Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Personal Political Policy Statement

I did not intend to ever fully disclose my views on this blog. I wanted to use this blog as a tool to show people the opinions of those from differing political views. Where my children are concerned I feel that it is better to let them see for themselves what people believe and why rather than to have their father and I tell them. However, my children are not really reading this blog. I do believe that this blog is of value to some so I keep it going.
To understand my political policy statement I think that I should first explain my core beliefs. I am a non-denominational Christian. I was not raised in a Christian home, but neither was it non-Christian. It just was not discussed. We did have a small nativity that my mother put out during the holidays each year and we did occasionally attend Easter or Christmas services throughout my childhood. My walk began at the age of 8 and has had many bumps and bruises along the way. I’ve had to figure out a lot of things for myself.

There is nothing remarkable about me. I am just a middle aged woman living an average life in the United States. I have been married to my husband for twenty years and have been able to stay home while raising our three children. Our oldest is on her own, our second is a freshman in college, and our youngest is a sophomore in high school. When I read through history I wonder about the people that lived, loved and died and all that remains of them is a collective number in a few books. I sometimes panic and feel an urge to somehow make my mark on this world in such a way that I’m not one of the forgotten. I’m just one person out of billions on this earth at this time. Is my need for significance and purpose in this world at the root of my belief in God? I don’t think so. I do find comfort in the belief that God knows the very number of hairs on my head and that none of us (past and present) are just nameless, faceless numbers to Him.

I’ve gone through many transitions of thought in regard to my faith. There was first the innocent acceptance that later gave way to doubt and feelings of unworthiness. The desire to be good and perfect gave way to failure and despair. My life is marked by stumbling, falling, and getting back up again. So often the grace aspect of Jesus’ sacrifice is lost. It is not about what we do, but about what He has already done. It was finished on the cross and that is the good news. I believe that as a follower of Jesus Christ that it is my duty to spread that good news… to give hope to the hopeless, to love the unloved, to forgive the unforgiveable. It is not about theology, doctrine, rules or telling others how to live their lives.

I believe that each of us in born with a certain level of potential that we have no control over. I believe that we do have control over whether we reach that potential. The fact is as you look around at the people in your life you can see that everyone is different. Most people excel in certain areas and not in others. Intellectual superiority is taking God given potential for granted and for privilege when it should be taken for responsibility. That may sound like an elitist statement to some. However, it is not a statement to say that those of superior intellectual ability should automatically be the ones in control. I’m just an uneducated housewife so I am not talking about myself here. I’m talking about having respect for all regardless of their ability and people using what gifts and abilities they have with humility… whatever those gifts and abilities may be.

I believe arguments such as Old Earth vs New Earth Creationism and Evolution within the Christian community are distractions. Personally, I believe that God is God and He can do anything and is not bound by the same restrictions we are. Do I believe God created the Universe and the Earth in 6 days? I believe He could but I don’t know if He did. I do not see whether one believes the creation account is a literal 6 days or an allegorical six days as a salvation issue (meaning you have to believe in a literal 6 day creation to be saved) and I deeply resent any implication that if someone believes in Old Earth Creationism or the evolution/adaptation of life here on earth that they are picking and choosing what they want to believe. I see nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t understand that... because I don’t.

Political Policy Statement

I believe that the government has over reached its intended purpose. I consider myself a Conservative Republican but I don’t always fit in that box. I do not consider myself to be politically savvy and freely admit there is much I do not understand. However, I do consider myself to be somewhat politically aware. I am deeply concerned about our country and the implications for my children and future grandchildren as well as all people in general. I tend to sit back and observe in the political arena rather than actively engage and usually prefer to keep my opinions to myself. I do not like conflict and avoid it… yet find watching conflict play out amongst others interesting… although, not in person. I often find myself in the position of peacemaker.


The most important issue for me is our nation’s security. Our borders need to be secured and illegal immigration needs to be stopped.

The best offense is a good defense but the fact is, we need both.


Life: I believe that life begins at conception. I am not against all birth control or sex education as long as abstinence is included. I do not feel educating about birth control or giving information as to where to get birth control (free or otherwise) is sending mixed messages… although, I believe just handing out condoms is. The fact is that it is a teen’s choice whether they engage in sexual activity or not. I prefer to know that kids have been thoroughly educated as to the dangers of sexual involvement outside of marriage which include emotional issues, sexually transmitted disease, and unwanted pregnancy. Abstinence is possible when it is a choice made by the individual practicing it. I believe it is the parents’ responsibility to decide when, where and how their child learns about sex. I am against abortion, IUD’s, the Morning After pill, and any other forms of birth control that do not prevent conception but implantation.

I do not understand those that say they are Pro-Life and yet Pro-Choice. You hear it all the time. Joe Biden is an example. He says that he does not feel he has the right to make that choice for someone else. Okay… I understand that. However, the Supreme Court mandated that abortion be legal throughout the United States and abortions are made available through federally funded pregnancy centers with our tax dollars. How is it right to dig into the pockets of those morally opposed to abortion and force them to participate in it in that manner? Don’t I have a moral obligation to fight having my money used in that way?

I am not for the death penalty for a couple of reasons. I don’t have a problem with criminals like serial murderers being put to death but… there have been many cases of death row inmates being exonerated through DNA testing. I would like to have the guilty given every opportunity to experience forgiveness in this life, but not at the expense of additional risk to society. The main reason I feel this way is the cost of defending an inmate on death row. It is staggering. I think that money would be put to better use by building larger prisons, investing in rehabilitative programs, and investing in preventative programs for children at risk.

Freedom of Religion: I believe we are free in this country to believe what we choose and to practice our faith. It seems to me that there has been a shift in this country and there is freedom of religion… but not so much if you are a Christian.

Gay Rights: I believe those individuals with sexual orientation issues are human beings first. I am not against civil unions or voluntary benefits for same sex partners (many companies do not provide health insurance for employees’ spouses or children). But it gets a little sticky in how to implement anti-discrimination laws. Some do not understand the current fight for gay rights/marriage and what the implications are for faith based businesses, ministries and even churches. There are many arguments that, on the surface, seem reasonable. What does it matter if gay people get “married?” Gay people are entitled to live their lives as they choose. If it doesn’t affect you personally, why do you care? Well… the thing is that if gay “marriage” is sanctioned by law it puts faith based organizations and business owners at risk. We live in a highly litigious society and it would only be a matter of time before these institutions, including churches, would come under attack.

Education: I believe it is ultimately the responsibility of the parents to raise and educate their children whether that is through the public school system, private school, homeschooling or some other means. I’m all for the privatization of the school system and free market principles being brought into the education arena.

We have had our children in public school, private school, charters and I am a 9 year homeschool veteran. Our oldest daughter is dyslexic and we were told by school staff that we needed to lower our expectations to what she was capable of… which they felt was a much reduced work load and testing orally. I do believe you need to assess each child as an individual and tailoring your approach to educating them is a good thing. However, I do not believe that not expecting a child to learn something or not have any pressure at all to succeed is good. You also have to take into account what the “real world” is like. Employers do not have differing expectations for differing people in the same roles. Being able to read, write and do basic life skills math is very important and those goals should be reached if possible and every avenue explored in order to reach that goal.

We have been careful to teach our children that it is not the world’s job to conform to them and their needs. This can be a fine line to draw when you are homeschooling and tailoring things to what your children need at that time, especially when it is different from their peers. The fact is not many people care what others’ individual struggles are unless they are personally affected. The formative years should be a time where kids are being prepared for the real world… not having it forced on them before they are ready.

Gun Control: Not for it. I am not an NRA member, nor do I own a gun. I’m thinking about it though.

Welfare: I do not believe the government should be involved in welfare programs. I think that would best be handled through the private sector and faith based organizations. Since welfare is government funded I don’t believe those receiving welfare benefits should be able to vote. It is incestuous in nature to have people dependent upon government programs given the power to keep those programs in place.

Affirmative Action: People should be given jobs according to their ability not their race, gender, or sexual practices.


I only have a rudimentary understanding of economics and have a hard time grasping things on a national and international level.

Taxes: I believe taxation without representation is alive and well here in America. I believe some taxation is necessary for the upkeep of roads, emergency services, administration, etc. However, funding for schools, social programs, grants, etc. should not be coming from the federal government. I understand the thinking that says if everyone throws a percentage into the pot then we will have that money to give out to those who are less fortunate. The problem is with how that money is spent. I don’t want our personal dollars going to programs that I find offensive whether they are for clinics that provide abortions or grants for despicable “art” or for promoting programs I do not support.

I cannot see the money coming out for taxes as our only contribution. When I drive by someone on the side of the road with a sign my first thought is not that the problem is with our government and that I should throw on a pair of green tights and join in on the pilfering of the evil rich so that the wolf disguised as Big Daddy Robin Hood can toss a few coins their way on my behalf. I don’t look away from those in need. I want to take the resources I have and use them in a way I feel is appropriate.

I do not understand how someone can think that only raising taxes for those making $250,000 a year or more will help our economy. I am an uneducated housewife but… I think those that make the most money are already paying the most taxes. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that by raising taxes at that level that it would have some affect on businesses? Wouldn’t that potentially affect the availability of jobs, especially within small businesses? Wouldn’t the loss of jobs adversely affect those further down the tax scale? I’ve heard trickle down economics don’t work but how is the loss of jobs due to tax increases for the employers providing the jobs going to help?

