Death Penalty

Wyoming State Senator Invokes Jesus Dying to Defend Death Penalty

There's so much wrong with her argument.

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Wyoming legislature website

A Wyoming state senator used some curious logic to explain why she opposed a bill that would have abolished the death penalty. If not for capital punishment, Lynn Hutchings (R–Cheyenne) argued from the Wyoming Senate floor yesterday, then Jesus Christ would not have been able to save humanity from its sins.

"The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and for me," said Hutchings. "Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn't for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope."

From a Christian point of view, her statement is factually correct but logically absurd. Christians believe Jesus was crucified by the authorities, died, and later rose from the dead, thus atoning for the world's wrongs. But this did not make killing him OK. In the Bible, the people who called for Jesus' death were motivated by jealousy, not justice. They knew Jesus has not done anything worthy of the death penalty, but they wanted to kill him anyway because he threatened the status quo.

Equating Jesus' death at the hands of selfish people in power to the modern death penalty as it's used currently—mainly to execute murderers—makes absolutely no sense.

Hutchings' pro–death penalty argument would still be flawed even if she had not invoked Jesus. As I've argued in the past, the government should not be in the business of killing its own citizens, even mass murderers. "The death penalty is uncivilized in theory and unfair and inequitable in practice," the ACLU rightly says. "Well-publicized problems with the death penalty process—wrongful convictions, arbitrary application, and high costs—have convinced many libertarians that capital punishment is just one more failed government program that should be scrapped," Ben Jones adds at Libertarianism.org.

Add to that the numerous questions over the death penalty drugs administered to death row inmates, as well as the fact that states often operate in the shadows when it comes to procuring these drugs. Meanwhile, studies from various states suggest it's more expensive for the government to put someone to death than it is to keep them behind bars for life, according to Amnesty International. In Wyoming, incarcerating the average death row inmate costs 30 percent more than keeping general population prisoners locked up, Wyoming Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert tells the Casper Star-Tribune.

Reason's Nick Gillespie may have put it best in arguing against the death penalty back in 2014:

The state's first role—and arguably its only one—is protecting the lives and property of its citizens. In everything it does—from collecting taxes to seizing property for public works to incentivizing "good" behaviors and habits—it should use the least violence or coercion possible.

No matter how despicable murderers can be, the state can make sure we're safe by locking them up behind bars for the rest of their—and our—lives. That's not only a cheaper answer than state-sanctioned murder, it's a more moral one, too.

The proposed bill to eliminate the death penalty in Wyoming ended up failing in the state Senate by an 18–12 vote.

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  1. I support the death penalty, but what bizarre reasoning.

    We do elect a LOT of stupid people, who say stupid things while on office.

    My favorite of all time is still U.S. Representative Hank Johnson grilling Admiral Willard about the plan to add 8,000 more Marines in Guam, and expressing his concern that could cause the island to “tip over and capsize”!

    1. We do elect a LOT of stupid people, who say stupid things while on office.

      So why don’t you oppose the death penalty?

      I mean, personally, I’m not opposed to killin’ those who need killin’ – I just don’t trust the government to be able to figure out which ones need killin’ and which ones need feedin’. Hence, I oppose the death penalty.

      1. Because elected Officials and Judges cannot impose the death penalty – In a 7-2 decision in the case of Ring v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a defendant has the right to have a jury, rather than a judge, decide on the existence of an aggravating factor that makes the defendant eligible for the death penalty.

  2. Wait. There are black people in Wyoming?

    1. One and she’s a Senator.

      1. received 100% of the black vote

      2. And she lives in New York.

        1. Senators all live in DC.

  3. The death penalty is about balancing the scales of justice not protecting the rest of us.

    1. It’s about vengeance. Nothing more, nothing less. We, as a society, should be above it for so many reasons.

      1. It can be about more than that: providing closure to the family of the victims, ensuring that the guilty can do no more harm, providing taxpayer savings versus life imprisonment (which it most certainly did prior to the near-endless delays and appeals pills we have today).

        1. We can sugar coat it all we want, but providing closure to the family falls under vengeance

          I agree with ensuring the guilty do no more harm, but I feel the death penalty is far overused if that is the purpose

        2. We’re not providing a taxpayer savings.

  4. I’m more shocked that Cheyenne’s rep in the state senate is a black Republican.

    Meanwhile, studies from various states suggest it’s more expensive for the government to put someone to death than it is to keep them behind bars for life, according to Amnesty International.

