E-Mail | | Contents | | V&FT
What does February 14th have to do with Capital Punishment and Traditional Family Values? A lot. St. Valentine, the "Patron Saint of lovers," was a 3rd century bishop in Rome who defied the "New World Order" by marrying army-aged men to their sweethearts and advising them to pursue domestic life. This was an act of resistance to Roman decrees which held that young men made better soldiers if single and forbad them to marry. Valentine, aware that Biblical Law puts Patriarchy ahead of Politics (cf. Deut. 20:5-7) continued surreptitious marriage ceremonies, and was eventually executed by the Empire as a threat to "Pax Romana." The date: February 14, in the Year of our Lord 269.
Many Christians today support the modern/Roman Law conception of Capital Punishment. In so doing they are declaring war on the Bible and Traditional Family Values. They are buttressing the power of the pagan State and the same old "New World Order." It's time to rethink Empire and Capital Punishment.
1. Generally speaking, countries which still have a death penalty do not respect life (Iran, South Africa, Uganda, the "former" Soviet Union, China).
2. In this century alone, at least 350 completely innocent people have been convicted for capital crimes they did not commit.
3. Executions do not heal the wounds of the families of victims.
4. Death penalty trials cost the taxpayer more than twice as much as life imprisonment. $90 million per year could be saved (and used to help the victims?) by abolishing capital punishment.
5. When someone commits a highly-publicized murder, we become frightened. But rather than turning to God for protection, we turn to the State. We feel that violence will solve our problems, because we are motivated by fear, not love. We may think that anyone who is a member of a group of people we fear (blacks, bikers, addicts) probably should not be allowed to live. We are particularly fearful if a member of our own group is a victim of violent crime. "Remove the offender from our midst."
6. Thus, in Georgia, someone who kills a white person is more than four times as likely to be sentenced to death than someone who kills a black person. Only 30 out of more than 15,000 executions in this country have been of white defendants convicted of killing black victims.
7. Fear does not beget love. Executions do not make us safer; they have a brutalizing effect on our entire society. Frequently, violent crime increases right after a highly publicized execution has taken place.
8. It has not been statistically proven that capital punishment deters crime more than alternative reactions.
9. People often kill at times of great emotional stress or under the influence of drugs or alcohol -- they are not thinking rationally about any possible future consequences they might face after a prolonged trial and lengthy appeals process.
10. When a crime is planned out ahead of time, that person expects not to get caught. Capital punishment is perceived to be only for the fool that does get caught.
11. Executions do nothing to treat the root causes of violent crime. Those causes lie in the breakdown of the Family. Executions cannot be proven to have any social benefit, and are exceedingly costly. They strengthen the power of the State, not the Family. So why do some still demand capital punishment?
12. The persistence of approval for capital punishment in the absence of objective justification can be found in the origin and development of our legal system. We have a certain loyalty to the system, because it is "our" system.
13. Jerry Falwell is right: This is a Christian nation. Moreover, it is impossible to understand Western Civilization -- much less "Common Law" legal systems -- without recognizing their Biblical foundations.
14. The European Puritans who settled the "New" World wanted to build a Godly culture. In their legal codes they included the references to God's Word (The Bible) which gave authority to their statutes. Their law against stealing, for example, was annotated with the appropriate verse from the Ten Commandments. We can learn much from the Puritans in their zeal (as compared to our apathy) and their understanding of the relationship of Church and State (as compared to our society's secular materialism).
15. Unfortunately, the Puritans (and their medieval predecessors) were all-too-diligent students of Roman Law and classical traditions. Roman Law embodied principles which were completely inconsistent with the principles of Biblical Law.
16. As a result, while their legal system has many Godly elements, it also has many totalitarian tendencies. State power (coercion and violence) is often seen as necessary for "social order."
17. While the Puritans sincerely believed the Bible commanded capital punishment, they were reading the Bible through the eyes of Roman Law and statist concepts. This kind of Biblical Law/Roman Law synthesis pervades our Western Legal Tradition. It is the rhetorical foundation of the Bush-Clinton "New World Order."
18. What the Old Testament commanded was not "capital punishment," but a shedding of blood as an atonement for sin in the times before Christ; not a "deterrence," not a demonstration of the authority of the State, not a method of protecting good middle-class citizens from the undesirable or the frightening, or any other similar Roman Law ideals. What the Old Testament commanded was a ceremonial, liturgical ritual of the shedding of blood.
19. Evangelicals in our day who seek to advocate capital punishment based on something more than raw vengeance or the whim of the State usually cite Genesis 9:4-6. But this passage is liturgical, not legal in character. After building a sacrificial altar (Genesis 8:20), Noah was told that the blood of every person or animal who sheds another person's blood must be shed (and that meat with the blood must not be eaten). The New Testament says that only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse our land from blood-guiltiness (Hebrews 10:4).
20. Numbers 35:31,33 says,
"Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die. He must surely be put to death. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites."
"Pollution -- Atonement." This is the purpose of all the "capital punishment" commands in the Old Testament. It is the unwitting foundation of Capital Punishment in the Western Common Law Legal Tradition. In the New Testament, is there any other way to make atonement for sin but by the blood of Jesus Christ? Will the shedding of any human blood please the Lord? Will we "clean up America" by killing criminals?
21. Deuteronomy 21:1-9 says that if the body of a murdered person was discovered but the identity of the killer could not be ascertained, the town elders were to take a heifer and slit its throat, affirming that they are not complicit in the homicide. Then, "the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you...." When we discover the identity of the one who has shed blood, we feel that his blood must be shed (by the State). Why shouldn't blood be shed even if we don't know who the murderer is? Bloodguiltiness must be atoned for (Hebrews 9:22): Why don't advocates of capital punishment also advocate the beheading of cattle and the shedding of blood in cases of unsolved murders?
22. Those who seek to justify the shedding of blood ("capital punishment") in our day cannot appeal to the Bible, and are left with the unbridled power of the State.
23. "Avenge not yourselves" (Romans 12:19).
24. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats [and of indigent minorities who cannot afford high-powered lawyers] should take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).
25. "You have heard that it has been said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also. And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you" (Matthew 5:38-48).
26. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)
More detailed study: The Death Penalty Debate
Only one organization resists the New World Order by defending
Patriarchy and Biblical Law.
Vine & Fig Tree