is appropriate, I would accept life in prison without parole, or if mitigating circumstances are found, a long term followed by closely supervised parole. I would even accept this court finding that the conviction should be overturned.

  1. Ryan S Romanek's Avatar Ryan S Romanek

    I know what I believe and following Jesus is the only way and new covenant to God. You are right in saying only God can forgive sin and once forgiven he doesn't hold it against us like humans do. Christ was the living embodiment of God praying without ceasing to the Father in Heaven and was constantly obedient to him even unto death for us and to honor Our Father in Heaven. I can only hope others can follow in Christ's footsteps and I hold no accounts for anyone except myself, and hope only to honor Our Father as he did no matter the cost. I am only a messenger a fisher of men as was asked of me.

  1. Gerardo Salazar's Avatar Gerardo Salazar

    King Hammurabi, from Babylon, left a legal code bearing his name and where one finds that both Levitical law and Hammurabi’s Code impose the death penalty in cases of adultery and kidnapping (Leviticus 20:10; Exodus 21:16; cf. Statutes 129 and 14). Also, there are similarities in the law of retaliation, such as “an eye for an eye” (Leviticus 21:23-25; cf. Statute 196). Statute 206 of the Hammurabian Code says, “If during a quarrel one man strike another and wound him, then he shall swear, ‘I did not injure him wittingly,’ and pay the physicians.” The Law of Moses is comparable: “If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed” (Exodus 21:18-19). Then I ask, was it possible that Moses decided to plagiarize good old Hammurabi or is this an extraordinary coincidence? On the other hand the Ten Commandments are clear: “Thou shall not kill” and really there’s no way around it.

    I would love to see all of these preachers and politicians sentenced to death and then ask them what do they think about it.

  1. Kerry Jerome Greenwell's Avatar Kerry Jerome Greenwell

    This "eye for an eye" mentally goes back to the Old Testament which was written for the Jews. Jesus didn't teach this... he taught that we should "turn the other cheek". His teaching was about love.

    1. Bobby L. Roberts Jr's Avatar Bobby L. Roberts Jr

      "Love one another as I have loved you."

      1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

        Yes, that was written by one of the scribes of Constantine in 325 AD. They never met him obviously.

  1. Marathuzula's Avatar Marathuzula

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Suzan Leigh Nettleship's Avatar Suzan Leigh Nettleship

    We are all children of the same universe...and as part of a community we should welcome and support all members. Sadly, as our "villages" got bigger we became distant from many community members and have forgotten how to love and support them...seeing them as different than ourselves who should be punished when they act differently (or in an unlawful manner). So often, people who act out and create problems have been isolated from the community or are having extreme problems. We need to embrace and invest in all of society...that includes the unwanted unborn as well as the forgotten kid who joins a gang to be part of some family.There is no excuse for thoughtless knee-jerk reaction to rejecting those who don't fit your mold. Embrace and love...it does a lot of good ...that benefits the entire community.

  1. Gary Stephen Lowden's Avatar Gary Stephen Lowden

    Comment has been removed.

  1. Gary Stephen Lowden's Avatar Gary Stephen Lowden

    Comment has been removed.

  1. Bobby L. Roberts Jr's Avatar Bobby L. Roberts Jr

    I'll put it this way the son of the living God was executed Jesus Christ for doing nothing but preaching the gospel in parables and He was crucified for not only claiming to be the son of God but he was the son of the living God. The main reason of Jesus being crucified was the Hight Priest ask Jesus are you the son of God and of course He said He was. Therefore the High Priest ripped his garment and said that he had "Blasphemy God, which Jesus had not." But this was the reason that He was crucified, but yet on the 3rd day He had risen from the grave as He said He would. "the grave can not hold the son of the Living God (The Trinity). Amen

    1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      May I respectfully suggest that you do a little more research into your claims about Jesus? He was an anarchist, socialist and wanted the people to overthrow the Roman government and those in power. He was an Essene Jew who studied in Tibet, Egypt and India at the mystery schools from his late teens into late 20's. He became a threat to Rome. The Romans executed him for sedition. He never claimed to be THE son of god, but a son of god, which is totally different. No, he did not raise form the dead after 3 days. That is a myth. He already was in progression to physical decomposition. I am amazed at the number of Christians who have no clue about biblical history they worship with so little actual biblical knowledge. Constantine and his scribes began writing the NT in 325 AD, 300 years after Jesus died. Much written about him is pure myth. The historical bible is mythological, not fact.

