January 18, 2010

"I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century," signed "The Christ Eternal Mehmet Ali Agca."

That's what Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot Pope John Paul II in the hand, arm and abdomen, wrote in a statement made upon his release from prison. Yes, he's now a free man. But he was pardoned in 2000 for shooting the Pope. He only served 19 years for that. The reason that he's been in prison these last 10 years is that he was extradited to his home country, Turkey, to serve a sentence for other crimes, including murder.
Agca has said he wants to visit the pope's tomb in Rome, and meet his successor, Pope Benedict.

"He has served his time in jail so now he is a free man according to the law. Let's hope also his heart has changed," said Archbishop Ennio Apignanesi.

"Maybe he will come to Rome. The Pope went twice to forgive him. Now he could come and make a prayer."
Are you getting this Christian forgiveness thing?

59 comments:

rhhardin said...

They're doing different chapters in the Bible.

Scott M said...

Don't discount Agca so quickly. I'm sure there are many, many card-carrying Dems in MA that believe his proclamation is the logical outcome of a Brown victory tomorrow. For that matter, I expect Martha (or Marcia, take your pick) to be looking for the seas to boil and the moon turn as black as sat cloth.

ricpic said...

I proclaim that the world will go on. On and on and on. What a bore.

Scott said...

Of course the Pope forgave Mehmet. Christians don't believe in capital punishment.

There are a lot of cultures where murder is a lesser crime than others. We shouldn't be surprised that the Turkish government let him go.

In any case, I hope he gets on the no-fly list. Not that the TSA would ever stop him, but it's a nice gesture.

TRO said...

Sounds like a Martha Coakley political ad. Or is it Marcia? I can never remember.

Brent said...

Christians don't believe in capital punishment.

Actually, the debate on capital punishment in Christianity is still alive. The Biblical textproof has to do that it was the first social law instituted by God in the Old Testament, prior even to Moses.

I'm sure there are many, many card-carrying Dems in MA that believe his proclamation is the logical outcome of a Brown victory tomorrow.

LOL!!!

Tibore said...

""I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century," signed "The Christ Eternal Mehmet Ali Agca.""

Wow. Never knew there could be such a thing as eschatological megalomania. You learn something new every day.

-----

Word verification: Mently... in the context of Agca, that's somehow utterly appropriate.

Kyle said...

Christ's forgiveness extends to everyone, and we all don't deserve it. But that doesn't mean that Agca isn't a murderer and thus (1) should be punished for his crimes and (2) is more likely to do criminal things in the future.

I discriminate against criminals.

careen said...

Easy to say at the beginning of a century. Nearly every human being *alive* right now will be dead by the end of it.

WV: Hell-se "se" being "if" in italian.

Scott said...

"Actually, the debate on capital punishment in Christianity is still alive. The Biblical textproof has to do that it was the first social law instituted by God in the Old Testament, prior even to Moses."

This should be settled law. Since the Ten Commandments are directly received from God, the Seventh Commandment would supercede any prior Holy directive relating to murder.

I don't buy the notion that "murder" is different if the government does it in a premeditated way through the execution of a court sentence. That would only be theologically consistent if the government were a theocracy that had some higher level of moral standing than a person does as an individual. Our nation is secular. We cede administrative authority to the government, but not moral or religious authority. And our government does not have the moral authority to sentence people to death, even though it claims to have the administrative authority to do so.

I suppose in Catholic countries the Pope could claim the moral authority to murder, but the Catholic Church has categorically rejected capital punishment, so that's a non-issue. As a Protestant I still can't find any loophole in the Bible that gives me any comfort when my government, which presumably represents me, sentences people to death. Capital punishment is a social vice.

traditionalguy said...

Forveness is to Christians like a catch 22. No matter how abominable a person has been to you, you are commanded to forgive them IF you want forgiveness from God for yourself. Many Christians are like Jack Benney and are still thinking that choice over. If you see that an evil persons acts have created debts to you, then you are commanded to mark those debts paid and satisfied. However, God adds a remark that if you will forgive, then God will take revenge for the acts, and He is better at that anyway.

Palladian said...

" Capital punishment is a social vice."

You "good Christians" always fuck everything up in your quest to rid the world of all the best social vices.

ricpic said...

