Should Christians Condemn Death Penalty Research Paper Examples
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Problem related to the death penalty in Christians
Background of the death penalty in Christianity
Personal interest in this study
Significance of the research
Aims and objectives
Analysis of the contents present in the bible which supports the idea of the death penalty
Provision of justice through death penalty
Maintaining the society safety and rules through the execution of the death penalty
Facts from bible which verify the less necessity of the death penalty
Discrimination among poor, color, regions people in the execution of the death penalty
Ineffectiveness of the death penalty in order to maintain the rules of a society
Polls of people regarding the support or denial of the death penalty
Federal government and UN role in the reduction of death penalties
Evaluation of people opinions by conduction of questionnaire
The death penalty has become the issue which raises many questions whether the death penalty should be condemned or continued. The beliefs of people are being observed to favor or contradict the concept of the death penalty. People have concepts extracted from the bible which support the death penalty. Meanwhile, there are opinions which claimed that the death penalty is not subjected by the bible or Jesus. Hence, the combined concepts of the people have given rise to the debate, which involves the query about the aversion or continuation of the death penalty. On the other hand, international and federal rules have constructed the abolition for the death penalty in order to value the life.
Death penalty is the action taken against the criminal who has committed the crime of an intentional killing of another innocent human being. In Christians, the death penalty is composed of the capital punishment, which is given to the criminal after the verdict of his crime. The problem being has aroused in the execution of the death penalty because several controversies have emerged against this acts. Many believe that the death penalty is inhuman, and the church should abide by practicing it. Moreover, the Jesus has always preached the non-violence to the humanity. This controversy has become the part of Christian society.
The execution of the death penalty by the church has been commenced from the statement of Pope Innocent III. The statement explained the motive of the death penalty, which is to sentenced death for the person who has been involved in a crime. The statement further includes that the death penalty is not the means of revenge in fact it is based on the fair judgment. However, in 1956, the Pope Pius averted this fact by stating the church with no regard to executing criminals as the criminals hold the right to life. In 1566, Roman Catechism proposed that the death penalty is important because God entrusts the life and the criminal abide by the God’s obedience by committing a murder. Therefore, from 1929 to 1969, an execution of the death penalty was made for the one who attempted to assassinate the Pope. Later, the opinions seem to be changing among the people related to the death penalty in Christianity. In 1980, the Catholics Bishops held a National conference in which a contradictory opinion was put forward regarding the death penalty. Majority of the people present at the conference supported this suggestion. Two-thirds of the vote was in the favor of this suggestion which abide by the execution of the death penalty. Henceforth, in 1997, Vatican made amendments to the Catechism. Subsequently, the new changed rules of Catechism more resembled the views of the Pope John Paul. The views of Paul were presented in 1995, which stated that the death penalty must be only executed when it is the only attempt that could be made to defend the society from offensive queries. The suggestions of Paul were converse to the death penalty, which was implied in 1997 by the Vatican (Deguili, 2013).
The rising issue pertaining to the death penalty has endeavor my personal interest in this debate. People have mixed opinions regarding this issue. Consequently, my personal interest is to analyze the pros and cons of the death penalty and consider various reasons, which have given the root to this issue. The consequences, which lead to the development of protest against the death penalty in Christianity, are my prime concentration. Since, I have been known to many Christians, therefore, seeking the core of this issue drives my concentration.
The significance of this research is related to the rise of protest against the death penalty. The elevation of awareness among the people regarding the death penalties has caused the opposition, and disagreement commenced by the people. People have denied accepting the fact the fact of execution of the death penalty by the church rather they have faith in the non-violence preaching of the Jesus. Hence, they have begun to object the death penalty and raised questions about the action of the death penalty for the criminals. This paves the way of this research, which involves the study of facts related to the death penalty.
Consequently, the purpose of this study is to determine the distinction between the opinions of death penalties. Moreover, the purpose is to combine the facts from both sides of the opinion.
Are the death penalties really the solution for the reduction in killings? Alternatively, the death penalties should be condemned in Christians.
