Created on Sunday, 26 April 2015 18:54
Written by Nick Taxia
' D u h P r o g r e s s i v e ' occasionally runs non-satire, TRUE OP-ED pieces. This is one of them.
A D u h P r o g r e s s i v e T r u e O p - E d
(The following article is NOT satire)
Self-proclaimed conservative Bill O’Reilly perplexes the hell out of me sometimes. He really does... It’s not Bill O’Reilly per se, but conservatives like O’Reilly who are against capital punishment, regardless of how unquestionable the guilty person is or how monstrous his or her crimes were. I’m not picking on O’Reilly in particular, but just hold him as my go-to poster-guy for all those “conservative” yet against capital punishment; his greatest thorn in my side to date being the rejection of executing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the convicted “Boston Bomber” of April 15, 2013.
As the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial is underway I am stocking up on Valium and vodka for the inevitable arguments for sparing his life...coming from the Right (!).
I’ve had conversations about would-be / should-be fates of terrorists and other atrocious criminals with other conservatives also opposed to the death penalty before. Their reasoning reflects O’Reilly’s: their faith commands to believe in preserving life, all life, period. I’ve heard O’Reilly say several times on “The O’Reilly Factor” to the effect that his Catholic faith is inextricably entwined with his stance against abortion (as if protecting the most helpless and innocent among us is the root that springs forth his belief in protecting all lives). O’Reilly says his religion calls him to believe that killing the unborn is a sin, yet stretches that conviction to envelop the view that killing anyone is a sin (minus war and psycho-attacker-kill-or-be-killed scenarios).
I respect and appreciate O’Reilly’s and fellow conservatives who hold such views on capital punishment. Their beliefs are indeed strong, noble, respectable, and...and are completely 101% obsolete in the world we live in today. ...Sorry!
Even now I am hearing them espoused for in the case of the “Boston bomber”, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with O’Reilly again being my go-to-guy for the argument. O’Reilly is one of many people, conservative or liberal, advocating for life imprisonment for the 21-year-old Islamist murderer of three (one child, two adults) and maimed of over 200 more. Conservatives opposed to capital punishment is a topic I’ve longed to tackle, and will being by the following:
First: People who routinely advocate for life in imprisonment for criminals as heinous as Tsarnaev, rooted in their faith or not, commonly profess that they believe it would make the criminal feel worse than if he were to be given “the needle”; that spending the rest of their lives in a dingy cell while the world keeps turning and humanity churning is a fate worse than death for them.
See something bizarre in that reasoning? —it would be worse for the convicted..? The intellectual flaw of those who advocate for life imprisonment is that they are still focused on the criminal, the convicted (in this case, Tsarnaev), not the wishes of the surviving victims, the families of those killed, and the wishes of society at large.
In a way, the pro-life-imprisonment advocates allow themselves to be victims of monsters like Tsarnaev, too, in that they become wrapped up in Tsarnaev’s feelings, how he feels; concerned, if not obsessed with his feelings. Their attention and worry are still fixated on the convicted. And yes, while some criminals condemned to a life sentence without parole sometimes attempt and are successful at committing suicide rather than rot behind bars forever, most do not, rather leaping at the opportunity to cut deals to avoid the “almighty needle”.
Well eat this: for demons like Tsarnaev, it's not about how they feel anymore, post conviction. The only feelings that matter now are their victims’, the victims’ families' feelings and the public at large. And we, the public, overwhelmingly want him/them dead. Dead! How Tsarnaev or any other homicidal maniac facing the death penalty feels about it should be completely not worth our consideration. It's not about them anymore. To lend a scintilla of energy into contemplating how he would feel about his fate is inadvertently giving him attention...and if you think about it, laudation, in a sense, that he does not deserve, for such reasoning still leaves Tsarnaev resting upon the pedestal of importance. Even if Tsarnaev will go skipping happily to the death chamber, then let him, for all I care is to see him no longer living on this earth. And his feelings on the matter should not be allowed to infect and affect anyone.
Second: Why are so any conservatives against the death penalty? I presume it is because most conservatives have their beliefs rooted in their religious convictions (but not always), which in America currently (thank God) is still mainly Christian. Thus religion and politics meet once again in the world of conservatives, libertarians and even some liberals, and together dance the night away in the Almighty Music Hall of Incongruence.
Why are so many Christians against the death penalty? If you really -I mean really- have faith in God and believe He is forgiving, then let Him do the forgiving. As Denzel Washington so poignantly stated in “A Man On Fire” (2004): “Forgiveness is between them and God. It’s my job to arrange the meeting.”
An unquestionably horrendous fiend that committed something so unspeakable as to leave a ticking bomb next to a child among a group of joyful, cheering onlookers is without a doubt deserving of what his “fellow” citizens demand he deserves. Yet many conservatives, uniting with their liberal counterparts in this matter, wish to spare Tsarnaev. And unfortunately their numbers are growing.
Liberals, on the other hand, wish to abolish capital punishment as just another one of their endless, cause-du-jour political fashion statements; flashing their supposed humanitarianism among themselves, flaunting them in juxtaposition to those backwoods, rural, dentally—disastrous, pro-death penalty proponents, and to the outside “civilized world”, in particular Europe, which is torn by guilt from its historically blood-soaked soil to now abhor any application of death by state.
