On top of that, it makes the argument that some lives are worth more than others. And they're not. All lives should be equal before the law. I know that sometimes it's not that simple, that sometimes we have to decide between two lives, and we make choices, based on any number of things. But in principle, if we believe that life is sacred, that means all life is sacred. Christians who advocate the death penalty seem to forget a few things: Jesus was a victim of capital punishment, we are called not to judge others, and we can all be forgiven. The death penalty is a statement that we believe people to be beyond redemption. Which, for a Christian would seem to defeat the central tenet of the faith, since Christ's death is supposed to redeem us all, so we can't be beyond redemption, and if we are beyond redemption, then his death on the cross was just another one of billions of historical examples of needless violent deaths. For those of us who aren't Christians, the death penalty should be similarly morally and ethically abhorrent. One of the fundamental philosophies of the American experience is that we all can have a second chance, and raise ourselves up. Beyond that, if we are using capital punishment to punish those who take the lives of innocents, but yet we cannot guarantee that those we execute are guilty, we are hypocrites of the worst order. It's brutal punishment, and it's not befitting a land that claims to be a land that celebrates justice. We criticize those nations that exact other forms of corporal punishment, but yet we do it too. Our president claims that he wants us to have a culture of life, but yet he was governor of the state that executed the most people of any state in the union. That's a culture of revenge, not life.
Every Sunday at my church we say that we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and that we are called to express our faith through acts of justice and compassion. The death penalty is neither just nor compassionate.