Aims and Objectives
Keeping in consideration, the thesis statement, background and purpose of this research, the following aims and objectives are devised:
The facts, which are in favor of the death penalty in Christians, will be determined
An analysis of the facts, which are the basis for the disagreement of death penalties
Evaluation of the opinions of people on the death penalty issue.
Role of government regarding the death penalty
The implementation of the death penalty by the church and Christians is according to the sayings of the Bible. They interpret the Bible words, which state the death penalty for an individual who commits the crime of killing the person. It is stated in the Old Testament that the God originates the death penalty. The Old Testament comprises of the crimes for which the death penalty becomes due on the criminal. These crimes include magic, idolatry, murder, and blasphemy. However, the death penalty is observed mainly in the case of murders, which are objected by the Christians.
On the other hand, the New Testament also includes certain facts, which form the basis of the agreement of the death penalty. The New Testament provides the prime fact for the argument as it motions the Jesus on the cross. Moreover, many verses can be extracted which provides verification of God’s words to execute the death penalty for the sinner and the criminal. It is clear from the verses that the one who speaks evil of one’s parents should die. In addition, the actions are reverted because the person should be dealt with the similar manner as he deals others. In the New Testament, the Jesus is found to authorize the capital punishment despite of being non-violent towards humankind. Similarly, giving the punishment to the wrongdoer is considered an action, which is imposed on the servants of God. Therefore, the Christians believe the death penalty as the punishment for the sinner implied by the God (Kay, 2007).
In addition, the death penalty is considered fair because it is the justice against the sinner. This justice should be provided to the victim and the criminal forcibly subjects his family as the victim to death. Moreover, this action is significant for the society and the maintenance of social rules and regulations to prevent the injustice. Death penalty is a necessity in order to avert the spread of further deadly violence since, if the fear of death among the criminals is excluded, they will be more in power to commit crimes. Likewise, it is believed that the capital punishment resembles suicide because the criminal commits the crime with the risk of being caught, which certainly makes him acknowledge of the coming death in lieu of his crime. Therefore, by committing a crime, he is performing a suicidal act.
On the contrary, several arguments persist against the death penalty despite the facts, which favor the death penalty for the benefit of society and humans. Christians have the faith in the “Thou shalt not kill” in which the instructions are provided to abide by the killing. However, many Christians believed that this command not only states to forbid the murder but also mentions everyone to avert by killing whether innocent or a sinner. Consequently, the criminal is also a human. Therefore, he should not be killed by the death penalty as stated in the command. This is evaluated by the statement in which there is an obligation to refrain from killing. Subsequently, this is used, as verification against the general law as the God abides the people from killing then God cannot make the people kill the criminals. Moreover, according to the command of the God, the life of all people is sacred. Hence, the criminal’s life is sacred too. Therefore, despite the serious crime, the criminal shall not be deprived of the life because taking one’s life should not be in man’s power (Potapov, 1992). Furthermore, the Bible mentions 35 more crimes for which death penalty should be rendered. However, the punishment is only observed in murder, therefore, following the consistency; death penalty should be excluded from the crime of murder as well. In addition, Christianity is the religion of compassion and forgiveness. Christianity has always provided the lesson of forgiveness for others whereas, the death penalty is contradictory to this preaching of Christianity.
On the other hand, the death penalty is biased as it discriminates the class of people. Poor people, rural area people, and people of color often experienced biases in the execution of the death penalty. It is observed that a black person is most probably to be sentenced to the death penalty than a white person. Moreover, the court can subject an innocent individual capital punishment. The suspect can be a victim of misleaded proofs and an individual who can be innocent will face the death penalty. Therefore, the death penalty brings the issue of innocent killing. In addition to this, the death penalty is ineffective for the society. The aim for the execution of the death penalty is to develop the fear of the criminals, which can impede them to commit murders. However, it is noted that the crimes and murders continued despite the death penalties (Alexander, 2006). Consequently, the rule indicating an eye for an eye, life for life, tooth for tooth, were eradicated from the old testament during the formation of New Testament.