Why so many liberals are against capital punishment is not troubling to me since as it is so sadly transparent and tritely whimsical. But conservatives and devout Christians on the other hand..? Their reasoning is much deeper and harder to crack; a tight, mainly pious-inspired knot to untangle. If you are one of the conservatives and/or conservative Christians of whom I speak, and believe putting any of “God’s creatures” to death on purpose is wrong, you are mistaken, for Tsarnaev was once one of God’s creatures (we all are born one of God’s creatures), but through his sane, contemplative, conscious actions rendered himself just “a creature”, an animal who no longer bears any primal human traits such as concern for others, desire to protect the innocent, or remorse for murdering and destroying lives of innocent humans. Hence, he has voluntarily relinquished himself from society’s notion of decent human behavior, and to me is one of God’s creatures no longer. Tsarnaev’s life was important; it once mattered, he was once one of God’s precious creatures....until he took it upon himself to extinguish other of God’s creatures. Thus, his right to still be considered one of God’s creatures (to be spared and supported) is and must be revoked.
Third: This dovetails from the argument above, but in a broader point/perspective. Conservatives’ and/or conservative Christians’ opposition to the death penalty for those unquestionably deserving it is a losing recipe in a contemporary world where people are being shot, stabbed, blown up, beheaded, tortured, kidnapped, raped, enslaved and exterminated for just opposing just a certain sect of Islam, let alone being non-Muslim. The U.S. and Europe and Asia and wherever else you can think of (maybe Iceland aside) has homegrown Islamic jihadists ready to kill, attack, bomb, subjugate, terrorize Christians and tyrannize over Christians and other non-Muslims peoples. I chose Islam for this example of what the —what I believe— increasing self-defeating humility of modern Christians are facing because...well, hell, how could I not? And to see such articles as “Conservatives Are Increasingly Opposing Death Penalty to Better Represent 'Pro-Life Across the Board” in the popular online The Gospel Herald Society site is utterly sickening.
Radical Islamists aside, just look at all the uproar Atheists cry each Christmas these days. Do you believe there is not an all-out assault on Christianity throughout the modern world by people other than Islamic jihadists, too? Do you believe the diminishing number of Christians throughout America and the world might also be connected to the rising tide of liberal thought and guilt; the softening stances and positions among Christianity and the growing politicizing of Christian denominations, be they calling themselves “conservative Christians” or not?
Do these increasing “soft Christians” not know where their hyperbolic humility, faith-veiled humanism could very well lead them to in their earthly lives? Are they blind?! ...Or hasn’t the healing hand of Christ cured them of their blindness yet?
It also revolts me to see advanced civilizations reject the (just and verified) application of capital punishment out of the reasoning that “we must show ourselves better than ‘them’”, with so growing, limp-wristed “new-age Christians” seemingly at the helm of such a morally superiorly−strapped and thus entrapped ship spearing towards disaster.
Interpreting the Lord’s commandment of “Thou Shall Not Kill” to the nth degree will inevitably lead to the downfall of Judeo−Christian−based societies. For the love of Christ (no pun intended), do you “Bill O’Reillys” (whom I like, personally) and conservative Christians whom are anti-capital punishment know what you are inevitably allowing to descend upon and devour you; you and all your faith?!
For those who point to abortion as your springboards for preserving all human life, show me a five-month-old jihadist fetus with a ticking bomb strapped to it in its mother’s whom, and abortion, yes, I will for advocate! But that has / can never happen. ....Call me heartless, call me a heathen, call me whatever, but there is a time for principles, and then there times for pragmatism. And we, my fellow conservatives, are living in the times of pragmatism; ruthless, self-preserving “by whatever means necessary” pragmatism. This “turn the other cheek” principle is but a growing, festering, suicidal fissure among Judeo−Christian based societies that is going to allow them to be eradicated by Islamo-fascists, Atheists, or whomever else.
By putting Dhzor-blah-blah Tsar-whatever to eternal sleep before all of mortal humanity is no sign of weakness. It is a sign of a time to again stand up and exert our...I’m hesitant to say “rights”... but rather our “justified ability” to extinguish what was once one of God’s sacred creatures− turned− simply creature, and give society a breath of relief that he will be no longer be in it. We are more deserving than to inhabit the same earth, breath the same air, drink the same water as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. We do not deserve to be humiliated further by his mortal presence.
For those conservatives and conservative Christians who wish to “turn the other cheek” at despotism, terrorism, oppression, slavery, abuse, torture, and murder against yourselves, then I have a “heads-up” for you: for however such a noble and righteous ability to endure such inhumanity is impressive and commendable to the extreme, it is that extreme that will cause your downfall in today’s world. As uncomfortable as this may be to your pious sensitivities, please understand that the days of “turn the other cheek” are over. DONE! ...Today, in the Middle East, and encroaching more on to other lands, “turning the other cheek” means having your head sawed off! ...Get it? Ya’ dig?! You think the Knights Templar would have put up for a second of the assault Christianity is under today? Perhaps it is time to resurrect their attitude on being mocked, hated and persecuted, physically and in the popular media.
Thus we must see Dzhokhar Tsarnaev die. America, we, as a people, must see Tsarnaev die. It would be an affront to us to care how he feels about it, and an insult to consider how his Cro-Magnon, intellectually inept brethren may view it. The rising of “all life is precious” attitudes among more and more Christians must end for the sake of preventing their end. ...Just let us, the bulk of Americans, take a deep sigh of relief on the day Tsarnaev is placed into cuffs and shackles, ordered to don the diapers the condemned must wear and his given his last walk, laid down on the table, and before all those attending, is sent off to meet his Maker.
Whether my stance on the matter of Tsarnaev’s fate and all those I deem deserving of death makes me somehow as fiendish in the eyes of the devout, anti-death penalty conservatives, liberals, and like-minded Christians is a (respectful) disagreement I doubt will ever be reconciled. And I doubt to turn anyone’s long−held beliefs on this matter. But if I am wrong in wanting to see Tsarnaev dead, and all those similar in committing horrifying acts on their fellow Man put to death, I will, too, have to answer to the Big Man upstairs. And to that I say: let it be so. I’ll be glad to explain my opinions to my Maker when I meet Him ....I just pray God isn’t a Bill O’Reilly fan.