June 26, 2008

NO CLOSER TO AN ANSWER

Tammi has been thinking in the micro about something I often think about in the macro.

Makes me wonder....what makes people feel so strongly about capital punishment? Why do some cling desperately to the sanctity of life while others draw that line so firmly in the sand and say "If you cross this, you no longer deserve to live"?

I don't believe it's something that comes with age. Or that it's a learned belief. Mama and Daddy were liberals. Mama still is. I've been a conservative for as long as I've been aware of politics. Oh, they never talked about this stuff in front of us kids, in fact it was only in the past 10 or so years that I learned about my parents political leanings. No. No influence there at all.
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I woke up this morning wondering where does that come from? WHY do I feel so strongly about this? And why do others, those that go and picket executions for people they don't even know, believe just as strongly that they do NOT deserve to die? That there is nothing that one human being can do to another that warrants the loss of life?

I have wondered this and blogged about it before, about where we get our value systems and whether it's nature or nurture:

But where did it originate? Other people endured the hate and garbage in France, yet it didn't have the effect on them that it did on me. I must've already had the seeds of right-leaning ideas before I hit this point. But where did they come from?

I'd say both of my parents are fairly conservative, though we never talked about politics when I was growing up. I can't remember ever having a conversation about voting or foreign policy or anything of the sort. Did they somehow influence me in a subconscious way? Or was I born right of center and just viewed everything through that lens?

We talk about knee-jerk reactions, but isn't that just following your gut? The first blog I ever saw was U.S.S. Clueless and I immediately felt at home. Even before I had studied anything concrete about how the world works, I simply nodded my head in agreement and felt deep in my instincts that what Den Beste writes is true. No one had to teach me that; in fact, much of what we encounter in higher education these days should have persuaded me just the opposite. How was I not convinced?

I don't have any answers for Tammi. As for capital punishment, I said it before and I'll say it again.

I'm reminded again of the absolute horror my Swedish friend felt when she saw me clapping and cheering the day Timothy McVeigh was executed. But I feel the same now about Saddam as I did back then: If someone called me today and said they're short a hangman and could I come give 'em a hand, I'd say, "Give me a second to put my shoes on."

There are a few people out there that I'd have no problem putting my shoes on for. And when we're talking about child rapers, I'll just grab my flip-flops cuz it's faster.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:45 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 When I made my comment about that murderer fryin' you should have seen the faces around me. I sorta kinda forgot I was sitting with a bunch of folks that do NOT think anything like me politically. Oh well...we're all allowed our thoughts. And I'm with you, there are a few folks that I'd flip the switch for in a heartbeat. And *I'd* be goin' barefoot!

Posted by: Tammi at June 26, 2008 08:21 AM (nUiTf)

2 Capital punishment has been on my mind (again) since reading this story yesterday. By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 25, 7:40 PM ET WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court declared Wednesday that executions are too severe a punishment for raping children, despite the "years of long anguish" for victims, in a ruling that restricts the death penalty to murder and crimes against the state. My views are pretty extreme, but seriously since there are so many freaking bleeding hearts out there...can one of them please volunteer to reimburse my share of the tax dollars spent caring for these people. It takes almost 20 years to execute someone after all appeals are exhausted versus life in prison (25 years average). I wonder how much those 5 years cost?

Posted by: Vonn at June 26, 2008 08:42 AM (gNLi0)

3 Since the Supreme Court went with an "eye for an eye" type of approach, how about we just send all rapists to jail with no pants? And no special security for the people that mess with kids...

Posted by: Jacki at June 27, 2008 08:59 AM (f2vqq)

4 There's something to be said about having a decent and civil society, as the scotus decision in the Kennedy case even mentioned. But I believe there are certain things that no decent and civil society should tolerate. I also believe that no decent and civil society should put more resources into caring for perpetrators than for victims. As much as I would rather have the state be a very inefficient instrument of death and detainment, nevertheless we have backed ourselves into this corner. By not giving freer reins to individuals to seek redress, we leave the responsibility to the state. Vigilante justice may not be ideal, yet it's reputation has also been subject to a lot of misinformation. There needs to be a better balance of individual versus corporate justice. Right now I think the scales may be leaning a little too heavily towards relying on the state and removing the power from the people. It leads down the draconian path that England has taken. Not good.

Posted by: Lame-R at July 02, 2008 10:33 AM (FnVEV)

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