Everybody gung-ho to celebrate Martin Luther King Day? No day anymore for George Washington. No day anymore for Abraham Lincoln. You've gotta hand it to the Left. What a job it's done deconstructing America.

traditionalguy said...

Scott...The killing prohibited in the Ten Commandments is murder. Executing a murderer is an act required to protect the innocent from murderers. When the Supremes abolished the death penalty for 7 years or so in the early 1970s, it changed everything among the younger criminal set. They now had a wonderfully great power that no government had back over them. They could kill at will. After all, the punishment was no worse than for any other second offense felony, PLUS the reality of the thought that "dead men tell no tales" quickly made retail clerks and other robbery victims a hunted species subject to early extinction. Other than that reality, your are right that governments need to be restrained, like they are restrained by 12 person Jury's with unofficial pardon powers and good defense attorneys.

Ricardo said...

"Christians don't believe in capital punishment."

Come down here to Texas ....

Scott said...

"You "good Christians" always fuck everything up in your quest to rid the world of all the best social vices."

At least we still let you play Call of Duty. You can kill all the people you want on your PlayStation.

Scott said...

"Executing a murderer is an act required to protect the innocent from murderers."

No it isn't required. Maybe you wish it was, but it's not. My home state of Minnesota has been getting along fine without capital punishment for well over a hundred years. And you'll never see the Twin Cities in the top ten for murders per capita.

You're on treacherous ground when you conflate civil and religious authority. Whatever the motivations of the government are, they do not inform or direct Christian moral teaching.

AJ Lynch said...

Re no more Washington or Lincoln's birthday holiday or celebrations.

Do they still teach kids about the Cherry tree and George W. when he was a kid and do kids still learn about Honest Abe?

IMO they were important lessons about honesty that we got reminded of each and every year.

Kirby Olson said...

Luther argued that it was ok to be a soldier, and ok to be an executioner.

That these were valid and noble professions.

People who harmed children in Luther's day were buried alive in coffins.

This Agca needs 24 hour care and better medication in a locked-down setting with comforting lawns and sparkling fountains.

Harsh Pencil said...

IIRC, the same book which has the Ten Commandments also outlines crimes punishable by death. So while you can argue that the death penalty is wrong, you can't argue that that book says it is wrong.

It is the same thing with the Constitution. The Constitution explicitly lays out that in order to deprive someone of life, the state has to give him due process. So it's difficult to argue that a document that lays out what steps you have to go through to execute someone would simultaneously also imply that you can't.

Ron said...

The world ending: Our ultimate bailout strategy.

William said...

I knew a guy who had done me several bad turns. He was in no sense a criminal and was even, in some limited ways, an upstanding citizen. Nonetheless, I disliked him intensely. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within six months. When I heard of his illness and death, it gave me an intense satisfaction that I feel to this day. OK, I'm not such a great human being, but that's the way I feel.....I think of him sometimes when I read about capital punishment cases. If someone tortured and murdered your child, you would feel a hatred toward that person that knows no bounds. If that person, like John Wayne Gacy, was selling pictures of sad clowns from prison or, like Richard Specht, was bragging about the great drugs and sex he was having in prison, your grief, hatred, and rage would twist you into a pretzel. The early death of such people serves a useful purpose.....The early Church fathers taught that one of the eternal joys of heaven was watching the eternal suffering of the wicked. Sadly, agnostics such as myself have no such beliefs to give them comfort in a world where Stalin, Mao, Amin die in bed.

Scott M said...

I'm prepared, as a Christian, to abolish the death penalty if, and only if, the worst cases can be shipped off to the hinters of Alaska to break rocks for the rest of their lives.

Guard them well and give them plenty of food, water, and books. Do NOT give them playstations, internet, or the best sporting/fitness equipment a bloated government budget can buy.

I'm talking the incorrigible here and those that commit crimes so horrid they would currently get life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

I believe a gulag for these types is outside cruel and unusual punishment as long as we're talking abolishing the death penalty.

traditionalguy said...

Ron...The world system ending when The Christ returns to judge men and rule in righteouness on the earth is very good news to many people who are suffering oppression under the present world social system. The goofball pretense that the Globe will explode or otherwise kill all human life on it is a frustrated person's fantasy death wish.

somefeller said...