Healthcare: I feel that my view in this area is narrowed to personal experience and while I have opinions in this area I am aware that I do not have complete information nor do I have a cohesive concept of how things work in my mind or would work with healthcare reform. I do not believe socialized healthcare is something we want in this country. There are also problems with Universal healthcare. I am hoping that someone will come up with another more viable option soon.

Free Market: Capitalism makes the most sense to me!

The United States Role in the World
Iraq: Regardless as to what the real reasons why we went in are... We need to finish it. Taking the necessary steps to hand Iraq back over to the Iraqi people is not something that can be mandated by a timeline. The sacrifices made by our troops must have a good ending for the Iraqi people.

Big Brother?: With the technological advances of the last century we are truly living in a global community. I do not see the United States as an island unto itself and separate from the rest of the world. It would behoove each of us to sit up and take note of the global scene and take steps to understand what is going on in the world as a whole.

United we stand. Divided we fall. This is true within our homes, churches, and communities. This is true for America as a whole. Housekeeping issues arise and conflict occurs but when outside the walls of our homes, churches, communities and our country I believe it is imperative to be united.

The United States lacks the resources to police the entire world. However, when neighbors and friends are being attacked we cannot stand idly by.

The United States had the capability to jam radio signals in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. The radio was being used to incite the killing of approximately 800,000 people over a 100 day period. Jamming the radio signals alone could have saved an untold number of lives there without any of our armed forces setting foot on their soil. It should be considered a crime.

Nearly six million Jews were annihilated in the Holocaust during World War II. That was two out of every three Jews living in Europe at that time. How is it that so many were killed before the world took notice and stepped in?

Hundreds of thousands have died in Darfur since 2003.

It is a hard fact of life that the use of force is sometimes needed to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I strive to be a Good Samaritan in this world and would like to think that my country does as well.


Linda said...

That was beautifully written. Nice job!!

Two Dogs said...

Palin actually said last night that the No Child Left Behind thingy was bad, then Biden said it was good but needed more money. 'Nuff said?

Roland Hulme said...

One of the things that I really think is awesome is that you're pro-life AND anti-capital punishment.

The problem with both liberals (pro-choice, anti-cap punishment) and conservatives (pro-life and pro-cap punishment) is that neither of them can honestly claim to respect the sanctity of life if they're aborting babies or lethally-injecting felons.

You are FAR too hard on yourself, calling yourself 'uneducated' and 'just a housewife.' You continue to show ALL of us up by being open minded and respectful of other's opinions - even when they don't return the favour (and I realise I'm kind of hard on Christians in general, which is more personal than political.)

I find I agree with a surprising amount of what you wrote. Some things I don't - but I see where you're coming from.

The whole thing with creationism... Your opinion is open minded and respectful of other people's beliefs. I realise I always barge in like a bull in a china shop, but that' just because the New Earth stuff seems SO irrantional and crazy to me.

Again, the 'uneducated' woman who's 'just a housewife' ends up showing Mr Oh-so-fancypants how it SHOULD be done.

Two Dogs said...

I don't want it to appear that I am trying to bash Roland, seriously. But the equating of abortion with capital punishment is absolutely crazy and needs to stop if someone can actually think beyond 2+2.

Capital punishment is applied to murderers, violent rapists and molesters, and traitors. Tookie Williams!

Abortion kills a baby that has never committed a single act of anything, good or bad. A BABY!

See the difference?

Sarah said...

Bravo!!! :)

And Two Dogs is completely right. It's not like we execute millions of people, either. It's for the most heinous and awful crimes, and when that person is a danger to society. Huge difference between aborting 1/3 of children in America. Staggering numbers there.

Roland Hulme said...

No, I don't. Whether it's an innocent unborn baby or a convicted murderer, perhaps a civilised society isn't quite so civilised if it has incorporated the facility to terminate human life.

Roland Hulme said...

Sarah - is the death penalty acceptable if we possibly execute innocent people?

Sarah said...

Yes, because it is a very small fraction, and I would advocate further exhausting all possible measure to determine that before the execution. Mistakes happen, unfortunately, but just because of one, does that mean we shouldn't keep doing it? Of course not. Now, if it could be proven that, say, more than half of those executed were innocent, that'd be a different story altogether. But that's simply not the case.

Coffee Bean said...


There have been 125 cases where death row inmates have been exonerated through DNA evidence since 1973. Those people were not put to death but their lives were forever and wrongfully changed. Exhausting all possible measure prior to execution is very expensive. Escape from high security prisons is fairly rare. Locking up criminals with no possibility of parole is far less expensive than placing them on death row. And far less expensive than keeping them in prison for the rest of their lives.

I don't have sympathy for monstrous people who do horrible things to their innocent victims. When I talk about forgiveness it does not mean that I do not think they should suffer the consequences of their actions. If I had a licensed gun and was placed in a position where I felt the situation required deadly force, I would use it. However, I don't see those on death row as continuing to be a threat to society. When you weigh the probability of escape from a high security prison against the probability of a mistake having been made through the courts you may come to another conclusion. I did.

Roland Hulme said...

"Mistakes happen, unfortunately, but just because of one, does that mean we shouldn't keep doing it? Of course not."

SARAH! I'm shocked! I hadn't expected a response like that from you - basically saying that executing the odd innocent person is okay as long as the MAJORITY are guilty.

What sort of percentage is acceptable? 1%? 20%? That's one in five people put to death. You get better odds playing Russian Roulette.

If there was ever proof (and there pretty much is, check the link I posted in an earlier comment) that an innocent person was executed for a crime they didn't commit than the state has just MURDERED them.

Better lock criminals up for life (and let them go if a mistake was made) than execute anybody, because you can't 'unexecute' somebody.

I think the very idea of dismissing an innocent person being put to death as 'a mistake' is just UNFORGIVABLE and not very Christian at all.

I don't understand how people can say murdering innocent unborn babies is wrong, yet murdering innocent, wrongly-convicted people isn't.

dudleysharp said...


The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below
Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.
To state the blatantly clear, living murderers, in prison, after release or escape, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.
Although an obvious truism, it is surprising how often  folks overlook the enhanced incapacitation benefits of the death penalty over incarceration.
No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.
Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.
That is. logically, conclusive.
16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence.
A surprise? No.
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don't. Studies which don't find for deterrence don't say no one is deterred, but that they couldn't measure those deterred.
What prospect of a negative outcome doesn't deter some? There isn't one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.
However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is compelling and un refuted that death is feared more than life.
Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it's a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.
Reality paints a very different picture.
What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.
This is not, even remotely, in dispute.
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
Furthermore, history tells us that lifers have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.
In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.
Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.
6 inmates have been released from death row because of DNA evidence. An additional 9 were released from prison, because of DNA exclusion, who had previously been sentenced to death.
The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers, The New York Times,  has recognized that deception.
To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . (1) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 "innocents" from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their "exonerated" or "innocents" list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions - something easily discovered with fact checking.
There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.
If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can reasonable conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.
Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?
Full report -All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.
Full report - The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request
(1) The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

copyright 2007-2008, Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Pro death penalty sites   (Sweden)

dudleysharp said...

Cost Comparisons: Death Penalty Cases Vs Equivalent Life Sentence Cases
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

In comparing the cost of death penalty cases to other sentences, the studies are woefully incomplete.
Generally, such studies have one or more of the following problems.
1) Most studies exclude the cost of geriatric care, recently found to be $60,000-$80,000/inmate/yr. A significant omission from life sentence costs.
2) All studies exclude the cost savings of the death penalty, which is the ONLY sentence which allows for a plea bargain to a maximum life sentence. Such plea bargains accrue as a cost benefit to the death penalty, such benefit being the cost of trials and appeals for every such plea bargain. The cost savings would be for trial and appeals, estimated at $500,000 to $1 million, which would accrue as a cost benefit/credit to the death penalty.
Depending upon jurisdiction, this MIGHT result in a minimal cost differential between the two sanctions or an actual net cost benefit to the death penalty, depending upon how many LWOP cases are plea bargained and how many death penalty cases result in a death sentence.
3) FCC economist Dr. Paul Zimmerman finds that executions result in a huge cost benefit to society. "Specifically, it is estimated that each state execution deters somewhere between 3 and 25 murders per year (14 being the average). Assuming that the value of human life is approximately $5 million {i.e. the average of the range estimates provided by Viscussi (1993)}, our estimates imply that society avoids losing approximately $70 million per year on average at the current rate of execution all else equal." The study used state level data from 1978 to 1997 for all 50 states (excluding Washington D.C.). (1)
That is a cost benefit of $70 million per execution.  15 additional recent studies, inclusive of their defenses,  support the deterrent effect. 
No cost study has included such calculations.
Although we find it inappropriate to put a dollar value on life, evidently this is not uncommon for economists, insurers, etc.
We know that living murderers are infinitely more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers. There is no doubt that executions do save innocent lives. What value do you put on the lives saved? Certainly not less than $5 million.
4) a) Some studies compare the cost of a death penalty case, including pre trial, trial, appeals and incarceration, to only the cost of incarceration for 40 years, excluding all trial costs and appeals, for a life sentence. The much cited Texas "study" does this.  Hardly an apples to apples cost comparison.
       b) The pure deception in some cost "studies" is overt. It has been claimed that it costs $3.2 million/execution in Florida. That "study" decided to add the cost of the entire death penalty system in Florida ($57 million), which included all of the death penalty cases and dividing that number by only the number of executions (18). One could just have easily stated that the cost of the estimated 200 death row inmates was $285,000 per case.
5) There is no reason for death penalty appeals to take longer than 7 years. All death penalty appeals, direct and writ, should travel through the process concurrently, thereby giving every appellate issue 7 years of consideration through both state and federal courts. There is no need for endless repetition and delay. This would result in a reduction in both adjudication and incarceration costs.
Judges may be the most serious roadblock in timely resolution. They can and do hold up cases, inexcusably, for long periods of time.  Texas, which leads the nation in executions, by far, takes over 10 years, on average, to execute murderers. However, the state and federal courts, for that jurisdiction,  handle many cases. Texas has the second lowest rate of the courts overturning death penalty cases. Could every other jurisdiction process appeals in 7-10 years. Of course, if the justices would allow it.
6) The main reason sentences are given is because jurors find that it is the most just punishment available. No state, concerned with justice, will base a decision on cost alone. If they did, all cases would be plea bargained and every crime would have a probation option.
1). "State Executions, Deterrence and the Incidence of Murder", Paul R. Zimmerman (, March 3. 2003, Social Science Research Network,
copyright 2003-2008 Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Pro death penalty sites (Sweden)

Coffee Bean said...

