Sunday, November 9, 2008

Death Penalty

Today's news has been saturated with the deaths of the 'Bali Bombers'. I was struck by how united most of the media seem to be over this event. For days we've seen interviews of Australians in Bali eager to see these men 'get their due'. For a country that does not have the death penalty, many of us appear to be quite content to watch Indonesia enact theirs in this instance. I wonder if they had been Australians whether we would have been so unanimous in our bloodlust?

Don't get me wrong. I'd be the first to admit that if it were me or my family that had been directly affected by the bombings, my feelings might not be so clear. But isn't that the point? Don't we sometimes need to take a step back and examine things with a little more objectivity for our best to come out? Is the taking of human life as punishment for the taking of human life really the best we can do? I'm proud to be a citizen of a country which has found its way past capital punishment. Let's not forget why we did that.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jase
Yesterday, in our meeting, we talked on the topic of forgiveness. In our preparing we hadn't really been reflecting on what was going on in Indonesia, and then we woke up on Sunday morning and that was the news. Our congregation was challenged on issues like forgiving our enemies, and as you have suggested this is not an easy or flippant thing, it requires hard work and God's Spirit to cause a 'miracle' in our hearts and minds. But forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting and it doesn't mean we shouldn't be angry. We also talked about how forgiveness is beneficial for our health. Whilst I understand that the issues behind the bombers' motives are complex, I wonder again whether we need to try and understand why these people hate the west so much.

Just a few thoughts.

PS: Maybe in Tassie we were more fortunate with the news coverage. Other than one station interviewing drunk Aussies in Bali bars, it was fairly balanced.

JDK said...

Karl Barth famously suggested that Christians should live with the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. Good to see this is still happening!

Regards, JDK