Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Wages of Sin is Death.

The Wages of Sin is Death.
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
(This commentary was published in December of 2005.)

In 1976 the death penalty was re-instituted in the United States. (As far back as 2005),North Carolina carried out the 1000th execution in the US since 1976 and our sister state, to the south, South Carolina, carried out the 1001st execution.

There were no celebrations. No bells whistles and confetti. We’re not that kind of people.

We are, however, people who believe that America is a land of laws. We profoundly believe that if a person intentionally takes the life of another, in an act of homicide, then the murderer’s life is forfeit.

We are not an overly pious people. We’re not a bunch of bible-thumpers, either. What we are, however, is a people who believe that for a society to thrive there must be law… and there must be enforcement of the laws. If you break the law, then you will pay the price.

Look, America asks very little of it’s citizens and demands even less. In America we have the most freedom of any nation on earth. And for that freedom, the state, which is made up of your fellow citizens, demands that you obey the laws that are made by men and women from our communities.

We know that human beings, being what they are, will chaff at some laws and seek to find ways to avoid obeying them. We also know that some people will rebel at some laws and seek to break them, often as an outward sign of rebellion against the authority of society.

An so, society instituted punishment meant to be a deterrent against law-breakers and those who find they have a great deal of difficulty co-existing with their fellow man.

The most heinous crimes will receive the very worse punishment. The worst is forfeiture of the criminal’s life.

You may argue that sometimes the courts make a mistake and the wrong person is put to death, or imprisoned. You would be correct in that assessment.

The answer… that is the risk we all take for our society to be as reasonably safe as is humanly possible. I don’t offer that as an excuse. It is simply offered as a reason. Nothing more.

Whether you choose to believe it, or not, there IS pure evil in our world. As a former cop, and a former news reporter, I have seen it… up close. One of the costs of dealing with evil is death. Sometimes it is the death of an innocent person.

It is never an easy thing for God-fearing folk to take the life of another when not in the heat of passion.

Whether it serves as a deterrent, or not, is still being argued among the citizens of this country.

One thing is for sure. It WILL deter the person being executed.
J. D. Longstreet

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