Thank you very much for your input Mr. Sharp! You've left a lot of information here and resources that I will be giving considerable thought to.

Sarah said...

Mr. Sharp,

Thank you very much for your posts. Fantastic information there, and very appreciated!

-- Sarah

dudleysharp said...


Some sanctity of life material for you.

(1)"The Death Penalty", by Romano Amerio, a faithful Catholic Vatican insider, scholar, professor at the Academy of Lugano, consultant to the Preparatory Commission of Vatican II, and a peritus (expert theologian) at the Council.

titled "Amerio on capital punishment ", Chapter XXVI, 187. The death penalty, from the book Iota Unum, May 25, 2007

(2) John Stuart Mill, speech on the death penalty

(3) "Catholic and other Christian References: Support for the Death Penalty", at

(4) Immanuel Kant, "The Right of Punishing", inclusive of the death penalty

(5) "Capital Punishment: A Catholic Perspective",
by Br. Augustine (Emmanuel Valenza)

(6) "Defending Capital Punishment" by William Gairdner

(7) "The Death Penalty", by Solange Strong Hertz

(8) "Capital Punishment: The Case for Justice", Prof. J. Budziszewski, First Things, August / September 2004 found

(9) Just Violence: An Aristotelian Justification of Capital Punishment

dudleysharp said...

also, read all of Chapter V
The Sanctity of Life.

Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics By John Murray

DAD said...

My darling daughter,
I am glad that you are considering such things and that you've developed your own opinions on how things ought to work in the world.
As you know, our opinions differ greatly. I am however, very proud that you are sharing yours with others and soliciting their views.
Thanks for sharing your blog with me.
Love, Dad

dudleysharp said...

That Father/ daughter post - best ever on a blog.

dudleysharp said...

Re: fact checking issues, on innocence and the death penalty.

The Death Penalty Information Center has been responsible for some of the most serious deceptions by the anti death penalty side.

Dieter and DPIC have produced the clims regarding the exonerated and innocents released from death row list.

Richard Dieter, head of the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC): defining what "exonerated" or "innocent" means.

". . . (DPIC) makes no distinction between legal and factual innocence. " 'They're innocent in the eyes of the law,' Dieter says. 'That's the only objective standard we have.' "

That is untrue, of course. We are all aware of the differences between legal guilt and actual guilt and legal innocence and actual innocence, just as the courts are.

Furthermore, there is no finding of actual innocence, but it is "not guilty". Dieter knows that we are all speaking of actual innocence, those cases that have no connection to the murder(s).

Dieter "clarifies" the three ways that former death row inmates get onto their "exonerated" by "innocence" list.

"A defendant whose conviction is overturned by a judge must be further exonerated in one of three ways: he must be acquitted at a new trial, or the prosecutor must drop the charges against him, or a governor must grant an absolute pardon."

None establishes actual innocence.

DPIC has " . . . included supposedly innocent defendants who were still culpable as accomplices to the actual triggerman."

DPIC: "There may be guilty persons among the innocents, but that includes all of us."

Good grief. DPIC wishes to apply collective guilt of capital murder to all of us.

Dieter states: "I don't think anybody can know about a person's absolute innocence." (Green). Dieter said he could not pinpoint how many are "actually innocent" -- only the defendants themselves truly know that, he said." (Erickson)

Or Dieter won't assert actual innocence in 1, 102 or 350 cases. He doesn't want to clarify a real number with proof of actual innocence, that would blow his entire deception.

Or, Dieter declare all innocent: "If you are not proven guilty in a court of law, you're innocent." (Green)

Dieter would call Hitler and Stalin innocent. Those are his "standards".

And that is the credibility of the DPIC.

For fact checking.

1. "Case Histories: A Review of 24 Individuals Released from Death Row", Florida Commission on Capital Cases, 6/20/02, Revised 9/10/02 at

83% error rate in "innocent" claims.

2. "Is 'the innocence list' an appropriate name?", 1/19/03

Dieter admits they don't discern between legal innocence and actual innocence. One of Dieter's funnier quotes;"The prosecutor, perhaps, or Dudley Sharp, perhaps, thinks they're still guilty because there was evidence of their guilt, but that's a subjective judgment." Yep, "EVIDENCE OF GUILT", can't you see why Dieter would think they were innocent? And that's how the DPIC works.

3. The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

"To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . ".

That is out of the DPIC claimed 119 "exonerated", at that time, for a 75% error rate.

NOTE: It's hard to understand how an absolute can have a differential of 33%. I suggest the "to be sure" is, now, closer to 25.


5. "The Death Penalty Debate in Illinois", JJKinsella,6/2000,


Origins of "innocence" fraud, and review of many innocence issues

7. "Bad List", Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 9/16/02

How bad is DPIC?

8. "Not so Innocent", By Ramesh Ponnuru,National Review, 10/1/02

DPIC from bad to worse.

Richard Diter's email

DPIC website

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

Pro death penalty sites (Sweden)

Roland Hulme said...

Dudley - your EXTENSIVE comments made for very interesting reading.

The reason nobody who's been executed has been 'proven' innocent after the fact? Because you can't have a retrial or an appeal when the suspect is DEAD. I gave link earlier to several cases which present pretty darn compelling evidence that the suspects were INNOCENT. Compelling enough to have proven it in a court of law - if the poor sods hadn't been killed first.

As for the deterrent argument? Balderdash. States WITH the death penalty have up to 40% more murders that states without.

I hadn't even considered the deterrent aspect, but you're right to bring it up.

Advocates of the death penalty are willing to execute innocent people and put their state's citizens at increased risk of violent crime.

Two Dogs said...

Roland, you can consider the areas where the murder rates are higher and that is where Democrats control the government with their permissive attitudes toward crime. Shall we delve into that a bit? DC, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, LA, Little Rock, Atlanta, Houston, Jackson, Mississippi, St. Louis, the list is endless. You can also prove the reciprocal. When Rudy got elected in New York, he immediately instituted what is known as RATIONAL THOUGHT, you should Google that. Oddly enough, the crime rate plummetted when they started arresting criminals. Weird, huh? What you attempt to do is bury your head in the sand and refuse to see the obvious. Crime is higher in metropolitan areas that are almost always controlled by anti-intellectual Democrats.

The death penalty is a whopping deterrent. The person upon which it is practiced, has a tendency to NEVER commit another crime. What people with very little intellectual fortitude refuse to recognize is that this is a country founded on the principles of individual freedoms. With that concept comes the responsibility to pay for what one buys and pay for one does.

If you want to make the asinine comment that people that are for the death penalty want to kill innocent people and increase crime levels, there is no way to have a rational debate with you because you are insane and are dangerous to everyone around you.

dudleysharp said...


Wrongful death suits would be appropriate in a case of an actual innocent executed and would be filed by those with standing, such as family members and others who may have some place in the estate of the alleged innocent executed.

The obvious benefit of this is that it is a civil suit and the level of proof is a preponderance of the evidence - any bit over 50% sure - a level of proof far easier than in criminal cases.

I suspect there is a strng reason that these are rarely filed and never won - there is no proof even to that much lower level.

Even the DPIC site you linked, spoke of the Possible innocents executed, meaning possibly not. But, in reality, the DPIC fully forgoot to mention the other side of the evidence, which, so far, makes the filing of any civil suit not viable.

In the Cantu and Griiffin cases, there are complete reports by the state, responding to and contradicting the innocence claims. DPIC mentions thm. Read them

Having O'Dell and Graham on the list is just preposterous. But, that's the DPIC.

I have great concerns with the Willinham case.

dudleysharp said...


You and the DPIC make a common error on deterrence, although I strongly suspect with the DPIC it is no error.

Relying on DPIC isn't a good idea.