    Well, yeah, it is now because of the appeals process gets stretched out for years, which is crueler than the execution itself. In the old days, it was “quick trial and up the rope,” if Judge Lynch didn’t step in beforehand.

    For death penalty cases, the process needs to get fast-tracked so they’re not sitting on death row for decades.

    1. They have decades to make sure they get the right people and do it right – and they still screw it up.

      But you want them to install express lanes?

  5. I would point out that Jesus’ death fundamentally displayed that the world, as it is, is fundamentally evil, cannot be reformed, and must be destroyed. After all, if a perfectly innocent man suffers death in this world, . . .

    Many non-Christians seem to imagine that when bad things happen to good people, that somehow flies in the face of Christian fundamentalism. Christianity is actually founded on such observations. Christianity might properly be defined as the reconciliation of the belief in a omnipotent God with wrongful death of a perfectly innocent man. (Hint: It has something to do with free will)

    1. On judgement day, you’ll be charged with the murder of Jesus Christ.

      “Turn the other cheek”. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. “If you have done so unto the least of these, you have done so unto me”.

      If you plead guilty, God may look to see how forgiving you were towards others to prove it. After all, if you really accept responsibility for the murder of Jesus–say that his death covered your transgressions–then you have no standing to refuse forgiveness to others. Either you accept responsibility for the murder of an innocent man or you don’t!

      Additionally, if you truly have faith that Jesus died for your fellow man, then you will have treated the people around you as if they were worthy of that sacrifice. If Jesus says they’re worth the sacrifice and you treat them as if they’re unworthy, then you must not really have faith in Jesus’ sacrifice. Treating the people around you as if they were worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice is part of the real substance of what Christians are talking about when they talk about “faith”.

      1. Yes… especially the last paragraph.

      2. God and Jesus both seem like assholes.

        1. Bigger assholes: God and Jesus or Reality and Logic?

          1. Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions? The choice is clear.

            1. Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions?

              Routinely.

              1. Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions?

                Every day.

            2. Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions?

              Twice on Sunday.

              1. @mad.

                Um, yeah, deceptions are used to create false perceptions, sometimes confused with reality. And I’m no expert, but how can one build a sequence of logic containing untruths and reach a true conclusion. That doesn’t seem, you know, real.

            3. “Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions?”

              Anybody else see the red flags of logical fallacies there?

              1. Hit me with your reality tunnel of faith.

                1. And deprive you of the opportunity to defend the assertion that Jesus intentionally deceived people on a foundation of reality and logic?

                  Go ahead!

                  1. Dude, the whole thing is a fiction. Nobody arose from the dead. Are you serious? He was not the son of any god. That is ridiculous. Please, please tell me you are a young earth creationist. That would be the cherry on top.

                    1. Please explain the mechanism that allowed Jesus to arise from the dead. No miracles! Only reality and logic please.

                    2. You mean most Americans won’t smoke pot if the guy handing it out says, “It fell from the sky,” because there is a snitch at the party? I don’t believe in Jesus’s resurrection, but I can see the logic of his followers telling the Romans, “No, you didn’t really kill him,” because the Romans relied so much on the death penalty to impose tyranny.

                    3. “Dude, the whole thing is a fiction. Nobody arose from the dead. Are you serious? He was not the son of any god. That is ridiculous. Please, please tell me you are a young earth creationist. That would be the cherry on top.”

                      Are you or are you not saying that Jesus’ teachings are built on intentional deception and that you can show this using reality and logic?

                    4. Are you being dense on purpose? The claim is 1/3 of YHWH was born to a human virgin without her consent, had himself sacrificed at passover so his other 2/3 of the one true deity could forgive humanity for not living up to its standards. On top of these very unlikely and contradicting stories is laid the claim that if you just believe, in faith, then you will live forever in paradise.

                      This stands as an example of the intentional deception because myths remain myths no matter how much faith in aimed at them. Tell me how I am wrong. Don’t move the goalposts.

                    5. “Are you being dense on purpose? ”

                      Is that the only rhetorical move you posses? Here’s a clue: What you take to be self evident may be nothing more than an assumption.

                      Until you are willing (or perhaps able) to lay out a cohesive argument in support of your position then you yourself are nothing more than ipse dixit.