Forgiveness is not dependent upon whether or not the person being forgiven is worthy. While it's best to see if there is some evidence of penance (which may be impossible in the case of the incorrigibly evil or the genuinely insane - and Ali Agca fits in there somewhere), in the end, that doesn't determine whether Ali Agca can be forgiven, by God or his victims. Forgiveness is a power they have, not him.

former law student said...

Are you getting this Christian forgiveness thing?

Wasn't there a movie on that theme? Oh, yeah:

http://westernposterpage.com/godforgives.htm

Why are we talking about the Christians and the death penalty? The Pope didn't die; some presumably Muslim Turk did.

Skipper50 said...

Forgive, then shoot back (not necessarily in that order).

Lem said...

Matthew 18:21,22

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times
.

We can allways do a very very slow count. ;)

“The[y] tell us that it takes 10 days to count the vote in Massachusetts, so I’m sure they’ll be doing a very slow count,” Engel said, only half joking.

Lem said...

He only served 19 years for that. The reason that he's been in prison these last 10 years is that he was extradited to his home country, Turkey, to serve a sentence for other crimes, including murder.

I want to endorse Martha Coakley for Turkey's next Attorneys General ;)

Lem said...

Agca is seeking interest from publishers and film-makers in his story.

Los locos tambien piensan.

former law student said...

It is written that you can sin and be forgiven seventy times seven. This motion picture is about the 491st.

http://wpcontent.answers.com/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b7/491_poster.jpg/200px-491_poster.jpg

Peter V. Bella said...

News Flash:

Al Gore is hiring Ali Agca as a spokes person for the Global Warming Church.

edutcher said...

There is something to the idea of rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. You want to forgive this nut case? Fine, just keep him in the slammer so he doesn't get anybody else killed.

ricpic said...

Everybody gung-ho to celebrate Martin Luther King Day? No day anymore for George Washington. No day anymore for Abraham Lincoln. You've gotta hand it to the Left. What a job it's done deconstructing America.

AJ Lynch said...

Re no more Washington or Lincoln's birthday holiday or celebrations.

Do they still teach kids about the Cherry tree and George W. when he was a kid and do kids still learn about Honest Abe?


ric, MLK day replaced Veteran's Day (limited number of Monday holidays, you know) and was another Teddy Kennedy project; if you didn't like the idea of casting the vets aside, you were a ra-a-a-cist. Many states individually observe Veterans' Day with no mail and government offices closed.

As for Presidents' Day, AJ, which is supposed to honor not just George and Abe, but also Millard Filmore, Warren Harding, Willie Clinton, and the rest of them whether they deserve it (and most don't) or not, I'm sure all the folklore about George not telling a lie and Honest Abe(schools are run by the Alinskyites, after all) has gone down the drain.

Worse yet, people don't even have the option of observing Robert E. Lee's birthday if they choose.

former law student said...

Are you getting this Christian forgiveness thing?

Wasn't there a movie on that theme? Oh, yeah:

http://westernposterpage.com/godforgives.htm


Spaghetti westerns don't count as real movies, fls. You know that.

Skipper50 said...

Forgive, then shoot back (not necessarily in that order).

Ain't it the truth.

Scott said...

@Scott M:

"I'm prepared, as a Christian, to abolish the death penalty if, and only if, the worst cases can be shipped off to the hinters of Alaska to break rocks for the rest of their lives."

That might work! It's like the idea Robert Anton Wilson put forth in one of his Illuminatus! trilogy volumes: Anyone committing a grave offense was sent to "Hell" -- a place created by putting a giant force field around the state of Louisiana. Over time, the cravenly lawless and insane created their own government; one so attractive to miscreants that they would ask to move there without having committed any crime at all!

Scott M said...

No, nothing like Escape From New York here. I'm saying build the prison, staff it properly, inspect it regularly and give it sufficient oversight so you never give any ammo to either the squeamish Berkley types or the prisoners themselves.

If you make it bad enough, I think something like that is a far, far better deterrent to crime than death.

vbspurs said...

The Christ Eternal Mehmet Ali Agca? Sounds like the wacko leader for the new "Muslims for Jesus" cult.

vbspurs said...