Death Penalty and Deterrence: Let's be clear
by Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, 0104
In their story, "States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates", The New York Times did their best to illustrate that the death penalty was not a deterrent, by showing that the average murder rate in death penalty states was higher than the average rate in non death penalty states and, it is. (1)
What the Times failed to observe is that their own study confirmed that you can't simply compare those averages to make that determination regarding deterrence.
As one observer stated: "The Times story does nothing more than repeat the dumbest of all dumb mistakes — taking the murder rate in a traditionally high-homicide state with capital punishment (like Texas) and comparing it to a traditionally low-homicide state with no death penalty (like North Dakota) and concluding that the death penalty doesn't work at all. Even this comparison doesn't work so well. The Times own graph shows Texas, where murder rates were 40 percent above Michigan's in 1991, has now fallen below Michigan . . .". (2)
Within the Times article, Michigan Governor John Engler states, "I think Michigan made a wise decision 150 years ago," referring to the state's abolition of the death penalty in 1846.   "We're pretty proud of the fact that we don't have the death penalty."(3)
Even though easily observed on the Times' own graphics, they failed to mention the obvious. Michigan's murder rate is near or above that of 31 of the US's 38 death penalty states. And then, it should be recognized that Washington, DC (not found within the Times study) and Detroit, Michigan, two non death penalty jurisdictions, have been perennial leaders in murder and violent crime rates for the past 30 years. Delaware, a jurisdiction similar in size to them, leads the nation in executions per murder, but has significantly lower rates of murders and violent crime than do either DC or Detroit, during that same period.
Obviously, the Times study and any other simple comparison of jurisdictions with and without the death penalty, means little, with regard to deterrence.
Also revealed within the Times study, but not pointed out by them,: "One-third of the nation's executions take place in Texas—and the steepest decline in homicides has occurred in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, which together account for nearly half the nation's executions." (4)
And, the Times also failed to mention that the major US jurisdiction with the most executions is Harris County (Houston, Texas), which has seen a 73% decrease in murder rates since resuming executions in 1982 -- possibly the largest reduction for a major metropolitan area since that time.
Also omitted from the Times review, although they had the data, is that during a virtual cessation of executions, from 1966-1980, that murders more than doubled in the US. Any other rise and fall in murders, after that time, has been only a fraction of that change, indicating a strong and direct correlation between the lack of executions and the dramatic increase in murders, if that is specifically what you are looking for.
If deterrence was measured by direct correlation's between execution, or the lack thereof, and murder rates, as implied by the Times article, and as wrongly assumed by those blindly accepting that model, then there would be no debate, only more confusion. Which may have been the Times' goal.
Let's take a look at the science.
Some non death penalty jurisdictions, such as South Africa and Mexico lead the world in murder and violent crime rates. But then some non death penalty jurisdictions, such as Sweden, have quite low rates. Then there are such death penalty jurisdictions as Japan and Singapore which have low rates of such crime. But then other death penalty jurisdictions, such as Rwanda and Louisiana, that have high rates.
To which an astute observer will respond: But socially, culturally, geographically, legally, historically and many other ways, all of those jurisdictions are very different. Exactly, a simple comparison of only execution rates and murder rates cannot tell the tale of deterrence. And within the US, between states, there exist many variables which will effect the rates of homicides.

See REVIEW, below
And, as so well illustrated by the Times graphics, a non death penalty state, such as Michigan has high murder rates and another non death penalty state, such as North Dakota, has low murder rates and then there are death penalty states, such as Louisiana, with high murder rates and death penalty states, such South Dakota, with low rates. Apparently, unbeknownst to the Times, but quite obvious to any neutral observer, there are other factors at play here, not just the presence or absence of the death penalty. Most thinking folks already knew that.
As Economics Professor Ehrlich stated in the Times piece and, as accepted by all knowledgeable parties, there are many factors involved in such evaluations. That is why there is a wide variation of crime rates both within and between some death penalty and non death penalty jurisdictions, and small variations within and between others.  Any direct comparison of only execution rates and only murder rates, to determine deterrence, would reflect either ignorance or deception.
Ehrlich called the Times study "a throwback to the vintage 1960s statistical analyses done by criminologists who compared murder rates in neighboring states where capital punishment was either legal or illegal." "The statistics involved in such comparisons have long been recognized as devoid of scientific merit." He called the Times story a "one sided affair" devoid of merit. Most interesting is that Ehrlich was interviewed by the Time's writer, Fessenden, who asked Ehrlich to comment on the results before the story was published. Somehow Ehrlich's overwhelming criticisms were left out of the article.
Ehrlich also referred Fessenden to some professors who produced the recently released Emory study. Emory Economics department head, Prof. Deshbakhsh "says he was contacted by Fessenden, and he indicated to the Times reporter that the study suggested a very strong deterrent effect of capital punishment." Somehow,
Fessenden's left that out of the Times story, as well. (5).
There is a constant within all jurisdictions -- negative consequences will always have an effect on behavior.

Maybe the Times will be a bit more thoughtful, next time.


"The List: Murder Capitals of the World", 09/08, Foreign Policy Magazine
Capital punishment (cp) or not (ncp)
murder rates/100,000 population
4 out of the top 5  do not have the death penalty
1. Caracas (ncp), Venezuela 130-160
Bad policing.
2. New Orleans (cp), La, USA  69-95
Variable because of different counts in surging population. Drug related.
Nos 2 & 3 in US, Detroit (ncp), 46 and Baltimore (cp), 45.
3. Cape Town (ncp), South Africa 62
Most crimes with people who know each other.
4.  Port Mores (ncp), Papua New Guinea 54
Chinese gangs, corrupt policing
5. Moscow (ncp), Russia 9.6
Of the Top 10 Countries With Lowest Murder Rates  (1), 7 have the death penalty

O f the Top 10  Countries With Highest Murder Rates  (2), 5 have the death penalty

Top 10 Countries With Lowest Murder Rates
Iceland   0.00 ncp
Senegal   0.33 ncp
Burkina Faso 0.38 cp
Cameroon 0.38 cp
Finland 0.71 ncp
Gambia 0.71 cp
Mali 0.71 cp
Saudi Arabia 0.71 cp
Mauritania 0.76 cp
Oman cp

Top 10  Countries With Highest Murder Rates
Honduras 154.02 ncp
South Africa 121.91 ncp
Swaziland 93.32 cp
Colombia 69.98 ncp
Lesotho 50.41 cp
Rwanda 45.08 ncp
Jamaica 37.21 cp
El. Salvador 36.88 cp
Venezuela 33.20 ncp
Bolivia 31.98 cp
(1)    no date
(2)    no date


1)  "States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates",  The New
York Times 9/22/00 located at     
www (dot)  and www (dot)
2) “Don't Know Much About Calculus: The (New York) Times flunks high-school
math in death-penalty piece", William Tucker, National Review, 9/22/00, located
at   www (dot)
3) ibid, see footnote 11
4) "The Death Penalty Saves Lives", AIM Report, August 2000, located atwww (dot)
5) "NEW YORK TIMES UNDER FIRE AGAIN", Accuracy in Media,  10/16/00, go to www (dot)

copyright 2000-2008 Dudley Sharp: Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Pro death penalty sites (Sweden)

dudleysharp said...

Two dogs:

Deterrence is based upon conscious or unconsious factors which refrain actions.

Execution is not a deterrent, it is enhanced incapacitation over incarceration, a lesser incapacitator.

Meaning, obviously, living murderers can harm and murder again, and many do, executed murderers don't.

Don't get trapped in the liberal Dmocrat vs conservative Republican thing. I suspect, worldwide, you can find plenty of jurisdictions with conservative leadership and higher crime rates than in many juridictions with liberal leadership with lower crime rates.

However, I do find that better law enforcement and stronger sanctions will produce a net lower crime rate than lesser law enforcement and weaker sanctions.

Two Dogs said...

Coupla' points here. DNA evidence CANNOT exonerate anyone, it CAN prove that the DNA that is found doesn't belong to the criminal in question, but it CANNOT prove someone is Not Guilty. It can certainly prove someone IS GUILTY. Think about that for a second and you shall understand.

'Nother thing, I have heard over and over about how much it costs to put someone to death versus keeping someone in prison forever. For some reason, folks always try to say that it is cheaper to keep a criminal in jail for their lifetime versus putting them to death. If that was true, I would still have NO problem with the torch method of rehabilitation.

All that said, the truth is that longer someone is alive and in jail, they are still trying to get out and using tax dollars for that purpose, so very simple thought on that matter would tell you that it is DEFINITELY cheaper to put someone to death. Yet, I did the math on it to prove that it is untrue.

The math that debunks that lie.

Roland Hulme said...

Wow, Dudley! You're a man who knows his stuff.

As far as the statistics go - who was who said: There are three types of lies. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.

Roland Hulme said...

As in, whatever statistics I post, you can arguably debunk them.

dudleysharp said...

Sadly, Roland writes: Advocates of the death penalty are willing to execute innocent people and put their state's citizens at increased risk of violent crime.

Roland, I speak for myself, as well as many others, who believe that the death penalty is a just and appropriate sanction that also saves more innocent lives.

So far, no one has disputed that living murderers harm and murder again and that executed murderers don't. You will not dispute it, either.

We also know, beyond dispute, that murderers like LWOP much more than execution.

If 99% of murderers subject to the death penalty prefer life over death, do you think that there is any chance that potential murderers would be more deterred by the possibility of execution or the possibility of a life sentence?

Or, put another way, if 99% of kids prefer chocolate ice cream over broccoli, what percentage of kids will prefer chocolate over broccoli, who have not yet tasted either?

These are common sense questions, btw.

dudleysharp said...

Roland, it isn't a matter of arguing statistics, with death penalty deterrence.

Your foundation and that of DPIC for measuring deterrence was factually in error. I, specifically, showed the error of that methodology.

It can't be only based on the presence or absence of executions and murder rates.

I thought my post made that quite clear. I wasn't making a statistical arguement.

dudleysharp said...

It was Mark Twaim - Samuel Clemens, I believe.

