"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pushing the Envelope of Dissent

Papa Shea, in another posting of gargantuan illogic, has dredged up some questionable executions from the last millenia to argue, that... the death penalty is unjust now?

But this is what a nation signs on for when it wants to maximize the death penalty and cheer for the maximum number of people put to death. I spoke the other day of Christian *zeal* for the death penalty. Arguments for the death penalty seem to me, in the end, to always boil down to saying, "We are willing to say yes to the disgusting executions of these people so that we get to kill Lawrence Brewer, Ted Bundy, and Timothy McVeigh. We *love* killing those guys (hence the cheers for Rick Maximum Death" Perry) and are willing to kill a few victims like this as human sacrifices to that love.
Logic is not highly valued on the Left, apparently. Does it really need pointing out that use of the DP in the 1940's South and use of it now are apples and oranges? I've challenged Shea on this point before, and he can never support his slander that there is Christian "zeal" for the death penalty, nor that anyone has argued that the death penalty be "maximized" or that anyone cheers for the "maximum number of people put to death." Unless, of course, by "zeal" one means: there exist a discrete number of cases where recourse to the death penalty is just, given the atrociousness of the crime, the need to deter and to demonstrate society's hatred of murder, and the need to protect society (which includes prison inmates and staff) from people who refuse to stop killing. I've been over some examples of such cases before.

I guess Papa Shea's trying to tar any support of the reasoned, measured, rare use of the death penalty in this country as mindless bloodlust. Problem: there just ain't any facts behind that view. It's a variation of the reductio ad hitlerum, where one simply smears his enemy and calls him names, because he cannot support his own position (in this case) with the teaching of his Church (which supports the limited, rare, American-like use of the DP), with facts, or with logic.

Why does Papa Shea try so hard to minimize Church teaching, and see how far he can push his death penalty opposition without overtly crossing the line and explicitly denying six millenia of Judeo-Christian teaching on the licitness of capital punishment?

3 comments:

Don said...

Few people are aware of this:

In the Prologue to the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul writes:

(page 5) “The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last (1992) and the publication of which I today (October 11, 1992) order by my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magesterium. I declare it to be a sure norm- for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.”

English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America copyright 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Latin text copyright 1994 Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Citta del Vaticano
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Now after the first new general catechism in 450 years we get a revised edition in just 5 years which adds the following sentence to the section on capital punishment.

#2267. (added) Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm—without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself—the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."

This is the one sentence that opponents use to overthrow 2,000 years of Church teaching. The Roman Catechism of Trent issued by order of Saint Pope Pius V in 1566 was the universal catechism in use until 1992. It says this under “Execution of Criminals”:

"Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder.”

If interested, I have a website about capital punishment. http://tcreek.jimdo.com/

scotju said...

Why does Shea minimizes the Church teaching on the dp? Hey Tom, he's a flaming liberal!

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Don, what you're essentially saying is that:

1) Neither JPII nor Ratzinger (as head of CDF) knew about the sentence in question.

2) If they knew, they didn't care because they support abolition.

3) If they didn't know, then some abolishionist-supporting cleric inserted the sentence in question as an act of disobedience.

This is why it makes it hard to take what the Vatican does so seriously. They demand "docility" yet its key people have no idea what others are doing, especially those who are in positions of authority.

Mack Sennett for Pope!