                    6. Miracles do not exist.
                      Since miracles do not exist, someone made them up.
                      Some made up miracle stories have been used to deify the Jesus character.
                      One miracle has Jesus born to a virgin.
                      Being a miracle himself, he most likely didn’t exist.
                      The claims of miracles by the Jesus character must also be made up.

                      Why are things made up? To deceive.
                      Why all the contradictions in the gospels? They can’t get their story straight.
                      Why the calls for faith if it’s all so real? Dont bother.

                    7. First, according to historians, Jesus existed. Second, there are no myths, only exaggerations.

                    8. God sacrificed Jesus to forgive people the sin of not living up to God’s own standards. How does that make any logical sense. God tortured a man to ‘wash away’ the black marks that God himself put in his own ledger.

                    9. The Greco-Roman world had plenty of stories about supernatural conceptions. Read into Jesus’s story more, and infer the society that Jesus was born into according to the Gospel. Why would a young couple with limited income lie about how the woman got pregnant? Think about the municipalities today where it is common to tell low-income people that their financial problems happened because they were bold enough to become parents. The Gospel says that there was no room at the inn for Mary to give birth in. Surely, someone staying there could of had the compassion to spend a night or two camping in a Mediterranean climate so that a young mother could give birth in humane conditions.

                    10. No one, including George Washington, is strong enough to have skipped a silver dollar all the way across the Potomac. Furthermore, my understanding is that silver dollars apparently didn’t exist in George Washington’s time. Using reality and logic, the chances of George Washington having skipped a dollar all the way across the Potomac seems pretty unlikely.

                      . . . which, of course, says nothing about whether George Washington existed, whether he crossed the Delaware and Defeated a Hessian army at the battle of Trenton, or whether what he said is true. The unlikelihood of him having skipped a silver dollar across the Potomac doesn’t speak to those things using reality or logic anyway–and neither does whether or not he actually chopped down a cherry tree.

                    11. It’s possible for a narrative to have elements of fiction/legend interwoven with the truth.

                      Thus, to hundreds of millions of people, Jesus was a real person who wasn’t immaculately conceived, who didn’t perform miracles, who didn’t didn’t die to convince God to forgive your sins, and who wasn’t resurrected.

                      There’s also a somewhat less-popular theory that Jesus was a mushroom.

                    12. “Thus, to hundreds of millions of people, Jesus was a real person who wasn’t immaculately conceived, who didn’t perform miracles, who didn’t didn’t die to convince God to forgive your sins, and who wasn’t resurrected.”

                      There’s the division between atheism and belief in the popular imagination that has no basis in reality.

                      The popular imagination:

                      Atheists: Sure there is no God.
                      Agnostics: Sure there aren’t any good reasons to believe in God.
                      Believers: Sure that there is a God.

                      That division is baloney.

                      Here’s reality:

                      Atheists who are sure there is no God.
                      Atheists who say that the evidence is such that there is no God.
                      Agnostics who say that there isn’t enough evidence to form an opinion either way.
                      Believers who say that the evidence is such that there is a God.
                      Believers who are sure that there is a God.

                    13. If I had to rank them by their reasonability, I suspect agnostics (by the real definition) may be the most handicapped. After all, uncertainty is the human condition, and if you can’t form an opinion based on the evidence on this, can you form an opinion on anything that you’re less than 100% sure about?

                      Believers who are sure that there is a God and Atheists who are sure that there is not a God are more or less on equal footing. I don’t know why anyone would bother discussing religious issues with either one of them. People who are 100% sure they’re right are more dangerous than people who can’t form an opinion, but I’m not sure they’re quite as . . . um . . . challenged intellectually.

                      The smartest of the bunch are the people who are cautiously optimistic (that’s what “faith” means) and the people who are qualified in their pessimism.

                      Why Christians in the public imagination are all lumped in with believers who are sure they’re right is a mystery to me. Even Jesus seems to have had moments of doubt, and Christian believers who are cautiously optimistic are no different. Believing in Jesus’ claims from the Sermon on the Mount is fundamentally different from believing that Jesus walked on water, however, just like it takes less uncertainty to believe in something you’ve tested yourself rather than a story about how George Washington skipped a silver dollar all the way across the Potomac.

                    14. Why would Jesus have doubt if he is one of the 3 in 1 god? Of course, his doubt is just one of the death stories we’re told, isn’t it? Each author gives the story his own spin, depending on his agenda. Spin that, as you must know, is intentional and deceptive.