Keeping the opinions of people in consideration, the death penalty facts have been varied in the people perspective. The support by the people in favor of the death penalty has fluctuated during the previous years. The Gallup surveys indicated that 61% of the people were in support of the death penalty in 1936. This number decreased in 1966, and 42% of the people were in favor of the death penalty. However, during the 70s and 80s years, people commenced to favor the death penalty, and the ratio was elevated. Therefore, 80% of the individuals possessed the opinions in favor of the death penalty in 1994. Conversely, in 2004, people began to give the importance to life over death. People preferred the sentenced to life instead of the death penalty. Subsequently, the 46% favor the imprisonment of life for the murderers over capital punishment. On the contrary, the 53% of people who were in favor of capital punishment dropped to 50% during that time (Moore, 2004).
Furthermore, 51% of people in 1991 believed that the death penalty actually deterred the crimes. On the other hand, in 2003, the ratio of people who considered death penalty fair was reduced to 55% from 60%. Since, 2002, the response from the people is same as the previous year is excluding the 80% people in favor in 1994 (Moore, 2004).
The federal government of US has made necessary amendments in order to reduce the death penalties. Law enforcement act, violent crime control, was devised to sentence death penalty to the criminals who are involved in severe crimes such as a drug kingpin conspiracy. Moreover, the effective death penalty act of 1996 included the deadlines for filings, hearings for acquiring adequate evidences for the suspect in order to judge fairly.
In 1999, United Nations passed a commission, which forces the countries to abolish the death penalties. In 2004, this commission was co-sponsored by the 76 member states of the UN. Therefore, many countries have abolished the death penalty including US. Consequently, the alleviation was observed in death penalties in 2009. Conversely, 58 countries have retained the death penalty policy in spite of the commission from the UN (International Human Rights Doctrines, 2015).
The study reveals that the death penalty has both sides going simultaneously among Christians. The facts are extracted from the bible for both sides connotation. Therefore, people have mixed views regarding this issue. The idea of the death penalty and its effects cannot be neglected. Moreover, the significance of the death penalty in a society prevails and has its own distinct status for the betterment of society. On the contrary, the facts, which go against the death penalty, are necessary to be considered. The death penalty becomes an extreme punishment because people believe the bible states to refrain from killing. Furthermore, the objection of people refers that the killing puts a halt to life while life is preferred over everything in Christianity. Therefore, for the sake of humanity and the preaching, the death penalty should be condemned. The debate regarding the death penalty will continue since, there are some believers who have firm faith to be those servants of God who is given the authority to punish the wrongdoers in order to mark the fair justice. Simultaneously, there are believers who condemn this activity because according to their opinion, life has its importance and Jesus preached to be non-violent towards other individuals.
For further studies, it is recommended to analyze the people opinions by conducting a survey. The survey can be devised by the formation of a questionnaire, which can include the relevant queries, which will be related to the concepts of people regarding the death penalty. Moreover, an estimation of the people from different fields can be conducted in order to evaluate the number of people who are concerned to condemn the death penalty. In addition, the reasons for the people opinion can be jotted down.
Alexander, P. (2006). Religion and the Death Penalty: a call for Reckoning–Edited by Erik C. Owens, John D. Carlson, and Eric P. Elshtain. Religious Studies Review, 32(2), 106-106. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9780802821720 on 12th February 2015.
Deguili. E (2013). Sapere Aude! A Dialog on Religion. Biblico. Inc. retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Sapere-Aude-A-Dialogue-Religion-ebook/dp/B00FN0LS6M on 12th February 2015.
International Human Rights Doctrines, (2015). Limiting the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-ii-history-death-penalty on 12th February 2015.
Kay, J. W. (2007). The Biblical Truth About America’s Death Penalty–By Dale S. Recinella. Religious Studies Review, 33(1), 54-54. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9781555536336 on 12th February 2015.
Moore. D. W (2004). Public Divided Between Death Penalty and Life Imprisonment Without Parole. Religion and Social Trends. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/11878/public-divided-between-death-penalty-life-imprisonment-without-parole.aspx on 12th February 2015.
Potapov. A. V, (1992). Death Penalty. Retrieved from http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/command/CommandE/e_command_06_deathpen.htm on 12th February 2015