  1. Richard Dean Wilder's Avatar Richard Dean Wilder

    06/04/11 PRO-DEATH-PENALTY (for CRIMIGRANTS too): “JUSTICE DELAYED, IS JUSTICE DENIED.” William Gladstone, British politician (1809 - 1898) ……………. EXACTLY TO MY POINT …………….. I call it “DEATH WAITING”. Here is how it works. It applies to those convicted on “real” evidence, not on circumstantial evidence. 1) Use the death penalty (zero recidivism from them, citizens want and have voted for it, cuts $45,000 - $200,00 from prison budget per removal…) 2) Only have one (1) death-penalty cell in the state, or one per prison if you must. 3) When a person has had their mandatory review after receiving the death penalty, place them in the cell (no endless pleas and trials and hearings…). 4) They only stay there as long as it takes for the next person to commit a death penalty crime and go through their review process. 5) Once another is eligible to be placed in the “waiting-room”, they bump the one currently in there. 6) Therefore the “date” of execution is determined by the next scumbag and not the courts, politicians and / or bleeding heart liberals that think the person just needs a hug and understanding. FURTHER, if I had it my way, they would die in the same manner as those they killed; beaten, stabbed, bludgeoned, hung, buried, tortured, dragged behind a pick-up, shot multiple times, hacked with a meat cleaver ……… whatever the manner they inflicted that is how they should face their own death. If they are guilty, they need to die ............... many of those that get life (without) kill more people in prison, as you can do NO more to them and they get a (or several) trips to court, they call them field-trips and they love the attention. Why allow murderers to further burden the populous by even their mere existence and sucking down our air? (56 ON FEDERAL DEATH ROW, all innocent of course) http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/federal-death-row-prisoners http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/death-row-inmates-state-and-size-death-row-year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_death_row_inmates_in_the_United_States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_recent_executions_by_jurisdiction

  1. Alexander Martin Banash's Avatar Alexander Martin Banash

    I, myself believe the death penalty's usage does not match how warranted it is. That is to say, I think it's used more often than it should be.

  1. Minister Raydeen's Avatar Minister Raydeen

    its always been, Didn't they kill Jesus???????

    1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      Yes, even though Jesus was an Essene Jew, (the mystical branch) who attended the Mystery Schools in Tibet, Egypt and India.

      1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

        I see that you get your theology from the Dan Brown novels/movies....good luck with all that.

  1. Michael G Woram's Avatar Michael G Woram

    Much of present day Christian morality is based upon speculations about what Jesus would have said about the topic if he had been asked. But in the case of capital punishment, he was asked and he said, in effect, you are not good enough to do such a thing. The primary difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians accept the primacy of the New Testament and Jews accept the primacy of the Old Testament. Therefore, ignoring the teaching of Jesus, in favor of (a misinterpretation of) the teaching of the Old Testament, means that, at least on this topic, you have chosen to be Jewish rather than Christian. There is certainly nothing wrong with being Jewish but it is a peculiar choice for those who make much of their Christian identity and devotion to the teachings of Jesus.

    Concerning support for abortion rights while opposing the death penalty; we need to recognize what is and is not settled morality in our society. Probably the most important value of this society is that we refrain from killing each other. Therefore killing another human violates our most basic and universally agreed upon value. In this society, even the meanest criminal is still considered fully human and a member of society, subject to its rules and entitled to its protections. In capital punishment, the society ignores its most deeply held value for a questionable purpose. This is not a thing that a wise society will do.

