In a fascinating new look at capital punishment, Professor Walter Berns of Georgetown University argues that support of the death penalty is tied to belief in God. He documents the link between secularization and declining support for capital punishment.
A world so lacking in passion lacks the necessary components of punishment. Punishment has its origins in the demand for justice, and justice is demanded by angry, morally indignant men, men who are angry when someone else is robbed, raped, or murdered, men utterly unlike Camus's Meursault. This anger is an expression of their caring, and the just society needs citizens who care for each other, and for the community of which they are parts. One of the purposes of punishment, particularly capital punishment, is to recognize the legitimacy of that righteous anger and to satisfy and thereby to reward it. In this way, the death penalty, when duly or deliberately imposed, serves to strengthen the moral sentiments required by a self-governing community.
You can read more here.
-What do you think about the observations made in the article?
-Do you find that Walter Berns' correlations between the death penalty and religion is accurate?
-What are your views on the death penalty?
-What does the Bible say about this issue?