Roland Hulme said...

1: If we haven't executed an innocent person already (and it's likely that we have) then the risk always exists that we will.

2: You say that execution prevents a criminal from re-offending. Life imprisonment should as well - if the 'system' is unable to prevent a criminal escaping from jail, it's CERTAINLY not efficient enough to be responsible for life or death.

3: You say the death penalty deters criminals from committing crimes. It ALSO encourages criminals to eliminate witnesses who could get them a lethal injection.

4: The final, most important point. What sort of society are we when we pay somebody a living wage to kill complete strangers? And what does that make the executioner?

dudleysharp said...


Excellent questions. Answers:

1. No one disputes that there is a risk of executing an innocent.

However, the risk to innocnts is higher without thdeath penalty.

Roland, you need to ask, should we banish all things that might, unintentionally, sacrifice innocents?

Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?


See The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents

2: The trusim is that living murderers harm and murder, again, executed ones don't. Neither the death penalty nor LWOP will ever be perfect, but, again, the evidence is solid that innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.

3: You poorly reverse engineered this isue. You presume that the criminal has already committed a death penalty crime and therefore they will murder witnesses in order not to receive it. Deterrence didn't work for the murderer, to begin with, because of that acts that they had already committed, before they decided to murder witnesses. In the event there was no death penalty, and only LWOP, the same murderer would have also eliminated the same witnesses. In any cases whereby the punishment can never get greater, then some criminals will murder witnesses, when sanction will not get worse.

4: It makes the executioner anexecutioner. You are wrongly begging for a claim of murder, but that is both morally and legally inappropriate. For example, we pay guards a living wage to lock people up against their will. Do you call them kidnappers? Or do you call them guards?

Roland Hulme said...

So you use sketchy statistics to justify the fantasy that killing potentially innocent people saves MORE hypothetical innocent people.

It's like gun control - statistics show home gun owners are seven times as likely to shoot a family member than an intruder, but gun activists still argue that owning a gun 'protects' them.

As far as deterrent goes, Two Dogs touched on the truth when he mentioned Giuliani. The former mayor of New York brought in a no-nonsense, zero tolerance approach to criminal activity. Crime got reduced because people were scared of being arrested.

No sentence is scary enough to deter criminals from committing crime IF they think they won't get caught.

Sarah said...

Well, I was going to stay out of this foray now, and I've enjoyed just reading it. But Roland... you said something that's one of my absolute, all-time biggest pet peeves and thus pulled me out of my silent watching.

You do realize it's people that kill people, not guns. Doesn't matter if they got it legally, illegally or whatever purchased, the point is it's the people not the weapons themselves. So you want to restrict all people from having a safety measure to protect themselves if they so choose because some people are stupid? That's a really bad idea.

And before you go into the statistics of it, all--and I do mean all--statistics cannot be trusted because even if they are truly cold, hard numbers, there is still ALWAYS a way to spin it. They are never objective. To say that numbers don't lie is naive at best, and to put your argument's hope in statistics is unwise and one of the first things I was taught as a debater never to do.

That's all I wanted to say.

dudleysharp said...

Roland writes: So you use sketchy statistics to justify the fantasy that killing potentially innocent people saves MORE hypothetical innocent people.

Reply: Be specific, what did I use which was sketchy? I would be happy to discuss the issues, none of which you have factually rebutted. I contend that you cannot.

Roland why are people scared of being arrested? They only fear arrest because of the sanction. If they don't fear the sanction, why would they care about being arrested? They wouldn't, of course. For example, probation is automatic for murder. Who would fear being arrested for murder? No one, except those who fear the social stigma of being a murderer. What is execution was automatic for murder? The fear of arrest would specifically tied to the sanction.

All (sane) criminals fear sanction. How do we know? Because they try to be undetected during and after commission of a crime. The only reason to avoid arrest is because you don't want the sanction.

I think that is very obvious.

Roland Hulme said...

Don't worry, Sarah - I fully support 2nd amendment rights because it IS clearly in the constitution. The fact that SOCUS voted 3/4 instead of unanimously in that recent case is proof that judges legislate from the bench.

I personally think that anybody who owns a gun should have at least one day a month spent training with a state 'militia' and should be available to be called up by the state during any emergency - that's in the constitution - the right to bear arms "as part of a well regulated militia."

I still think somebody with a family should be VERY wary about owning a gun because they stand more of a chance of hurting their family members than killing an intruder.

I could show you the statistics to prove that, but I think we've all reached a consensus that statistics are pretty useless. Dudley comes up with some - I come up with other the contradict them. Dudley presents more statistics...

So let's forget the gun thing - if you check my blog you'll see I'm not against gun ownership.

Two Dogs said...

Roland, someone that owns a television is three million times more likely to kill a family member with it than an intruder.

Someone that owns a spatula is 650 times more likely to cripple and render blind the family dog with it than they are to be able to jump over a picnic table.

That is your logic, and it made me throw out the television. As well as the washing machine, the refrigerator and all other electric appliances in my home.

Also, children are 500 times more likely to drown in a small bucket than to get shot in a home with a firearm.

So, get rid of those buckets, too.

Also, I stacked 1000 Israeli Desert Eagles .50 calibers on my kitchen table, spun them around and around, and not one person got hurt. Odd, huh?

By the way, statistics are never wrong, it is just the method of aquiring them that skews the results. And also, the people that actually determine what the data means kinda need to not be morons.

Roland Hulme said...

Two Dogs - that whole comment was so nonsensical as to render a response impossible.

Besides, I wasn't saying that people shouldn't own guns. I was just saying that a gun owner statistically stands more of a chance of witnessing one of his children or family members shot than an intruder.

That's why I wouldn't own one.

But if you want a legitimate reason why 'home defense' is a legitimate concept... Compare burglary rates in the USA and the UK...

The huge difference is because people in America don't want to break into somebody's house in case Uncle Elijah blows them away with a magnum.

It's exactly the same contradiction with the death penalty...

Gun owners are more likely to hurt their own family than an intruder. Likewise, states with the death penalty risk killing innocent people.

On the other hand, gun ownership reduces burglary rates and (according to a variety of pro-death penalty statistics) the death penalty 'deters' criminals from committing capital offences.

Which angle is more important than the other?

I would say, as far as the death penalty goes, that WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY allowing potentially innocent people to be executed makes a farce out of statistics that show how many 'hypothetical' people have been protected as a result.

But I guess that's for each individual state to decide. Fortunately I'm in one that banned the death penalty.

dudleysharp said...

Dadly, Roland is tyoical of debaters on the web.

He won't answer questions and he won't follow reason.

Roland, the evidence is that the death penalty will protect more innocent lives. Not having the death penalty will sacrifice more innocents.

Roland, almost all human endeavors put innocents at risk. Would you get rid of all activities that result in innocent deaths?

Roland, or would you evaluate everyting based upon a number of factors.

For example, 40,000 to 100,000 innocents are killed, every year, within the US medical system, because of "medical misadventure".

Roland, what should we do about that?

Two Dogs said...

Roland, I agree that your comment was completely nonsensical and I pointed that out. And I proved further your asinine statements with data that backs up your logic.

If you will not own a gun because you fear for your family, you should certainly get rid of all the buckets around your home. Children are 500 times more likely to drown in a bucket than to get shot when there is a gun in the home. That is a fact, Roland.

Also, you again ignore the FACT that this is a country founded on individual rights, with that comes individual responsibility. The death penalty serves ONE purpose, to put to the death the person that committed a heinous crime. Yes, there are other benefits. Only civilized countries practice the extent of culpability that the US does, in other words, none in the rest of the world.

How far is Alexandria from DC? Seven miles. One has concealed carry, one doesn't, compare the crime stats between the two. Normal human beings can see a correlation.

Roland Hulme said...

"Roland is typical of debaters... ...He won't answer questions and he won't follow reason."

In that case, I went to the same debate bootcamp as Sarah Palin.

Two Dogs said...

Yet, didn't learn to win. Sarah must have participated in some extra activities that you skipped, Roland.

Roland Hulme said...

I just need to inject some more folksy humour into the debate.

"Aww, gee. I know that Joe Sixpack might think the death penalty is a good idea, but I'm a bit of a maverick - so in my mavericky way, I jus' have to ask: Who would Jesus exectute?"

John 8:3-11

Two Dogs said...

Define: exectute, from the Latin word exacuta, which means to mangle a joke by blowing the punchline.

dudleysharp said...

Re: John 8

Even anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean, often inaccurate, got this right(for a while): "It is abundantly clear that the Bible depicts murder as a capital crime for which death is considered the appropriate punishment, and one is hard pressed to find a biblical proof text in either the Hebrew Testament or the New Testament which unequivocally refutes this. Even Jesus' admonition "Let him without sin cast the first stone", when He was asked the appropriate punishment for an adulteress (John 8:7) - the Mosaic Law prescribed death - should be read in its proper context. This passage is an entrapment story, which sought to show Jesus' wisdom in besting His adversaries. It is not an ethical pronouncement about capital punishment . Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking.

Also see - Misuse and misunderstanding of John 8:7 is quite common. See Forgery in the Gospel of John

What about the woman caught in adultery?
From “Why I Support Capital Punishment”, by Andrew Tallman, sections 7-11 biblical review, sections 1-6 secular review

In John 8:1-11, the Pharisees bring Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery to see if He will authorize her execution. After He famously says, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her,” they all depart, and Jesus sends the woman on her way, saying, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more.” Of all passages in the Bible, this one most clearly shows that Jesus opposed capital punishment.