                      Still waiting on miracle free resurrection with logic and reason galore!

                    15. Your straw men aren’t based on anything I’ve written in this thread.

                      “Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions? The choice is clear.”

                      When you wrote that, did you NOT mean that Jesus’ teachings are built on intentional deceptions? Did you NOT mean that Jesus’ teachings can be easily refuted through reality and logic?

                      Your initial statement reeks of at least three fallacies, right off the bat, and you’ve only weakened your case since then–from a perspective of reality and logic, anyway.

                    16. Please, educate me on where I am wrong. I have been asking you to say something beyond finger pointing. All you’ve done is avoid specifics. Man up.

                    17. “Are reality and logic built on intentional deceptions? The choice is clear.”

                      I’m asking you to back this statement up with reality and logic.

                      I’ve even shown you why references to miracles don’t mean George Washington Jesus didn’t win the Battle of Trenton preach the Sermon on the Mount.

                      It isn’t only that you’ve done nothing to address Jesus’ teachings, you haven’t even attempted to back up your own statement on “reality and logic”, “intentional deceptions”, and “clear choices”. Your only attempts at real logic (aside from non-sequitur and distraction, seem to be about going after some cartoon version of Christianity that only exists in the minds of people who don’t bother to defend it rationally. I’ve got news for you–there’s more to Christianity than six-day creationism and turning water into wine, just like there was more to the American Revolution than whether George Washington actually performed a miracle with a silver dollar on the Potomac. You don’t seem to be even familiar with the actual substance of Christianity, and yet you claim that it’s built on “intentional deceptions”?

                      Go ahead and defend that statement using reason and logic if you can. You said it was a clear choice between the two. Go ahead and defend it reason and logic. I dare you.

                    18. @Ken Shultz

                      It’s clear that you are not an honest opponent. Reviewing the thread makes that plain. Allow me to demonstrate.

                      You started off making some bold and unsupported assertions about evil and the fate of the world, devine judgement and universal guilt…also “‘faith'”.

                      Someone else chimes in, “God and Jesus both seem like assholes.”
                      Another person, “Bigger assholes: God and Jesus or Reality and Logic?”
                      Me, the infamous question and assertion!!!!!11!!!!!!1!!
                      You come back, finger extended, implying, but not expressing, fallacies.
                      I invite you to enlighten me. Now, watch what happens next.

                      You reframe the argument. Instead of a silly exchange about 4 intangibles and their level of assholery, you put words in my mouth and begin demanding I defend them. I’m sure a mind as sharp as yours can see the fallacy there, if you didn’t notice it before.

                      This deception is what you are trying to bully me with. I have not responded directly to your claim because it isn’t valid. I’ve made multiple attempts to make clear to you how deception is used to make claims that can not be true. You have not responded with anything reasonable, just your strawman.

                    19. Next, your GW ideas are laughable. We have tons of evidence that George existed, miracles or no. We could dig up his bones if we wanted. Test his DNA. Can’t say that about JC. He took his bones up to paradise to sit at his own right hand, or something. I’m curious, do you find The Apotheosis of Washington believable as well? It’s just as likely. What about John Henry? Paul Bunyan? Johnny Appleseed? Nevermind.

                      In the end you just resort to attacking me and making silly arguments. You fantasize about what’s in my head and expand your Washington rationalization to cover the entire revolution. Think about that. The fact that George didn’t perform a miracle doesn’t prove the revolution did not happen. Brilliant. I’ll admit, we are in agreement on this point, for whatever that’s worth. It doesn’t make miracles any more likely.
                      As to your ad hominem, you lie when you claim I haven’t tried to back up what I wrote. Granted, I’m not trying defend your straw man, but that’s your problem. Nevertheless, I made multiple attempts to explain myself. You weren’t interested in that, were you? Nope. Just lies.

                      You question my knowledge of “the actual substance of Christianity”. Well now, that certainly is mysterious. I bet you know the actual substance, don’t you? A true scotsman, aye? How do you know I don’t have secret knowledge as well?

                      Again, you are a dishonest opponent. I’m done with you.

                    20. Are you or are you not defending the position that Jesus’ teachings are built on intentional deception, and do you or do you not believe that you can show this using reality and logic?

                      I haven’t seen you write anything that even seems like a reasonably persuasive attempt on either count. Look like you just keep complaining that we don’t conform to your strawman.

                      Here, I’ll help you with an outline.

