I wrote in a recent post how biblical stories such as Noah's Ark are problematic because they lead to the conclusion that killing wicked people is OK when you also include the belief that the god in the story is a good god. The logic, since I did not lay it out there, is as follows:
- God is good.
- God kills wicked people.
- Therefore, killing wicked people is good.
So when you see all those good Christians championing the death penalty, they are not misrepresenting*** Christianity; they are taking its moral lessons to heart.
* What? It's not a long story, so why would I call it that? :)
** And that's just based on the present state of the justice system in the USA. Go further into the past or to other predominantly Christian nations (Uganda, anyone?) and you'll see the Christian "love" spread to lesser "criminals."
*** I have a couple of points to note: One, as mentioned in that post referenced above, "some Christians ignore or overlook the horrible parts of their scripture." I'm very glad that they do. At the same time, those same Christians often try to claim that those morally reprehensible Christians are simply misrepresenting Christianity. Just because the later ignores the "love your neighbor" parts does not make them any less "Christian" than the former who ignore the many cruel parts of the Bible. And I get tired of hearing such poor excuses.
UPDATE: Thinking about this further, I realize why I overlooked this. Punishing cheaters (criminals) is necessary for a society to function. Punishing people for being part of a certain ethnic group or for having a certain sexual preference is not. In other words, when it comes to criminals, determining what is proper punishment is at least an applicable debate. The problem that religion causes is that it shuts down that debate. The religious think they have had the answer provided from on high. But what they really have is a moral system that is 1900+ years out-of-date.
Also, had I really not heard of the phrase "An eye for an eye" before? Seriously!!! That is just more reason I should have been making this connection sooner! /UPDATE