Oh, incidentally, do you know that Muslims believe that Jesus was a Muslim? And also that man didn't go to the moon. So basically, they're like Alex Jones, only they don't watch Mythbusters.

Scott said...

@Scott M: We're on the same page.

BTW, I said that the Twin Cities, which are in a state that doesn't have a death penalty, would never find themselves on the top ten list for murders per capita. This led me to wonder about the composition of that list.

Well, here are the ten cities in the US with the highest murder rate per 100,000 for 2005:

1. Compton, Calif. 67.1 (Lethal injection or gas)
2. Gary, Ind. 58.0 (Lethal injection)
3. Birmingham, Ala. 44.3 (Lethal injection or electrocution)
4. Youngstown, Ohio 43.7 (Lethal injection)
5. Richmond, Va. 43.0 (Lethal injection or electrocution)
6. Baltimore, Md. 42.0 (Lethal injection or gas)
7. Camden, N.J. 41.2 (Lethal injection)
8. Flint, Mich. 40.1 (No capital punishment)
9. Detroit, Mich. 39.3 (No capital punishment)
10. Richmond, Calif. 38.8 (Lethal injection or gas)
. . .
75. Minneapolis, MN 12.5 (No capital punishment)

National Rate: 5.6

(Source: Infoplease)

Two Michigan cities take 8th and 9th place; and Michigan has no capital punishment. I'm inclined to think that capital punishment has no obvious deterrent effect that can be expressed statistically.

Arturius said...

Oh, incidentally, do you know that Muslims believe that Jesus was a Muslim?

They do? Interesting considering that Jesus preceded Mohammed by half a millenia.

vbspurs said...

Arturius, from Wikipedia (but I first heard about this from Muslims at my uni):

Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim, as he preached for people to adopt the straight path in submission to God's will.

traditionalguy said...

Vbspurs...This is very up to date stuff as to muslim doctrine. The muslims refuse any truth that doesn't make Mohammed speaking for allah the last word. Therefore to muslims Jesus, an earlier prophet, was not the Son of God and did not die on the cross, anymore than that Great Satan USA sent any infidel men to the Moon. The allah figurine in Mecca's little house all muslims must go to worship is a black meteorite that the arab tribes first worshiped as their Moon god, until Mohammed coopted him to be his unique version of a monotheistic god that opposes Christian claims. Mohammed also hoped to use this "now not an idol anymore" allah belief to attract Jewish recruits and to fight Christianity together( they refused Mohammed's offer and became hated for that insult). So this simple disagreement is Why They Hate Us today.

vbspurs said...

So basically it boils down to: High School Gang gets dissed by other High School gang after the former suggested a merger. They swore bloody vengeance ever after, though the latter gang doesn't really engage them unless absolutely necessary because they're not tough and right, they're just nuts.

Joe said...

Forgiveness is a funny thing. I believe it can be cathartic even outside a religious context. In a Christian context it is required, yet it seems that like many other things, it should be done in private since public forgiveness often comes across as prideful and insincere. Moreover, it often suggests that the personal act of forgiveness supplants the absolution that only God can grant.

Whenever I hear someone publicly proclaim that they have forgiven someone, I rarely believe them.

Incidentally, this is one thing about Christianity that baffles me (and I speak as a former devoted Christian); the scriptures are repeat with admonitions to practice your faith in secret/private and that your good deeds become the evidence of your faith, yet Christians of all faiths ignore that almost completely. Yes, I understand that this is human nature, but couldn't Christians at least pay lip service to the namesake of their faith?

edutcher said...

traditionalguy said...

Vbspurs...This is very up to date stuff as to muslim doctrine. The muslims refuse any truth that doesn't make Mohammed speaking for allah the last word. Therefore to muslims Jesus, an earlier prophet, was not the Son of God and did not die on the cross, anymore than that Great Satan USA sent any infidel men to the Moon.

For those who never got this in Theology or religion (mine goes back to Father Palathumpat's class at Villanova in '67), Mohammed is regarded as the Seal of the Prophets, last in the line beginning with Abraham. This is why there's an injunction in the Koran about respecting peoples of the Book (Christians and Jews; yeah, I know).

An interesting sidebar comes from Sir Richard Burton's journals of his pilgrimage to Mecca. Among other things the faithful view are the tombs of Moses and Issa bin Maryam (Joshua, son of Mary). How he got there, Sir Richard doesn't say, but good Moslems believe Jesus Christ is buried in Mecca.