                      I. Jesus’ teachings are built on intentional deception.
                      A. Reality Example

                    21. Squirrels posted before I was done.

                      Here, I’ll help you with an outline.

                      I. Jesus’ teachings are built on intentional deception.
                      A. Reality Example
                      B. Logical Example

                      Conclusion.

                      Go ahead. Fill in the blanks.

            4. Meh, sometimes the short version is allegorical. This morning, I saw parts of the movie, “Splash”. Given attitudes towards transgender women when the movie came out, it made sense for the script writers to tackle the topic with an allegory.

          2. God and Jesus.

            God made Reality and Logic and then expects you to ignore Logic and go against Reality to avoid eternal torture.

      3. Treating the people around you as if they were worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice is part of the real substance of what Christians are talking about when they talk about “faith”.

        Well, sure, but it also doesn’t mean that Christians need to martyr themselves in the service of others, either. Jesus also talked about wiping the dust from your feet if you weren’t welcomed and people didn’t listen to you.

        Jesus might have ministered to tax collectors and prostitutes, but he also didn’t waste his time trying to reach people that didn’t want to be reached.

        1. There is an interesting discussion to be had on that topic, but what I wrote what I wrote largely in response to the argument that Christianity necessitates the death penalty.

      4. Well stated. I add to your argument “those without sin, cast the 1st stone” as a pretty clear example Jesus wasn’t for the death penalty.

        1. As a punishment for sin? Yeah, that’s a reasonable conclusion to draw from the parable.

          But Christianity is not a suicide cult. Self defense, and defense of others – including a lawful state – is allowed. Somewhere between kill nobody and kill everybody there is a line, exactly where that line is is the debate.

  6. The 3 in 1 god YHWH does love him some blood sacrifice. Maybe all these clean and civilized murders by chemical injection are displeasing to them/it. Bring back the burnt offerings! Give us that old time religion/politics of death.

    1. Meh, if you’ve got a limited supply of livestock, make sure the intelligentsia has a supply of meat, because eating meat is good for the brain. When the Romans executed someone, it was a human sacrifice in the name of their empire. Modern governments that execute someone are just as bad. So are criminals that impose discipline by threatening death.

  7. To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn…

  8. You know nothing about the bible.

    Jesus didn’t ‘threaten the status quo’. Rome had no idea that he even existed–well not Jesus specifically.

    He was a nuisance ‘revolutionary’ in an imperial backwater. He threatened the egos of those weird Jewish people. And that’s all.

    He had no effect on the life of the Empire and of the Roman world at all.

    Unless he died and came back.

    He HAD to die, it HAD to be unjust– for him to assume responsibility for the sins of mankind in perpetuity.

    He utterly DESTROYED the status quo AFTER he was executed.

    1. Yeah, I’m going with Joe on this one. #pleasedontcrucifyme

    2. This COMMENT made ME laugh.

    3. Yeah, the staff at a psych ward once showed us this movie in the hopes that we would learn from Jesus’s example. In very few instances, a lone wolf has to be unafraid to die for the sake of justice.

    4. He HAD to die, it HAD to be unjust– for him to assume responsibility for the sins of mankind in perpetuity.

      Why? The sins of mankind were sins against God, not Rome. Why would God require a sacrifice when he could have just wiped that debt anytime he wanted.

      He utterly DESTROYED the status quo AFTER he was executed.

      Why was it so important to God that Rome be destroyed?

      Because the way you describe it, its less about God having a man tortured to death, turned into a martyr *for mankind* than it is that martyr being created to *destroy Rome*.

      So what vendetta would God have had against Rome specifically?

      1. Agammamon, you’ve got it backwards.

        I’m saying that Rome was irrelevant.

        The entirety of his existence was a giant scapegoating.. But, instead of the usual desire for good crops or a lucky year, his was done to free man from sin. The thing you see played out in the bible was a story that would have played out the same wherever it happened.

        There was no chance that they would chose to let him live–though they make it clear that Pilate was starting to grasp that things were in motion that were beyond him.

  9. “The death penalty allowed us to execute an innocent guy and if we don’t continue it we won’t be able to execute any more innocents”

    1. Well we were promised some sort of sequel in Revelations…

      1. From the mouth of 1/3 of a god, “Verily I say to you, there are certain of those standing here who shall not taste of death till they may see the Son of Man coming in his reign.” lol 2000 years and mountains of corpses later? Tic-toc…

        Prophets, seers and soothsayers have such a dismal record for accuracy, it boggles the mind that they maintain status.