First, we should note that this passage is textually dubious. The best manuscripts don’t include it, and both its placement and style controvert its authenticity.

Even so, the Christian community has long considered this an iconic story of Jesus’s mercy. So, to merely throw it out would be inappropriate. Besides, it may well be a legitimate story, just not one included in the John autoscript. Hence, an interpretation would be more helpful than a dismissal.

The trouble is that most people wildly misunderstand this story. The Pharisees’ only reason for bringing this woman to Jesus was to put Him in a dilemma. On the one hand, He couldn’t call for her execution since Roman law prohibited anyone other than a Roman court from doing this. The Pharisees proved they knew this when they later brought Jesus to Pilate rather than killing Him themselves. On the other hand, He couldn’t oppose her execution because this would have proven He was a false prophet for contradicting God’s Law. The passage even explains this in verse 6, “they were saying this, testing Him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing Him.”

So, the Pharisees wanted to make Jesus a heretic for opposing capital punishment, but He evaded their trap. The tremendous irony is that now, two thousand years later, people who claim to love Jesus teach that He was precisely the heretic His enemies wanted to paint Him as. If Jesus was in fact repudiating capital punishment in this story, then He was neither the Divine Son of God nor even a true prophet. As I’m apparently more reluctant than others to embrace this conclusion, I can’t interpret
Jesus as rejecting the Old Testament here. Had He been, His enemies would have left jubilant rather than ashamed. There are many theories on the meaning of this story, but the one thing we must not do is use it to say Jesus overturned God’s Word as His enemies intended.

Do a GOOGLE search for entrapment “John 8:7" and read the results.

Here are a couple, below.

John 6-23 The woman Caught in Adultery


The Woman Taken in Adultery
By Rousas John Rushdoony

During the course of our analysis of the law, repeated references were made to the confirmation of the law in the Gospels. It is not our purpose here either to repeat those confirmations or to attempt an exhaustive catalogue of every reference to the law in the Gospels. One event, however, although cited in some detail earlier, deserves further attention: the story of the woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11.

Because this particular incident has been cited as an instance of the setting aside of the law, as the prime example, in fact, it needs further attention because it in fact is a confirmation of the law. Had the incident been at all antinomian, it would have provided the scribes and Pharisees with exactly the charge they wanted with which to condemn Jesus.

The charge of Jesus against the scribes and Phari- sees was precisely their antinomianism; He had strongly denounced them publicly for their neglect of the law for tradition (Matt. 15:1-10). No answer was possible against this charge: clearly, the leaders of the people had set aside the law by means of their humanistic legal tradition.

The whole point of the attack of these leaders was to try to show that Jesus, when confronted by the hard facts of a concrete case, would be no more a strict champion of the law than they were. The culminating example of this attempt to embarrass Jesus was this incident of the woman taken in adultery. To ask for the full enforcement of the law, the death penalty, would have been to invite hostility, because the pre- vailing attitude was one of moral laxity.

To deny the death penalty would have enabled the Pharisees to charge Jesus with hypocrisy: He would then have been in the same school of thought as the Pharisees He condemned. Quite obviously, Jesus did not take an antinomian stand, because the Pharisees left, confounded, and the incident obviously confirmed Jesus as the champion of the law. A woman had been “taken in adultery, in the very act” (John 8:4).

The woman was “brought unto him.” We cannot assume that she came voluntarily. She may have been dragged there, but the text does not indicate this. Apparently “the scribes and Pharisees” involved had police powers, or had, with the assistance of the authorities, used such legal powers as were necessary to compel her compliance. Having such legal authority, they were also requiring that Jesus preside at the hearing.

The man involved in the act was not brought forward; we have no knowledge of the reason for this, although it would appear that it would have aggravated the “offense” of Jesus had He either demanded the death penalty for a woman, or, on the other hand, allowed an adulterous woman to go free. More emotional reaction could be milked by the use of an adulterous woman than an adulterous man.

“Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him” (John 8:5-6). The reason for the incident is plainly stated: grounds for an accusation against Jesus were sought. Would Jesus persist as the champion of the law, or would He retreat into the use of some aspect of the pharisaic tradition? “But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not” (John 8:6). At this point, the comment of Burgon is most telling and deserves full citation:

The Scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to our SAVIOR on a charge of adultery. The sin prevailed to such an extent among the Jews that the Divine enactments concerning one so accused had long since fallen into practical oblivion. On the present occasion our LORD is observed to revive His own ancient ordinance after a hitherto unheard of fashion. The trial by bitter water, or water of conviction (See Num. v. 11-31), was a species of ordeal, intended for the vindication of innocence, the conviction of guilt. But ac- cording to the traditional belief the test proved inefficacious, unless the husband himself was innocent of the crime whereof he accused his wife. Let the provisions of the law, contained in Num. v. 16 to 24, be now considered.

The accused Woman having been brought near, and set before the LORD, the priest took “holy water in an earthen vessel,” and put “of the dust of the floor of the tabernacle into the water.” Then, with the bitter water that causeth the curse in his hand, he charged the woman by oath. Next, he wrote the curses in a book and blotted them out with the bitter water; causing the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse. Whereupon if she were guilty, she fell under a terrible penalty,—her body testifying visibly to her sin. If she was innocent, nothing followed.

And now, who sees not that the Holy One dealt with His hypo- critical assailants, as if they had been the accused parties? Into the presence of incarnate JEHOVAH verily they had been brought: and perhaps when He stooped down and wrote upon the ground. it was a bitter sentence against the adulterer and adulteress which He wrote. We have but to assume some connexion between the curse which He thus traced “in the dust of the floor of the tabernacle” and the words which He uttered with His lips, and He may with truth be declared to have “taken of the dust and put it on the water,” and “caused them to drink of the bitter water which causeth the curse.” For when, by His Holy Spirit, our great High Priest in His human flesh addressed these adulterers,—what did He but present them with living water (v. 17. So the LXX) “in an earthen vessel” (2 Cor. iv. 7; v. 1)? Did He not further charge them with an oath of cursing, saying, “If ye have not gone aside to uncleanness, be ye free from the bitter water: but if ye be defiled”—On being presented with which alternative, did they not, self-convicted, go out one by one? And what else was this but their own acquittal of the sinful woman, for whose condemnation they had shewed them- selves so impatient? Surely it was “the water of conviction” as it is six times called, which they had been compelled to drink; where- upon, “convicted by their own conscience,” as St. John relates, they had pronounced the other’s acquittal. Finally, note that by Himself declining to “condemn” the accused woman, our LORD also did in effect blot out those curses which He had already written against her in the dust,—when He made the floor of the sanctuary His “book.”1

Because this incident took place in the temple (John 8:2), Burgon’s comment is all the more to the point. The temple dust He wrote in met the requirements of the law. His action placed every accuser on trial immediately; that they were aware of this, the text makes clear, for we are told that all felt “convicted by their own conscience” (John 8:9). Charges had been made against the woman by the “scribes and Pharisees.” Their charges represented a clear-cut case against a woman taken in “the very act” of adultery. The counter-charges by Jesus, by His actions and by His declaration, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7), broke them. As themselves guilty men, they suspected secret evidence on His part against them They were busy trying to collect evidence against Jesus; this made it easier for them to believe that Jesus had done the same to them. These scribes and Pharisees had preferred charges against the woman in the place of her husband; Jesus placed them in the husband’s category by invoking Numbers 5 by His writing in the dust.

If they were guilty, and Jesus knew of their guilt, then, if He invoked the death penalty, could He not charge them also? By invoking

Numbers 5, Jesus in effect placed them on trial also: did they come to judgement with clean hands? It will not do to plead the “high moral standards” of Pharisees, These men were planning the death of Jesus. In the face of their deliberate and calculating plans against God’s Messiah, the sin of adultery was a trifling matter to such men. They had no stomach for an accusation against them which could cite God’s requirement a death penalty. When Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7), He was not referring to sins in general but to the sin of adultery. A general statement would mean no court of law is possible; the specific reference meant that men (1. John W. Burgon, The Woman Taken in Adultery, p. 239 f. On the evidences for the authenticity of this passage, see p. 246 ff.) guilty of a crime were not morally free to condemn that crime in another unless they condemned it in themselves.

We are told that all these scribes and Pharisees were then “convicted by their own conscience” (vs. 9). Moreover, Jesus had confirmed the death penalty; He had simply demanded honest witnesses to step forward and execute her, to “first cast a stone at her” (vs. 7). To remain as witnesses against her was to invite witnesses against themselves; to testify to a witnessed fact and confirm a death penalty against the woman was to invite a witness unto death against themselves. They left.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: Go, and sin no more (John 8:10-11).

At this point, it is necessary to distinguish between civil or juridical forgiveness. Civil forgiveness occurs when a condemned person pays the penalty for his crime, when restitution is made and the moral claims of the law are satisfied. A thief who had robbed a man of an ox and restored fivefold is thereupon forgiven. Religious forgiveness requires as a prior condition restitution, or civil forgiveness. A thief cannot be forgiven religiously if he has not made restitution. There is a similar distinction between civil condemnation and religious condemnation. Civil condemnation is for offenses against the civil law; religious condemnation is both for offenses against the civil law and for disbelief of God and His law-word.

