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Capital Punishment is no longer practised in our society. Explain what differing Christian attitudes might be to Capital Punishment.

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Introduction

Capital Punishment is no longer practised in our society. Explain what differing Christian attitudes might be to Capital Punishment. Capital punishment is also called the death penalty where a criminal is put to death for their crime depending on the seriousness of the offence committed. A serious enough offence for the death penalty would mainly be rape and murder in most countries. Capital punishment has not been used in Britain since 1970, however it is used in some of the states in America and many other countries around the world. Christians can be for or against this and usually turn to the bible and church for support of their views. A reason why a Christian might favour Capital Punishment would be for deterrence. This means to deter or put off other criminals from committing the same crime and being punished in this way. Deuteronomy in the Old Testament of the bible, states that on the evidence of two or more witnesses of committing the crime then they should be put to death. The passages says, 'And all the people shall hear, and fear and not act presumptuously again.' This shows that capital punishment was put there to deter other criminals and potential murderers from committing similar crimes. Another reason why a Christian may agree with the death penalty is vindication of the law. ...read more.

Middle

Recently the Roman Catholic Church condemned the death penalty. Many other Christian denominations are against capital punishment, including Baptists, Quakers, Salvationists and members of the United Reformed church, which is because of the bible teachings against capital punishment. 1 of the 10 commandments in the bible states that, 'Thou shalt not kill' In Genesis it says that life is a precious gift, in which God created humans in his own image, therefore it shows that life is sacred and important where every individual has a God given right to live. The death penalty denies the sacredness of human life given by God even if a person has murdered another. It is a vicious circle murdering the murders. Another reason why many Christians are opposed to Capital Punishment is that there is always a chance of wrongfully executing somebody. Many convicted murderers are later found innocent. In America, in 1987 a study was carried out where some evidence had been found to suggest that at least 350 people between 1900 and 1985 were innocent of the crime they had been accused of and there are probably many more cases where the person has been innocent that we will never know about. The wrongful execution of an innocent person is an injustice that can never be rectified. ...read more.

Conclusion

If somebody is given the death penalty they can never be forgiven and lose the chance for salvation, which is very important form a Christian's perspective, as they would feel as if they were effectively sending people to hell. Jesus looked against revenge and taught us to turn the other cheek where revenge is not acceptable, which goes against capital punishment, as that is a form of revenge. In the gospel of Matthew in the passage, 'An Eye for an Eye' he says, 'if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other one also' Teaching that the revenge theme in the Old Testament is wrong and that people should forgive. Jesus also taught people to have compassion and forgiveness in the passage 'Love for Enemies'. He says, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you' Here Jesus says not to hate your enemies but to love them and that forgiveness is better than revenge. In conclusion it is obvious that there are contradicting attitudes shared by Christians, however most Christians are opposed to capital punishment as Jesus seems to portray in the New Testament that forgiveness and reform are very important when dealing with criminals. Many studies have been carried out and depending on which data you select you can find statistics to support each argument. ...read more.

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