For a long time now, the Pope has been the leading figure in the Catholic faith, saying whatever he wants about Christianity without fearing how people might reject his beliefs. The Pope has said many unreasonable things about Christianity, but what he said today may have been the worst.
Since the Creation, men have killed other men, whether it be in a time of war, whether it be because of personal feuds, or whether it be punishment for a crime. Some of these cases are unjustifiable to God, whereas others are entirely justified.
However, the Pope told the world Thursday that the death penalty shall be deemed “inadmissible” at all times, mainly when speaking concerning the Christian faith. This report from the National Review comes as the Pope continues his efforts to abolish the use of capital punishment around the world.
Many people would agree with his logic, and while he does make a good moral argument, there are better ones in the name of capital punishment. These arguments are from the point-of-view of the faithful citizen as well as the prisoner, just like the above arguments made by the Pope. However, capital punishment is a separate moral argument that can also be used by a secular society as well as a Christian society.
The death penalty is important in every populace; first, there are some crimes that man can no longer punish man for. For example, the unjustified killing of a fellow human being is a treacherous offense that can only be punishable by death. The reason here is that not only do men believe that there is no punishment that fits the crime, but that there is only one being that is capable of punishing murder; this being is God.
In a principal called proportionality, the furthest a man can go to punish another man is to do what they did to others. If they stole, they will be stolen from through the use of a lawsuit or a fine. If they killed, they will be killed, and so on and so forth. This principle isn’t new; it has been used for generations to justify capital punishment.
The death penalty also gives those who have a chance at rehabilitation a chance to reenter society. It takes jail space to house people sentenced to life in prison. However, if the death penalty was used, there would be more space for first-time offenders. For example, a teenager caught in a drug trade or minor accident resulting in jail time. These people are in need of help, and if there is a murder convict taking up their cell, they cannot be rehabilitated.
There is also the issue of what life in prison does to a person’s mind. I’m not sticking up for the murderer in this case, but rather not wanting to punish them for something they didn’t do. Imagine being caged up like an animal for decades, not being able to see the light of day for the rest of your life. This would in time turn you into an animal, not only moving you away from ever changing your behavior but also making it much more dangerous for the other inmates, who may have not done what you did and actually have a chance at getting out of jail.
I will end on a note that should strike a chord with a lot of Christians around the world: it is not our job to judge, nor is it our job to punish; it is God’s. The responsibility that God has put on our shoulders is to keep ourselves safe and protect each other, including the sinners, for we are all sinners.