The two kinds of forgiveness and condemnation are distinct but related. Jesus had been asked to make a pronouncement on the civil law with respect to adultery; He affirmed the death penalty. The witnesses, however, had withdrawn their charge and had disappeared. There was thus no legal case against the woman. Legally, Jesus could not therefore sustain a case: “Neither do I condemn thee.” But a moral case existed. The humility of the woman, who acknowledged Him to be “Lord,” indicates some evidence of change in her, and perhaps regeneration. But Jesus simply said, “Go, and sin no more,” an echo of His words in John 5:14, “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” It is more than possible that she was religiously a changed person, and forgiven by God’s grace. We are simply told that no ground for legal condemnation existed at the moment. This does not rule out subsequent legal condemnation; her husband, if she had one, is not evident in this episode, but he would have had grounds for some kind of action, under existing law, if he chose. This is not the concern of the text.

She was granted acquittal in terms of the evidences of the immediate “hearing.” Jesus recognized the reality of her offense by His warning, “Go, and sin no more.” The fact of this warning indicates some evidences of a change in her, since it was contrary to our Lord’s practice to warn those who would not be warned (Matt. 7:6). For Christ to tell an unregenerate person to “sin no more” is unreasonable. The particular sin referred to was adultery. She was charged with a responsibility to chastity as an aspect of her new life in Christ.

The woman addressed Jesus as “Lord” (John 8:11); the scribes and Pharisees simply called Him “Master” (vs. 4), and the disciples themselves often spoke of Him as simply “Rabbi” (John 1:49). Her con- duct here indicated a changed person. In brief, instead of any evidence of antinomianism, this episode confirmed emphatically the position of Jesus as the champion of the law, and He confounded the attempts of the scribes and Pharisees to prove otherwise. The sin of Phariseeism was thus exposed. Phariseeism, first of all, denied the necessity of conversion. Man, by his unaided free will, is able to save himself, to choose between good and evil and make himself good. Both free will and self-salvation were thus affirmed, and pre- destination and conversion or regeneration denied.2

Second, the Pharisees had, while professing to hold to the law of God, converted it into the traditions of men. Thus, they had denied the Biblical doctrines of justification and sanctification and were accordingly the particular target of Christ’s denunciation. The Pharisees, professing to be champions of God’s word, were in fact its enemies and perverters.

2. See Hugo Odeberg, Phariseeism and Christianity (St. Louis: Concordia, 1964).

I am very happy to have presented the above extended passage which is quoted from Rousas John Rushdoony’s INSTITUTES OF BIBLICAL LAW, The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, The Craig Press, 1973

“I most heartily recommend this, his central and finest work, to the reader.”

Richard Eric Gunby currently resides in the central North Carolina town of Graham, located halfway between Durham and Greensboro, and approx. 35 minutes from Chapel Hill. Holding a fully accredited B.A. (1976) in Bible and Philosophy, with two years of graduate seminary work, he is a published writer of nutrition & alternative health, and Pre-Columbian studies concerned with ancient exploration.

He has also previously self-published a Biblical/Theological study on God’s Omniscience, entitled The Future. Another of his self-published works details and thoroughly documents the voyage of Prince Henry Sinclear to America almost a hundred years before Columbus, in, Little Known Facts of Gunn(by) History.

He has been in the faith since the Lord Jesus Christ brought Eric to Himself in 1972. He is a member in good standing of Beacon Baptist Church, Burlington, NC. A moderate size independent fellowship (approx. 350) that adheres to and promotes the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of grace, also emphasizes expositional preaching, discipleship, and missions.

Eric welcomes all civil correspondence:

Richard Eric Gunby
Lot 18 Sleepy Hollow<
2833 South Hwy. NC #87
Graham, NC 27253-9429
1(336) 570 – 1237

Sarah said...

Wow... I missed a lot. I was high up in the clouds and not thinking of anything about the death penalty, except for maybe inflicting it on anyone trying to take me away from there. Now that I'm a few thousand feet closer to sea level (and have about 1200 pictures of fall in Colorado), I'm slowly returning to former discussions.

Roland--I apologize for jumping the gun on that one, no pun intended. Part of where that came from was me reading somewhere that you said you were socially liberal. Almost exclusively when I've dealt with folks like that, they're anti-gun. Glad to know you're an anomaly.

Two Dogs said...

Sarah, you didn't read what Roland said, he said he is all for the Second Amendment, but basically if it disallows people from owning guns where there are families involved and they are required to take a once a month class.

True, I parsed his comments. But, you have to actually read what he is saying to understand how vehemently anti-gun that he is.

Roland is all for gun ownership, but only if it is by someone that lives alone on a desert island with NO possibility of ever coming into contact with his kind that has no problem letting murderers loose in the city.

Sarah said...

Actually, that's kind of what I got out of it as well, Two Dogs. Hence my first reply.

Roland Hulme said...

Ah, Two Dogs... I think you're full of it! I said nothing of the sort.

I said I personally wouldn't own guns, because statistically I'm more likely to get shot by my wife than 'protect' my family from an intruder.

Besides, I have a cricket bat to deal with intruders.

I think one day a month 'militia training' for gun owners in entirely reasonable - and in the constitution.

But I'm more friendly towards gun owners than you'd think.

I have to admit, after Hurrican Katrina I realised that if six burly men broke into my house intent on raping my wife, I think I'd prefer a gun then that cricket bat.

My brother in law lives five miles away from the nearest police station and hundreds of yards away from neighbours - he owns guns because it somebody broke into his house, nobody would hear no matter how loud he yelled.

I just dislike guns personally. I prefer to 'compensate' with a big, powerful sportscar instead.

Roland Hulme said...

Dudley - how come the bit about Jesus being AGAINST the death penalty is scriptually unsound, yet condemning gay people isn't?

Whichever way you look at it, the death penalty is 'old testament' and Jesus never said anything to support it.

Sarah said...

Roland--as with anything in the Bible, you have to look at the context. Are we talking about killing everyone who has an affair? No. These verses don't apply here.

Two Dogs said...

Roland, instead of hitting intruders with a cricket bat, why not just hit them with your purse? Same thing.

And again, you are statistically more likely (by 500 times) to drown in a bucket than to shoot your family with a gun in the house. You better get rid of those buckets, Roland.

The Other Sarah, I am calling for the execution of anyone that cheats on their spouse. I am not kidding either. That very act shows that there is nothing at all that is sacred and your word means nothing. Just saying. Bring back the stigma.

Sarah said...

Two Dogs, I'm not exactly opposed to that either... remember one of my "rules" is keep your word.

dudleysharp said...

Roland, do you research anyhting before making claims?

You write: "Whichever way you look at it, the death penalty is 'old testament' and Jesus never said anything to support it."

That is obviously untrue, as the New Testament references, above, in previous post, make clear.

Here is but one.

"Why I Support Capital Punishment", by Andrew Tallman
sections 7-11 biblical review, sections 1-6 secular review

"If Jesus elsewhere opposes capital punishment, then He is not only contradicting the Father but even His own words. "

"Typically, (the anti death penalty) view is that the harsh and mean God the Father of the Old Testament established execution, but the loving and kind God the Son of the New Testament abolished it."

"I’m pretty sure such people don’t realize they’re denying the Trinity when they say this."

"The doctrine of the Trinity affirms the eternal unity of all three persons of the Godhead, but such a fundamental disagreement between the Son and the Father would rupture this unity. In fact, if Jesus had contradicted any of the Father’s principles, let alone such a well-established one, that very disagreement would have immediately disproved His claims to be the divine Son."

"This was exactly the heresy the Pharisees were hoping to trap Him into when they brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus. Even His enemies knew that He absolutely had to affirm capital punishment in order to prove Himself not a false prophet. "

"How truly strange, then, that those who claim to love Him assert that He did exactly what His enemies failed to trick Him into doing! Far from opposing capital punishment, Jesus actually advocated it, as His unity with the Father required."

"Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.”

"Just a few verses later, He extends the prohibition against murder to hatred and condemns haters to “the hell of fire” in verse 22, which is very strange talk for someone who opposes capital punishment. It’s very hard to dismiss these verses because they occur smack in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, which is so often mistakenly offered as the repudiation of Old Testament justice."

"Later, Jesus scolds the Pharisees and scribes for teaching leniency toward rebellious children by quoting the Old Testament, “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’” (Matthew 15:4)"

"Subsequently, when the Romans come to arrest Jesus, Peter rather ineptly tries to defend Him by killing Malchus, but only succeeds in slicing off his ear. Jesus rebukes him with the warning, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” Far from advocating pacifism, as this passage is often misused to do, Jesus here teaches Peter that using the sword (for murder) will only get the sword used against him (for execution)."

"Shortly thereafter, Jesus tells Pilate in John 19:11, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above…” This authority to put Jesus to death would be odd if it didn’t entail the general power to execute criminals."

"Finally, when He is dying of crucifixion, Jesus accepts the repentance of the thief on the cross, who says to his reviling companion, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds….” (Luke 23:40-41)"

"Had Jesus disagreed with this statement, responding to it with the promise of eternal salvation was a rather obtuse way to express the correction."

"Beyond all this evidence that Jesus affirms the consistent Biblical principle of capital punishment, there is yet one more vital concept to grasp. Christians believe that Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of us all."

"Although His sinlessness merited eternal life, He endured the death we deserved to extend that gift to us. As Prof. Michael Pakaluk so perfectly expressed the point, “If no crime deserves the death penalty, then it is hard to see why it was fitting that Christ be put to death for our sins….” If we didn’t deserve the death penalty ourselves, then why would Christ need to suffer it on our behalf in order to satisfy the justice of God? Denying the death penalty directly assaults the justice of the Father, Who required His own Son to pay precisely that price in our stead."