        1. Prophets, seers and soothsayers have such a dismal record for accuracy, it boggles the mind that they maintain status.

          Now explain how Hillary was the better candidate.

          1. This judgement was to be “on the clouds of glory” and “in the glory of my Father” which are clear references to the many “cloud comings” (judgments) in the old testament times where a nation/army came and judged a rebellious or wicked nation. It’s the language of the old testament prophets. The same language used in Revelation. Every single “cloud coming” in the prophets was actually carried out by an army/people but the language used is that of YHWH “coming on the clouds.” This is exactly what happened when the Romans destroyed the old covenant nation of Israel in the Jewish Roman war of AD 66-72 (temple destroyed in AD 70) exactly as Yeshua predicted 40 years prior to its occurrence (Matt. 24/Luke 21/Mark 13).

            You can believe whatever you want, obviously. But to say that Christ was a false prophet reveals your ignorance of ancient history and Biblical interpretation.

        2. Yeshua DID return as promised within a generation of his death and resurrection. The majority of Christians today miss this because they’ve been brainwashed into a literal hermeneutic (interpretation) of scripture in order to support the modern nation-state of Israel which actually has no connection to Old Testament Judaism (most are Ashkenazi Jews of European descent, not Arabian/Semitic descent). It’s one of the greatest examples of the wool being pulled over a collective’s eyes ever.

          Yeshua’s ministry included warning His people, the Jews of old covenant Israel, that they would be judged by YHWH for rejecting His prophet (Yeshua) and message. He spoke more of this judgment than he did of forgiveness. The “last days” of the nation of Israel were prophesied from the time of Moses (Deut. 28-32). These are the “last days” referred to by the new testament writers and by Yeshua. Under the new covenant established by Yeshua, those who repented and believed in Christ would be the chosen people of God regardless of heritage, not just the blood descendants of Abraham as under the old covenant.

          That message of judgment is why the Jewish leaders had Yeshua killed. He threatened THEIR status quo and was not a political deliverer of Rome as many expected the Messiah/Prophet to be.

          1. Ladies and Germs, I give you reality and logic. Feast upon them.

            1. Your silence (lack of counter argument) is deafening.

          2. If Jewish leaders at that time had the power to decide whom the Romans executed, Rabbi Akiva and many other rabbis would have lived longer. It had taken a difficult war to expel the Greeks generations earlier. There was debate about how to deal with the Romans. Remember, according to the Gospel, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus had to flee to Egypt, because the Roman Governor incharge of the land of Israel wanted to execute all newly born boys after hearing that one newly born boy would over throw him.

            The Romans took Jews out of Israel to Rome as slaves when they expelled us in the 1st Century from the land of Israel. There were already diaspora communities in other major Roman cities at the time. Ashkenazi Jews are descended from those slaves. In your opinion, when did Ashkenazi Jews become European? When will we start referring to African-Americans as Native-Americans? For the sake of equality, it should take the same number of years for any ethnic group to become native.

            1. Are the English Celtic yet?

        3. “1/3 of a god”

          Is that supposed to be clever? Because, whether you believe or not, it is a grossly ignorant misrepresentation of what is believed.

          1. Tommyboy, I believe you are a mythical creature called a troll. No soup for you.

            1. It’s trollish to point out your cheap shots masquerading as rhetoric?

              So, not ignorant, just mendacious then.

              Got it.

  10. From a Christian point of view, her statement is factually correct but logically absurd.

    I think this sentence should be recognizable as an event horizon or ‘here be dragons’ signpost for thought. Because it seems exceedingly likely that on the other side there will be secularists agnosti-plaining how reality, logic, and truth are part of some sort of triune abstraction to the rest the non-believers.

    1. “agnosti-splaining”

      1. If your logic leads you to an absurd conclusion then the first thing to do is go back and look at your starting premise. And that Joe’s starting premise is an overly simplistic, and deeply flawed understanding of the nature of Jesus’ existence just might be the problem.

        Not that I agree with Hutchings argument, just that Joe seems ill equipped to be the one confronting it.

  11. Gather ’round chirren, it’s time for another chapter in the never ending saga of Double Standards That Only Work One Way.

    Joe would never think to argue that his policy prescriptions are based upon doing Jesus the right way, but he’s just fine with telling other people they are doing Jesus the wrong way.

