Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the enigma of the european union

That countries would voluntarily give up their sovreignty is a rather novel notion I think. It seems that wars and totalitarian regimes often had this end in sight, but to have something like the European Union happen without a Hitler or Stalin trying to force it is really remarkable.

Friday, August 26, 2011

painting flowers

Madison avenue has so conditioned the female that she has to improve her natural beauty with paints, cremes, powders; and the male that such things do indeed improve the looks of the female. It is like painting a flower.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

why? is the question

Why? is the great question scientists like Dawkins cannot answer. They may have theories on how things come about, but why is there water in the clouds rather than Kool-Aid, or why trees are made of wood rather than a composite plastic, or why such things as rainbows have color and are translucent rather than black and white and opaque. And why are children small and grown-ups big rather than the other way around.
These are things that can never be solved in labratories.

Friday, August 12, 2011

does "do unto others" refute the death penalty?

I must respectfully disagree. One cannot come away from a complete reading of the Bible and think that sin is not punished, and some sins punished very severely. In Gen. 9:6 there is a mandate for the severest penalty and the reason given is that man was created in the image and likeness of God---it is quite ironic, I think, that this is the same reason many Christians these days are against it. But the verse associates the imago Dei with the innocent victim, not the perpetrator. In the New Testament Jesus himself proposes quite a penalty of millstones and drowning if one offends one of these little ones (Mt.18:6). Quite a severe punishment. So do these statements contradict "do unto others", and "love thy neighbor"? Notice that when Jesus admonishes us to do unto others, when John Paul forgives his would-be assassin, this love or forgiveness is acted upon in the private sphere rather than as a law imposed on the governing of society. Such institutions as courts and tribunals cannot be held to these teachings meant for the inidvidual. Otherwise we would not even incarcerate. We wouldn't have courts of law that judged (judge not lest ye be judged...)

Regarding the Church's current view one must come to terms with the fact that the Church advocated the death penalty for certain crimes (following I might add the biblical custom) and even her saints accepted such a penalty as a fact of the governance given to man by God. St Thomas More said to his executioner before he was beheaded: "Don't be ashamed of your duty, man. You send me to God." Men have always believed that there were some crimes so heinious that they must be punished with the maximum punishment. They may have disagreed with what crimes deserved it but they all believed some things deserved it. We, the modern West stand alone among civilizations that don't believe in it. I think this is a matter of conditioning largely in the public schools. I remember my own freshman year in highschool. I resisted the ridicule from the social studies teacher and others for being so old fashioned, out of date, inhumane, etc. for being quite a neanderthal and believing that it had its place. But these same progressive folk all believed in a woman's right to have an abortion which struck me as very strange. I saw then that there was a great difference in guilty life and innocent life. There are other things like deterance that were denounced---again I had the minority view. The death penalty wasn't a deterant. It was proved. Murders still occur. But does this make sense? Death not a deterant? Isn't that why people don't routinely do swandives off skyscrapers, or jump out of planes without a parachute, or regularly cross interstates, or try and swim the Atlantic? But the argument continued: No, if capital punishment was a deterant people would stop killing each other. They still do, so, ipso facto, it is not a deterrent. Ludicrous! We hear this same "logic" today that "making abortion illegal isn't a deterrant to people having abortions because people will still have them." Because it still happens doesn't negate the fact that it deters most or even some.

There is also the idea that in time the man will realize the error of his ways and repent. Samuel Johnson once said, "The hangman's noose wonderfully concentrates the mind." Would not the prospect of imminent death facilitate a wish become friends with God? To wallow for sixty years in a maximum security prison with its pornography, drugs, rapes, murders, seems an unlikely place to come to faith. And lastly there is the protection of society. Most violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders who have been let out because there are not enough prisons. And when JP II was talking about his views on capital punishment he was speaking as a private citizen, and not with the authority of his office. Anyhow, I was afraid this would end up a book so thank you for your patience in this long opposing view.