WV "diledg" The very uncomfortable part of a feminine appliance.

vbspurs said...

Joe, isn't it axiomatic that if a person practises their faith secretly (to be charitable, e.g.), that it will never be publicised? Therefore, how can we really gauge how it compares to the more public displays of faith? For all we know, it far outshines the public one.

Now, if you mean, why don't people do it SECRETLY all the time, that's another topic -- and one which probably has to do with man being a social animal who is propelled as much by praise as by the rightness of the thing.

traditionalguy said...

Joe...With all due respect, the namesake of our faith promised to return in power as soon as we obeyed Mathew 24:14. Choices, choices.

Cedarford said...

Scott (dutifully listing cities murder stats in sole context of whether a state they are in does or does not have the death penalty) -
A city's murder rate is more often than not a direct function of how many African-Americans live in the city, not whether the state has a death penalty.
Once you correct for "number of Negroes" per 1000, you see that states with an effective death penalty that actually is carried out, with concealed carry laws, and tough judges have less crime per capita.

That is simple "The Color of Crime" logic. Young black male thugs 18-30, 3% of the US population - commit half the murders, burglaries, half the rapes, and 75% of the armed robberies in the USA.

Liberals are loathe to admit this, and insist it is all a function of how many noble teachers a state employs, cops on the street, how much tax money is spent on the underclass. And of course how things would be much better if only we banned guns and eliminated the death penalty and allowed felons to register in the Democratic Party & vote.

Other liberals point out that not just "misguided" black male thugs are now an issue, and it is wrong to single black thugs out, since they have waived in many dangerous Latin drug gang members and Islamoid criminals.

And of course will insist the "real danger" is the Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh sort. Angry White Men. Who of course might not have done their crimes if only we replaced capital punishment with "compassion".

LoafingOaf said...

Scott: There are a lot of cultures where murder is a lesser crime than others. We shouldn't be surprised that the Turkish government let him go.

I wouldn't have been surprised if he had murdered someone in America and an American court had let him on parole in similar fashion. Happens on a regular basis.

His original sentence in Turkey was life (which is 36 years in Turkey).

Flexo said...

Catholic teaching does NOT "categorically reject capital punishment." Rather, the teaching on the use of deadly force (in whatever context) is remarkably consistent with Anglo-American jurisprudence on the matter. That is, one may use deadly force in defense of life if there is no less drastic alternative. Hence, it is licit to use deadly force in the defense of self or others, in the conduct of just war, and/or in legitimate capital punishment.

It is not contrary to the prohibition "thou shall not kill," inasmuch as the purpose and intent is not to kill, but to protect life.

In the case of capital punishment, the Church recognizes that, given the modern prison system, it is a rare case where a dangerous person would need to be executed in order to prevent continuing threats to others.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way --

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... the one is intended, the other is not."65

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.66

Capital Punishment

2266 The State's effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. the primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.67

2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
"If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
"Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'[John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56.]

Flexo said...

As for the broader question -- we are called to love one another, even our enemies, even those who hate and persecute us. Such love includes the spiritual acts of mercy of forgiving offenses and bearing wrongs patiently. If we want to be forgiven our sins, we better be willing to forgive others, no matter how great the offense.

There is no sin that is so great that it cannot and will not be forgiven -- except one.

The only unforgivable sin is the sin of not seeking or accepting forgiveness, also known as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness, by its very nature, requires that it be accepted in order to be complete. If one refuses or otherwise fails to accept forgiveness -- either out of (a) the sin of presumption, whereby one refuses to believe that what he has done is wrong or otherwise does not even bother asking for forgiveness, presuming upon the mercy of God, or (b) the sin of despair, whereby one believes that his sin is so great that God would be unwilling or unable to forgive it -- then, logically, the sin cannot be forgiven.

The mercy of such forgiveness does not deny justice, it does not deny the truth. Rather, such mercy full recognizes the demand for justice. But that justice has been taken upon the One who is extending that mercy.

"Christ's mercy is not a grace that comes cheap, nor does it imply the trivialization of evil. Christ carries the full weight of evil and all its destructive force in his body and in his soul. He burns and transforms evil in suffering, in the fire of his suffering love." -- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 4/18/05 (the "dictatorship of relativism" homily)

Methadras said...

