I'm pretty sure that some folks are upset that the state of Illinois won't be killing people at intervals. I'm also pretty sure that others are as glad as the Illinois Catholic Conference is at the news: although perhaps not for the same reasons.
Me? I think that life is precious. And that people who rub a judge the wrong way are still people: even the ones who really are guilty.
I don't think that someone who, say, murdered his mother is a particularly safe person to have running around loose. On the other hand, I think that a country that can spend what Americans do on Super Bowl advertisements each year can afford to restrain dangerous citizens.
Does that mean I'm a bleeding-heart liberal? No more than I'm a heartless conservative because I think that marrying your dachshund is wrong. I've discussed Catholic teachings and today's popular philosophies before. Often.
Don't I trust the ineffable wisdom of American judges?
No. I do not.
I like to think that many of them mean well, but between the Dred Scott decision, Roe v. Wade, and a fruit cocktail of lunatic decisions over the last half-century (my opinion): I do not want that lot to have the power of life and death.
The power of death, anyway. The last I heard, the Supreme Court of the United States of America could not raise someone from the dead. Not even with a unanimous decision. If American courts could un-kill someone they've killed, then maybe I'd be okay with letting them kill people.
Here's what got me started, from Wednesday's news:
"After weeks of indecision, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a landmark bill on March 9, abolishing the death penalty in the state. Catholic officials praised the move as helping advance a culture of life in Illinois.Related posts:
"By signing Senate Bill 3539, Gov. Quinn makes Illinois the 16th state in the U.S. to repeal capital punishment. The new legislation will take effect in the state on July 1...."
"...'The end of the use of the death penalty advances the development of a culture of life in our state,' read a March 9 statement from the Illinois Catholic Conference.
"The conference – which had actively promoted the legislation – commended Gov. Quinn, and said that capital punishment was no longer needed to protect Illinois citizens...."
- "A Bishop, the Governor of Illinois, a Culture of Life, and Me"
(March 4, 2011)
"Life, Death, and a Billboard in New York City" (February 23, 2011)
- "Remember: 'Clinically Dead' isn't 'Dead' "
(October 22, 2010)
- "Dred Scott, the Slavery Compromise, and Who to Trust"
(February 2, 2009)
- "Capital Punishment: Killing Those Who Deserve to Die"
(October 2, 2008)
- "Catholic leaders praise Illinois governor for ending death penalty"
CNA (Catholic News Agency) (March 9, 2011)