    On the other hand, the status of a fetus in society is not universally accepted. Many believe a fetus is a full member of society but most disagree. As such, aborting a fetus, while definitely a legitimately controversial act, does not violate a universally held value of the society. The reason that abortion is such a difficult question is that both sides are right. You may not agree that abortion is a form of murder. In fact most people do not, but it is hardly an irrational idea. Likewise, the idea that woman should not be forced to give birth against their will, is also completely valid.

    1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      The easy solution to abortion has always been vasectomy, but men in general are too lazy to control their sperm, yet want to control a woman's body. Makes no sense, especially when we know they do not care about children. Look how many are in state foster care in our country, just waiting to be adopted. So "pro lifers" are fakes. They are the same ones who demanded the little brown children at border detention centers be sent back to Central America. I say keep your theology off my biology

    2. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      fetus (n.) 'the young while in the womb or egg' from Latin fetus "the bearing of young, a bringing forth, pregnancy, CHILDBEARING, offspring..' It's not a mystery...if a woman is pregnant that 'cluster of cells' is another human being. An adult human is also a "cluster of cells" about a trillion of them to be exact...murdering a child using a latin name is simply just retarded. There is no gray area. When humans can create life out of thin air, THEN they get to call the shots...so far? No body is even close to re-creating what God has done out of nothing.

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    Hypocritical much Christians? As long as the person is truly repentant he is forgiven in the Christian faith even a damn mass murder or terrorist witch in my opinion is BS! I am all eye for an eye depending on the circumstance of whom they killed and why? Rapists, child molesters and cold blooded killers deserve to die

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Can I be a mass killer? Then can I choose on who I kill or what group I kill or worst what species I kill. If God was in charge man would still be swinging in the trees instead of cutting down the trees. The DoDo would still be alive as well as the countless of other species that were killed off for being in the way of progress or because they tasted good. In the last 200 years so many childhood diseases have either been killed off or put under control that most US doctors do not encounter them. The scourge of the old world. Bubonic plague, Small Pox, Cholera reduced the human population down.. Someone said that those plagues that were once popular either spread by God or by man killed off millions of humans. Funny thing about it. Many of these diseases were used by invading armies to kill off their enemies. Some pf the plagues are still used to kill off humans, animals, plants and with things like humans releasing so much CO2, mass killing of the planet earth.

    1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      CO2? You mean plant food? Yea...that can't be good eh? The "covid" out of Wuhan China is just another feeble human attempt to weaking an enemy....Thank God that it had a 'made in China' tag on it and as usual...it failed within a couple of months. BTW...men never "swung in trees"...unless you mean for fun jumping off a rope swing into a cold water creek.

  1. John William Crawford's Avatar John William Crawford

    The xtians sheep thrive on the fear factor

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    One cannot be pro life and live by the biblically laws if one supports a death penalty. Life is life... all of life. That includes criminals.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I guess if we were to follow the morals of the Old Testament god we'd be still stoning people to death, and slavery would be rampant. Thank goodness most of us have better morals than him.

      🦁♥️

  1. Amy Madrin Justen's Avatar Amy Madrin Justen

    I have often wondered at the hypocrisy of Christians who support the death penalty, but claim to be pro-life. It's like, we have to protect the unborn baby, but when that baby grows into an adult criminal, it's time for them to die.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    For those who have the mental ability, to actually believe in the Christian God, they have no other choice than to believe in the use of state-sanctioned murder, of murderers.

    The Christian God proved this, by having had his only begotten son tortured to death; and drowning more than 12,000,000 people in the Great Christian God’s genocide — during which only Noah and others in his ark survived.

    The Christian God murdered more than 900,000 pregnant females during this Noah’s flood.

    Why the Pope, now opposes his Christian God, in this regard, means there’s internal strife within Christianson.

    Who’s right — the Pope — who now opposes the death penalty? Or, the Christian God who knows that without having his son tortured to death, there’d be no religion called Christianity— therefore no Christian God.

    Quite a conundrum.

