Death penalty goes against faith

The Star Early Edition - - INSIDE - Ko­ert U Meyer

THE let­ter, “Ef­fec­tive laws needed to de­ter mur­der­ers” (De­cem­ber 28) is dis­turb­ing read­ing. For al­most six decades I made it my life’s task to sniff out any­thing that reeked of sup­port for the death penalty wher­ever it should rear its ugly head. It’s a costly com­mit­ment, but worth ev­ery cent of it.

Un­for­tu­nately, it’s too ex­pen­sive to ac­quire all news­pa­pers all over the coun­try. A fierce death penalty de­bate is rag­ing in Cape Town.

For­tu­nately, two copies of my favourite pa­per, dated De­cem­ber 28 and 29, came into my pos­ses­sion.

As usual the first page I turn to is the let­ters page, where I found the mis­lead­ing let­ter by a man of the cloth prop­a­gat­ing the re­turn of this men­ace that caused so much pain and suf­fer­ing to the poor, the marginalised and po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents of that evil sys­tem, backed by churches.

This is in di­rect con­flict with what Je­sus Christ him­self, taught us: If you are with­out sin, cast the first stone.

To Si­mon Peter: Put away that sword, all those who use it will per­ish by it.

A warn­ing in Proverbs 14:12: “What you think is the right road may lead to death” is re­peated ver­ba­tim in Proverbs 16:25.

At best sup­port­ers of the death penalty can cite just two ex­am­ples where it “works”: Botswana or Sin­ga­pore, both small fishes in the big pond, turn­ing a blind eye to the more than 100 im­plod­ing one af­ter the other. Th­ese are not democ­ra­cies since no coun­try can call it­self such if it kills its own cit­i­zens – the penalty is a vi­o­lent act, which will even­tu­ally de­stroy them, as we see on our TV screens night af­ter night. Botswana is for­ever in trou­ble for its treat­ment of mi­nor­ity groups. Build­ings built on sand can­not last.

Namibia, Mozam­bique and An­gola, to­gether with South Africa and Rwanda, with its geno­cide of close to 1 mil­lion peo­ple in 1994, have abol­ished the death penalty.

Christ warned of mod­ern-day false prophets mas­querad­ing as shep­herds of the flock, but who, in re­al­ity are wolves in sheep’s cloth­ing.

The dear rev­erend must say how they in­tend killing firstly, the 15 000 “life” in­mates, and then the more than 18 000 mur­der­ers each year. What about rapists, gang­sters and drunk driv­ers? Will the state have to in­vite mur­der ma­chine ten­ders? Face re­al­ity!

In the 67 Mus­lim-dom­i­nated coun­tries one can be ex­e­cuted for apos­tasy.

If those rad­i­cals should come to power in free-world coun­tries, sharia law will be in­tro­duced, us­ing such laws that th­ese mis­guided sup­port­ers of the death penalty are now push­ing for our coun­try to reim­ple­ment.

In the US, ev­ery time an ex­e­cu­tion takes place, mostly in the south­ern states such as Texas and Florida, two groups of peo­ple, those op­pos­ing it, and those shout­ing for it, are gath­ered on op­po­site sides of the road, with the po­lice in the mid­dle.

When this rev­erend and all other sup­port­ers have gath­ered enough boul­ders and rocks, he will find many around him, but also some on the other side, where Christ and peo­ple such as Nel­son Man­dela, Oom Bey (Bey­ers Naudé), Des­mond Tutu and Michael Lap­s­ley would be.

The death penalty is on the way out all over the world. Its sup­port­ers are full of fear, ha­tred, vengeance, ret­ri­bu­tion and un­for­give­ness.

We must all work ac­tively so that one day the whole of the world will be civilised and free. WELGELEGEN, Cape Town

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