    Meanwhile never expect that leftists must be subject to the standards they inflict upon others. Because imposing standards that you yourself do not accept upon them would by hypocritical.

    Apparently only some people are susceptible to being hoist on their own petard.

    1. Joe just wants those cocktail party invites, damnit!

  12. At the risk of being banned again by Reason (and having all my comments deleted), I would be more willing to consider a libertarian pro-death penalty position if they would take as strong a position against death threats.

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  14. Joe Seyton mansplains to a woman of color.

  15. In the Bible, the people who called for Jesus’ death were motivated by jealousy, not justice.

    Whoa. Was this article ghost written by Ilhan Omar or something?

  16. It can about more than that: providing closure to the family of victims, ensuring that the perpetrator has no chance of harming anyone again, saving citizens some money v. life imprisonment (which it assuredly did prior to the near-endless delays and appeals we have now).

    1. Oops, was meant to be a response to a comment.

  17. Meanwhile, studies from various states suggest it’s more expensive for the government to put someone to death than it is to keep them behind bars for life, according to Amnesty International.

    This is a true-but-stupid-for-supposed-libertarians argument.

    The reason the death penalty is expensive is that, unlike in the case of life sentences, the Federal Government fully subsidizes the legal expenses for Federal habeas corpus petitions by the defense, meaning the state has to bear the burden of fighting innumerable Federally-subsidized appeals in the case of the death sentences but not life sentences. If the Federal Government either did not subsidize those appeals in death penalty cases, or did subsidize such appeals in life imprisonment cases, the cost to the states of administering life imprisonment would be higher than administering the death penalty.

    Thus, the cost argument is fundamentally “X should not be done because the Federal Government has chosen to make it more difficult and expensive to do it.” Which would, if accepted, apply to everything from smoking marijuana to running a business, an entirely un-libertarian conclusion.

    1. Its not an argument as to why x is not to be done.

      Its a counter-argument against those who say that x is cheaper than y.

      Lot’s of people thing executions are cheaper than life imprisonment – he’s just pointing out that no, that’s not true. Why its true isn’t really important – only that using the ‘executions save us money’ argument is a mistake.

      1. Or it points out that it’s actually a lack of executions that costs so damned much.

  18. They knew Jesus has not done anything worthy of the death penalty, but they wanted to kill him anyway because he threatened the status quo.

    Equating Jesus’ death at the hands of selfish people in power to the modern death penalty as it’s used currently?mainly to execute murderers?makes absolutely no sense.

    The Romans did not like Rabbi Akiva either. Both men were executed for allegedly rebelling against the empire.

    1. Yeshua was convicted by the Sanhedrin (Jewish “Supreme Court”) for the crime of blasphemy. They needed the Romans’ permission to have Him executed so they trumped up the charge of insurrection. Pontius Pilate found no guilt in Him but to appease the Jews he had Him executed anyway.

      He was NOT executed for rebelling against the empire. The fact that Yeshua did NOT start a rebellion against Rome is one of the reasons He was rejected by many of his contemporaries.

      1. Jesus told his audience to turn the other cheek and offer to carry a Roman centurion’s bag a second mile. This was a form of civilly disrespecting Roman soldiers, because Roman law at the time allowed a centurion to slap someone once, but not twice, and to order someone to carry his bag up to a mile. The plan was to create spectacles out of Roman soldiers who refuse the protesters’ offers out of fear of their own generals punishing them for breaking their own laws. Resistance theology explains more on this topic.

  19. As I understand the story, Jesus was acquitted by the provincial authority, Pilate. But the mobs wanted their own form of justice, so they lynched him.

  20. “Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

    From a Christian point of view, her statement is factually correct but logically absurd.

    Its not factually correct either – Christ was murdered through a governmental *injustice*.

    They knew Jesus has not done anything worthy of the death penalty, but they wanted to kill him anyway because he threatened the status quo.

    As you point out.

    But hey – maybe killing to maintain the status quo *is justice* to this woman.

    1. As a side point I’d argue that Pilates ordering the crucifixion of Jesus was entirely in keeping with Roman concepts of justice. Had Jesus been a Roman citizen that would not have been the case, but since he was not a citizen then Pilate killing him in order to keep the peace was well within his purview.

  21. “Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

    Essentially she’s giving Judge Smails’ justification from Caddyshack:

    “I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.”