    1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      The Roman Catholic 'pope' is about as christian as Osama bin Laden was...and your comprehension of the bible is apparently way above your pay grade. God Bless!

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    All the silliness.

    There is 0 point to this article, we should all not even be bothering to respond but since we are...

    If we start with a major premise: that we take the Bible as given.

    Add one secondary premise: since Jesus is quoted in the bible, we take those quotes as given.

    Add the final secondary premise: Rome ruled.

    Then: "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's." Meaning that the secular law and justice is up to Caesar and his administration. (The ruling judiciary)

    Therefore: Rome pronounces in court that Jesus deserves the death penalty and sentences him accordingly. Jesus says follow the civil legal system/justice system, which sentenced him to death.

    Conclusion: Jesus supports the death penalty if the court rules, and sentences the death penalty. It is Rome's to decide. In Jesus's own criminal case, Rome decided. Does Jesus's requirements have been met and he supports the death penalty, even if it applies to him.

  1. James Edward Hagopian's Avatar James Edward Hagopian

    Comment removed by user.

  1. James Edward Hagopian's Avatar James Edward Hagopian

    To Who It May Concern Jesus said himself the greatest commandment of all love your neighbor as yourself correct me if I'm wrong the Bible is basically instructions before leaving this Earth that old saying eye for an eye tooth for a tooth I don't think anybody really understands that my belief the great spirit created this Earth created us out of love not out of hate there are only five races and we are so busy in conflict with each other there is hate in every race who have not done anything wrong cast the first stone did we forget did we forget to be forgiven is to forgive the great spirit gave us this Earth to live on this is Paradise did we forget the basics of being a human it flows through our DNA right and wrong or did we forget how to care about ourselves the planet we live on and the other humans that live on it too and the animals and every other life form even plants did we forget to care and we are stuck on my opinion only matters the Bible said shall not kill and we kill on a daily basis you ever stepped on an ant you ever poison any living creature have you cut down a tree that gives you oxygen to breathe and other plants have you ever killed a spider have you ever ate a fish any other animals you are a killer have you driven your car that is poison and the list goes on all of us humans as to wake up to that fact we are the worst enemies of all to us all to us all we cannot throw a stone when we are all guilty of destroying this planet and this Society and our other life-forms we all must make a decision that is free will we have the knowledge of good and bad and what is right and what is wrong you can say it any other way if you're away is a right way then why do you hate and kill because somebody else believes a different way can you love your enemy can you feed clothe and house another life form that is different

  1. James Edward Hagopian's Avatar James Edward Hagopian

    To Who It May Concern Jesus said himself the greatest commandment of all love your neighbor as yourself correct me if I'm wrong the Bible is basically instructions before leaving this Earth that old saying eye for an eye tooth for a tooth I don't think anybody really understands that my belief the great spirit created this Earth created us out of love not out of hate there are only five races and we are so busy in conflict with each other there is hate in every race who have not done anything wrong cast the first stone did we forget did we forget to be forgiven is to forgive the great spirit gave us this Earth to live on this is Paradise did we forget the basics of being a human it flows through our DNA right and wrong or did we forget how to care about ourselves the planet we live on and the other humans that live on it too and the animals and every other life form even plants did we forget to care and we are stuck on my opinion only matters the Bible said shall not kill and we kill on a daily basis you ever stepped on an ant you ever poison any living creature have you cut down a tree that gives you oxygen to breathe and other plants have you ever killed a spider have you ever ate a fish any other animals you are a killer have you driven your car that is poison and the list goes on all of us humans as to wake up to that fact we are the worst enemies of all to us all to us all we cannot throw a stone when we are all guilty of destroying this planet and this Society and our other life-forms we all must make a decision that is free will we have the knowledge of good and bad and what is right and what is wrong you can say it any other way if you're away is a right way then why do you hate and kill because somebody else believes a different way can you love your enemy can you feed clothe and house another life form that is different

  1. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

    Right wing bible thumpers always find and use any biblical passage that suits their point of view. Same with all religions.

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