"What about the rest of the New Testament?"

"Since both Jesus’s teaching and His death affirm the capital punishment, it should come as no surprise that the rest of the New Testament reinforces this view."

"When confronting Governor Festus, Paul says in Acts 25:11, “If I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of these things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. He both affirms capital statutes and accepts them as binding on him if he has broken one."

"Later, in the New Testament’s most famous passage on the nature of government, Paul explains, “But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for [the government] does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.” (Romans 13:4)"

"Finally, the same Bible which begins in Genesis 9:6 with the establishment of capital punishment, then carries the theme consistently throughout the text, and ends by reiterating it in Revelation 13:10, “If any one is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if any one kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”

"Literally from beginning to end, the Bible teaches that capital punishment is authorized and required by God."

also published at

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

AmusedMomma said...

Roland, there are lots of things in our homes that are at least as dangerous as a gun -- knives, bleach, matches, lighters, gas (for mowers or leaf blowers), the stove (electric or otherwise), microwave oven, and many medications both over-the-counter and prescribed.

My dad taught hunter-safety and gun-safety classes most of his adult life, and because of that I don't consider a gun any different than other dangerous things in our home.

Parents need to instruct their kids on the proper use of all kinds of things... not just guns. Somehow you elevate the gun as needing more and special rules than the other dangerous things in our homes, and I just don't agree with you that it deserves special consideration.

Two Dogs said...

All caps to denote screaming: AM, DON'T FORGET BUCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AmusedMomma said...

Yes, TD, I'll amend my list and add buckets. But I also didn't mention scissors (how many of our moms said "don't run with scissors you'll poke your eye out?") But I also didn't mention a plethora of things like needles, rap music, MSM delivered via the public airwaves, bats, hockey sticks, and other sporting equipment, and many other things! And just for Roland, I'll add cricket bats too!

Roland Hulme said...

You know what, I've changed my mind. You're all absolutely right. A gun is in NO way as dangerous as a bucket, a cigarette lighter or a pair of scissors.

I mean, a gun only fires a lead projectile at the speed of sound, with enough power to blow a hole the size of a fist in somebody.

I'd lock up the lighters if I was you.


Let's just cut to the chase. Guns are cool. People want to own guns because they're cool. The home defense and second amendment stuff is just an excuse.

That's why you get nutjobs with forty guns. If it was really about 'home defence' they'd have a SINGLE shotgun over the fireplace like the founding fathers envisioned.

What the hell do they expect to run into? A marauding band of Native Americans?

As for the argument about Jesus supporting the death penalty - double talk and balderdash. You give me one theology interpretation. I'll give you another.

Jesus was about love and peace - tell me where the death penalty comes into that. Trying to find justification for the death penalty in the New Testament is hypocritical and calls for more double talk than Johnny Cochrane could deliver.

It's legally irresponsible, too. Check out the Wineville Chicken murders. A guy is put to death, yet one of his 'victims' turns up alive and well five years later.

Oh, the guy almost certainly committed murders - but he was convicted for a murder that didn't happen.

The American justice system at work?

Face it - the American justice system is not capable of handling a decision as important as life or death.

Sarah said...

Three points I want to make:

1) "If it was really about 'home defence' they'd have a SINGLE shotgun over the fireplace like the founding fathers envisioned" -- I'd love to have the insight you do into this, because frankly, I've never once read anywhere that this was their intent.

2) I never said that Jesus supported the death penalty. I merely said your "proof" text in opposition of it was invalid.

3) If the justice system can't handle life and death decisions, they can't handle anything. Don't you think locking up a murderer is a life and death decision too? Because what it's doing is trying to preserve other people's lives, is it not? If not, quite frankly, you're insane (which, I might point out, coming from me is actually a compliment, as I often refer to myself as that).

There is a consequence to every action. I don't see how a life for a life isn't a fair trade where it comes to matters like this. What about examples of inmates on death row who actually refused appeals because they believe their just punishment is death (as far as I can tell, this has been the case several times when such inmates converted to Christianity, and realized that there are indeed consequences for their actions)? I'm sure you're going to want examples of this, I can look them up when I have some time for you if you'd like.

dudleysharp said...

Roalnd writes: "As for the argument about Jesus supporting the death penalty - double talk and balderdash. You give me one theology interpretation. I'll give you another."

First, you refer me to an article wherein the writer makes about all of the same errors that you do. Bad choice.

Then the author recites one erroneous interpretation after another. I looked for his email or website, but couldn't find, either. If you have them, please forward.

Most importantly, my post included the actual words of Jesus, in the context of death penalty imposition.

Furthermore, my additonal references included many biblical scholars, theologians, Saints, Popes, etc. giving their death penalty opinions, in favor of the sanction.

Two Dogs said...

DS, Roland gave you a link to HuffPo. What did you expect? They are almost as trustworthy as DailyKos.

Roland Hulme said...

Hi Sarah - thanks for the compliment (I think.)

When I was talking about the shotgun over the fireplace - that's EXACTLY what the founding fathers were envisioning.

You have to take the constitution - just like the Bible - in historical context.

The 2nd Amendment was written to prevent a government (like the British) refusing to let citizens own muskets in case they rose up in rebellion.

And only own muskets as long as they were part of a trained, organised local militia ("the right to bear arms AS PART OF A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.")

Most families back then had one or two muskets to hunt with or defend their home with.

The founding fathers had no concept of repeating handguns or semi-automatic weapons.

To try and interpret the intention of the founding fathers, you need to look at the context in which the words were written, not mangle the words to suit an agenda.

So in that context, I think owning a single shotgun or handgun is perfectly acceptable and within the vision of the founding fathers.

It's also perfectly within that vision to demand that gun owners sign up for and train as a local militia once a month.

dudleysharp said...

Sarah and Roland:

In interesting second amendment discussion you have going.

A blog I subscribe to has extensive coverage of that issue.

Do a google search with the following:

volokh Heller "second amendment"

You'll come up with some very intersting discussions.

Two Dogs said...

Roland, the concept of individual freedoms seems to be the hardest premise for you to grasp. The Second Amendment is actually a request from the federal government to the people, it is not in essence about firearms, it is about your individual freedoms and the neccessity of individuals to protect this country from threats. And according to Jefferson, that includes from the nutcases in Washington. (Yes, I know they were in Philly at the time.)

Individual freedom is the one idea that used to set out country apart from all the losers that lived elsewhere. You know, like those snaggle-toothed ugly folks in Nancy-boy Ol' England.

I happen to have the opinion that if the founding fathers knew about nuclear weapons, they would have wanted every citizen to have one to help protect our country from all the bad and stupidfolks that want to return to governance by dolts. You know, dolts that think that healthcare is a right.

One philosophical concept that collectivists and mob rule morons have a problem grasping is that our founding fathers started off with the implicit idea that all government was bad. And if you look at what Barry Obama and the Congressional Democrats have done to the economy in less than two years, I think that you would have to agree. Well, if you aren't a moron.

Junebug said...

After reading your statement I must admit I am pretty much just like you. Your expressed these things very well.

Roland Hulme said...

Funny how people who say "healthcare is not a right" only say that up until the point that they don't have it any more!

This is a whole other kettle of fish, but you're wrong. Access to healthcare is the right of EVERY American.

The choice is whether to let the government deliver it (BAD, just look at England) or let private business offer it for people to buy themselves (GOOD, with some refinement.)

If people can't afford healthcare, or aren't eligable, a civilised society will give them the basics.

The rest of us can afford it ourselves, or get it through our jobs.

If you choose NOT to buy healthcare, but CAN afford it, then that's your problem. It's still available.

Coffee Bean said...

Well... I think of the "right" to healthcare along the lines of happiness. We don't have the "right" to happiness, but we have the right to pursue it. Does that make sense?

I am all for healthcare being available for everyone... just not through our government and especially not through our federal government.

There's a danger with having the government in control of too many aspects of our lives Roland. Also, when people believe there are government programs for everything and the government is paying for it out of our pockets, there is less desire to step in, dig deeper, and do more. Especially when the money all ready taken is not being used appropriately.

Two Dogs said...

CB, I like to refer to your premises above as "rewarding failure and punishing success." I think that is what we do these days in this country.

Sarah said...

So I hate to be beating a dead horse... but I just can't resist...

Think about this:

a. The number of physicians in the US is 700,000.

b. Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year is 120,000.

c. Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171 (US Dept. of Health & Human Services).

Then think about this:

a. The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000.

b. The number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups) is

c. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.0000188.

Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.


Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand.

PS. As a public health measure, we have withheld the statistics on
lawyers for fear that the shock could cause people to seek medical attention.

dudleysharp said...


40,000 to 100,000 innocents die, every year, in the US because of medical misadventure or improper medical treatment. (2)

"Deaths from Medical Misadventure"


"Health Grades Quality Study: Patient Safety in American Hospitals, July 2004"

Sarah said...

I'm fully aware of the medical malpractice situation in the country. Not only was the year I debated MedMal the year I won regionals in debate, but I've also done some work for a Medical Malpractice lawyer going to my church.

That aside, it was just a joke. I knew the statistics were a little off, from my own research that's a few years old. My point was that those pesky doctors are as dangerous as scissors! ;)

Sarah said...

(By the way, Mr. Sharp, thank you for the current statistics.)