When Christ said in Matthew 5:39 "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

I realize it's not a physical cheek smiting but the concept is the same nevertheless. If you offer the other side and it gets hit as well, then what do you do? I don't think Christ ever talked about that.

Paddy O. said...

the scriptures are repeat with admonitions to practice your faith in secret/private and that your good deeds become the evidence of your faith, yet Christians of all faiths ignore that almost completely.

That's the funny thing about the Scriptures. Their full of admonitions to do one thing, and full of stories of people not doing those things. It's interesting to note that if the earliest churches were doing everything right we probably would not have most of what is now the New Testament. A good many of the epistles are responses to people not doing what they should be doing.

Matthew said...

Right, I'm no theologian, but, I was always under the impression that Capital Punishment was bad juju in Christian circles because execution precludes the possibility of redemption.

David said...

Forgiveness is different from nonpunishment.

The victim can forgive the perpetrator without insisting that he be set free. Indeed the victim has no moral right to give freedom to the perpetrator. Punishment, whether seen as punitive or preventative, is designed to keep the particular sinner-criminal (and by example others) from repeating the act of sin-crime against others. This protection of others an appropriate goal and something entirely apart from forgiveness.

I suspect confusion about the nature and role of forgiveness is often at the root of the poor results we see in the parole system.

Eclecticity said...

Next stop needs to be a padded cell. E.

pst314 said...

Scott, the Sixth Commandment does not say "thou shalt not kill." It says "thou shalt not murder."

Flexo said...

No pst314, while the Commandment certainly includes murder, the proper translation of the word is "kill," not "murder."

We need to remember that the Bible, including the Ten Commandments, was not written in English.

"Murder" is a legal term of art from Anglo-American jurisprudence, which did not exist at the time the Ten Commandments were handed down. More than prohibiting "the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought" (which is the definition of "murder"), the Commandment prohibits, inter alia, all forms of taking of human life with the intention and purpose to do so.

Do not be deceived by believing that you can argue with God that you didn't violate the Commandment if you commit manslaughter instead of murder. Both are contrary to the Commandment.

Jessup said...

Has everyone seen this ad mailed to Massachusetts residents this weekend?

http://the-raw-deal.com/2010/01/18/coakley-hits-new-low/

Nathan R. Jessup
www.the-raw-deal.com

Brian said...

Flexo:

No pst314, while the Commandment certainly includes murder, the proper translation of the word is "kill," not "murder."

Your text would seem to indicate that you believe all forms of the killing of another human being violate the commandment. Except by accident, which the Old Testament gave explicit instruction on how to avoid revenge by going to a city of refuge (Joshua 20:1-9).

However, the standard of the Old Testament is "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (Exodus 21:23-25). In particular, the law handed down to Moses indicated that you should be proportional in justice. A murderer (as well as adulterers), were to be stoned to death (Exodus 21:16, Leviticus 20:10). These laws were handed down to Moses, the same as the Ten Commandments. You can't say then, that executing a murderer violates the 6th commandment when God specifically commanded the Hebrews to do so. As far as authority, all of the law has authority.

If you object and say that the authority in Mose's and Joshua's time was theocratic in origin, and therefore legitimate to carry out executions, while the modern state is secular, then I give you Romans 13:1-7, which specifically states that all authority on earth has been instituted by God. You are to submit to authorities, including paying taxes. Romans 13:4 in particular (of government authority) says "but if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."

If you object and say that Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, and forgive others, then I certainly can't disagree with that. He forgave those you crucified Him, after all. I can see the moral argument against capital punishment on the basis of giving someone the time for redemption here on earth.

However, if you interpret "thou shalt not kill" to mean ANY death deliberately caused, then that includes the policeman who shoots an armed suspect in the commission of a crime, or a hostage situation. The policeman has to know when he fires his gun, that it's probable he's going to kill the suspect. Even if the suspect has killed someone already, in plain view, then shooting him is an act of deliberate killing. Which by your definition, violates the 6th commandment. So to be safe, police should carry no guns (like the English Bobbies). And let people who DO carry guns and kill people get away, otherwise, they may shoot someone else.