  22. When you elect low-IQ affirmation action hires, this is whay you get.
    Jesus supports the death penalty, Guam will capsize, we should outlaw planes and cars, etc.

  23. Wyoming Sen. Hutchings is getting some bad feedback because of very poor reporting and little to no understanding of very well known, 2000 year old, solid Christian teachings.

    Sadly, many folks just like to pile on, with zero effort at understanding the perspectives of others.

    Sen. Hutchings’ thoughts follow a well traveled line of accepted biblical teachings.

    Bad reporting, again.

    Hutchings never equated the Passion of the Christ to the execution of murderers or used it as the reason to execute murderers. One reporter, simply, made that up as a bit of egregious editorializing and others ran with it.

    Left out of all reporting, of course, but quite clear in the 2/14/19 Wyoming Senate recording, was Sen. Hutchings consideration of the death penalty in the context of some of our worst mass shootings.

    All of the reporters at the hearing heard that and, as far as I have been able to tell, none reported that.

    Her only religious quote at the hearing, was this:

    “The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me,” she said. “I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

    Basic, accepted Christian teaching, for 2000 years, as detailed, below, and as, sadly, not so identified by reporting or by the standard internet lynch mob.. .

    contd

    1. contd

      Biblical realities, as well known by Sen. Hutchings and, likely by many with any basic understanding of Christianity

      1) Legally, Pontius Pilate, the proper legal Roman authority, sentenced Jesus to death for, allegedly, claiming to be King of the Jews, a treasonous offense which, under Roman law, was punishable by death. Jesus did not defend Himself.

      It is, simply true, that God chose the law of man, the death penalty, as the vehicle for the Perfect sacrifice. I am not sure if anyone has, ever, questioned that biblical narrative.

      2) God establishes, with man, His death penalty support, first, in Genesis 9:6, around 2000 BC, written down by Moses around 1440 BC, way prior to Jesus’ execution, and that support has, never gone away, as the Noahic Covenant is for all peoples, for all time.

      contd

      1. 3) It appears, pretty clear, at least, to me, that Sen. Hutchings looked at God’s choosing man’s law of the death penalty, in this specific, very unique case, as another, of many, examples of God’s known support of the earthly death penalty, which, of course, by reason and example, it was.

        4) God chose the legal death penalty for Jesus to pay for the sins of man. As such, some can, understandably, see that God provides additional support for the death penalty being the proper sanction for some crimes, as, originally, established within Genesis 9:6.

        5) Jesus took upon Himself all of the guilt and sins of mankind. As St. Jerome, stated, just below, Jesus took on all of that guilt upon Himself and was executed as a guilty among the guilty. Some Christians would find it clear that God approved of the execution of the guilty, with that being one of many examples.

        “If no crime deserves the death penalty, then it is hard to see why it was fitting that Christ be put to death for our sins and crucified among thieves. St. Thomas Aquinas quotes a gloss of St. Jerome on Matthew 27: ‘As Christ became accursed of the cross for us, for our salvation He was crucified as a guilty one among the guilty.’ That Christ be put to death as a guilty person, presupposes that death is a fitting punishment for those who are guilty.” Prof. Michael Pakaluk, The Death Penalty: An Opposing Viewpoints Series Book, Greenhaven Press, 1991

        contd

  24. 6) Jesus was the Innocent Lamb of God, the only pathway through which His sacrifice could pay that heavy price for all that guilt and sin. The Perfect Innocent makes all the world’s sins, His own, and because of that, His execution is the only justifiable payment for those sins, making it the gateway to man’s salvation.

    Aren’t those basic Christian teachings, with the senator’s comments, precisely along those lines?

    She’s not equating Jesus crucifixion to our death penalty. She is saying that God used the legal death penalty as the method for the sacrifice and, as true, it continues God’s well known approval of an earthly death penalty. I wouldn’t use the Passion of the Christ in that manner, but the Senator is free to and it is hard to deny her logic, if I have it right.

    I think many people will have difficulty putting the crucifixion of Jesus, remotely, into the realm of the executions of murderers. I know I and many others do. However, that is, simply, a matter of perspective. Christian scholars and laymen have differences of opinions on many issues and they always will. This is one of many.

    I look at the Passion of the Christ as a singular event in history, whereby nothing else should be compared to it. Others are free to disagree.

    Here are some, additional, readings. Sincerely, Dudley Sharp

    New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/…..pport.html

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