May you all have peace!
FlyingHighNow: Those of you who are parents and grandparents, ask yourselves, if my child or grandchild were on death row, how would I honestly feel? I can say that I would not want for a child of mine to be executed.
SammieLee24: but on the flip side - if it were my little baby girl at 4 years old that was picked up, brutally raped repeatedly and then laid in the ground alive while someone buried her.....I know I'd crave the death penalty. As much as the offenders family want them to live - the victims and their families wanted their loved ones to live also.
AGuest reiterates: Were it you or your loved one, you would most probably choose whichever side applies... at the time... which could differ greatly from what you would choose now. [Emphasis edited]
With that said, okay, well, since I’ve been putting in my "personal" $.02 these days (dear Lord, help me, why? I should know better!) here is my personal truth (wait, let me put on my Kevlar coat first, please - okay, then):
If my child were murdered (i.e., not accidentally, unintentionally and/or absent malice)… I would to my utmost to forgive the person(s) responsible. I would tell the both the person and the state that I will try my best to forgive them… and I would work on doing that. I cannot say, however, TRUTHFULLY… that I would fight the state should they decide for the death penalty. In my mind, that person lived by the “law” of the world, and so is subject to being judged… and condemned… by the law of the world. I would ask the Most Holy One of Israel for their forgiveness… truly, I would… BUT I would NOT try to fool the Holy Spirit by pretending that I AM “forgiving”... if I am not. Rather, I would also pray for the “right" heart about it… and forgiveness should I fail. In essence, I would forgive the person as best I could - for me to sit here and say that I absolutely WOULD forgive them would, in my case, most probably not be the truth. I know me… and I know that I would have to work at it (I have been totally honest - I am a sinner!). But I would work at it (this is the truth)… because first and foremost, I am a sinner myself… and wish forgiveness from those I “sin against”… and second, because NOT doing so would wreak havoc on MY life… which I cannot allow: I have another beautiful child… a loving husband… loving friends and family (in laws - I'm pretty much an "orphan")… and a little doggie (Louie!!)… that I LOVE... and would still want to be totally present and available for - physically, mentally, spiritually, psychologically... and emotionally.
If my child were on death row as a result of being falsely accused, I would do all that I could to help them be exonerated. I would dedicate my life to it. If I failed, I would grieve, of course – this is my child -but I would NOT lose my faith in God. I understand how the Adversary works...what he's up to and why... and it would take more, MUCH more… than the loss of a child… however that loss comes about. It would take much more than the 10 Job lost... and I only have 2.
If my child killed anyone, for any reason other than accidentally or in self defense… I would not have the state or anyone else put him or her to death. I would do it myself… and welcome the consequences (life in prison, death, whathaveyou). It was my child who committed such a crime and, therefore, it is MY responsibility to deal with it. I don’t believe that in such circumstances my child’s fate should be in anyone's hands... but mine. It doesn’t matter whether I “created” the “monster” (maybe I was a good mother!). What matters to ME is that NO ONE else has to bear the burden… or suffer the consequence (including that of a bad conscience)... of having to do it. Thus, if my child is judged by this world to be put to death for a crime they committed, there is no one to look at… or blame… but me. If my child should die, then I am the one to do it, and no one else. Because I would most probably be "dead" inside if I lived anyway - how could a child of mine do such a thing??!!! - and, IMHO, anything else would be saying that I believe my own life… is worth more than my child’s… or his/her victim's... and, IMHO, that could never be.
I have told each one of these "truths" to my children almost from the time they came into this world. Each one. And it might be why, to this date, I have not had a single bit of trouble out of either of them. I mean, maybe they knew I really meant it when I repeated to them the mantra used by many African Americans and others: “I brought you into this world… I WILL take you out.”
Again, this is my personal truth and, again, may you all have peace.
A slave of Christ,
SA, on her own (and wishing she probably shouldn't have been. I think I'll keep the Kevlar cost on just a little while longer...)