I apologize to all for not posting recently. I’ve been in the finals season at school and am finally close to being done! (YAY!) Also, on Saturday I was Chrismated with my fiance Michelle. I chose the name Benjamin Augustine in honor or my given Christian name (and the great patriarch) and also Augustine without whom I would not be in the Orthodox Church, and without whose prayers, I would certainly fail. Michelle chose to keep her name as it is a perfectly good name, the female form of the Archangel Michael.
Anyways, I have been thinking much as of late on ethical issues, especially my opposition to the death penalty. In weighing of the convictions of my conscience with the teachings of my church, I came across this resolution passed by the 1989 All-American Council:
RESOLUTION ON THE DEATH PENALTY
WHEREAS Orthodox Christians should be called to go beyond the political, social, and legal issues raised by capital punishment and recognize and address the deeper moral, ethical, and religious questions of the supreme value of human life in a manner consistent with our opposition to abortion and mercy killing, and in all such questions involving life and death the Church must always champion life; and
WHEREAS in an effort to further the respect for all human life and to witness to the redemptive nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who Himself prevented the legal execution of a woman (John 8:3-11) and realizing that premature death resulting from the application of the death penalty can prevent the rehabilitation, reconciliation, and redemption of the offender; and
WHEREAS, while we recognize the necessity to punish those guilty of violent crime, we also recognize that there is no humane way to execute a human being;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ninth All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America supports the abolition of the death penalty in this and all countries and does urge our elected and appointed officials in those states where prisoners are still executed to introduce and support appropriate legislation aimed at abolishing the death penalty;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Council requests all governors of states where the death penalty is still in force to halt all further executions according to the power of their office, but that legislative provisions be made for life imprisonment without possibility of parole for those subject to the death penalty;
FINALLY, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ninth All-American Council of the Orthodox church in America supports and encourages religious bodies, organizations and human rights groups which seek the abolition of the death penalty.
Orthodox Church in America
I will, sometime in the coming week put forth what I see as a Christian response to the Death Penalty and the overarching issues involved herein.
I covet your comments and ideas