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July 13, 2015

"Some major U.S. religious groups differ from their members on the death penalty"

FT_15.07.13_deathPenaltyReligionsThe title of this post is the headline of this intriguing new piece via the Fact Tank blog from the Pew Research Center.  Here are excerpts:

When the Nebraska Legislature voted in May to ban the death penalty in the state – overriding the governor’s veto – supporters of the ban shared some of the credit with religious leaders who had spoken out on the issue, including several Catholic bishops. In fact, many large religious groups have taken positions in opposition to the death penalty even though that stance is sometimes at odds with the opinions of their adherents.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the death penalty is acceptable if it is “the only possible way of effectively defending human lives.” In recent years, however, both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis have spoken firmly against capital punishment.

They are not the only religious leaders to take this position; when it comes to the official teachings of large U.S. religious groups, opposition to the death penalty is more common than support for capital punishment. This is in contrast with public opinion: A majority of U.S. adults (56%) still favor the death penalty, although support has been dropping in recent years.

There also is a disparity between religious groups’ positions and the views of their adherents, particularly among mainline Protestants. Two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (66%) favor the death penalty, but several of the biggest mainline churches are against it. This includes the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the American Baptist Churches USA, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and many others. Roughly half of U.S. Catholics (53%) – including a majority of white Catholics (63%) – also favor the death penalty, in contrast with church leaders’ stance.

Seven-in-ten white evangelical Protestants in the U.S. (71%) support the death penalty, a position held by many of their churches. Two of the largest U.S. evangelical denominations – the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod – teach that the death penalty is acceptable. The Assemblies of God, a major Pentecostal denomination, does not have an official stance on the issue, although the church’s website cites a “common interpretation that the Old Testament sanctions capital punishment.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church) also does not take an official position on the death penalty. Neither does the National Baptist Convention, the largest historically black Protestant denomination, although most black Protestants (58%) oppose the death penalty (in contrast with the U.S. public overall)....

Among non-Christian faiths, teachings on the death penalty vary. The Reform and Conservative Jewish movements have advocated against the death penalty, while the Orthodox Union has called for a moratorium. Similarly, Buddhism is generally against capital punishment, although there is no official policy.

Hinduism also does not have a clear stance on the issue. In Islam, the death penalty is widely seen as acceptable (based on the Quran), and Islamic courts in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran routinely hand down death sentences. Some U.S. Muslim groups, however, have spoken out against the death penalty; for example, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for a moratorium.

Religiously unaffiliated Americans – atheists, agnostics and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular” – are split on the death penalty, with 48% in favor and 45% opposed.

July 13, 2015 at 08:05 PM | Permalink


These religions slaughtered millions of people to impose their false, sick, stupid beliefs, and to thereby collect enough to build Thousands of Vatican grade facilities.

They are in no position to criticize the death penalty.

Religion is the only scam privileged by an Amendment.

Let see if I understand the idea. You give us your money and obedience to really stupid rituals and beliefs, now. You will be rewarded after your death. Is that the world's greatest scam? What happens if there is nothing after death, will the scam victim ask for his money back?

Support by these awful scam artists is not that persuasive.

Nor do I appreciate the fact that the filthy lawyer traitor reptile has completely adopted the business plan of the Inquisition. That one ended when French patriots guillotined and expelled 10,000 high Church officials. That is the model of the remedy to the pestilence of the Inquisition 2.0 now in full process by the filthy lawyer traitor reptile.

Is that the people the lawyer is using to support the opposition to the death penalty?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 14, 2015 2:03:24 AM

Thou Shalt Not Kill. - Sixth Commandment

This is etched in stone. No wiggle room. No exception for: Y'all Can.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jul 14, 2015 4:51:24 AM

Thou Shall Not Murder, reads the Sixth Commandment.

The Lord repeatedly commanded in the Bible, the mass killing of enemies, down to the last innocent kitten.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 14, 2015 10:34:07 AM

Lib. List of capital offenses in the Torah, from the Wikipedia article of the same name.

Religious practices

Sacrificing to gods other than YHWH[1][2]
Passing children through the fire to/as [MLK]. The triconsonantal root MLK has traditionally been translated as if it were the name of an otherwise unattested deity - Moloch - but may just describe a type of sacrifice. It is generally thought that this refers to a form of human sacrifice similar to that of which the Phoenicians (particularly in Carthage) have historically been widely accused[3] However, the Septuagint reads "You shall not give your seed to serve a ruler", suggesting that the root M-L-K should be more properly rendered as 'king/ruler'.
Worshiping Baal Peor[4]
False prophecy[5][6][7]
Necromancy, according to the Masoretic Text; specifically those who are masters over ghosts (Hebrew: Ba'al ob) and those who gain information from the dead (Hebrew: Yidde'oni).[8] The Septuagint instead condemns gastromancy (Greek: eggastrimuthos), and enchantment (Greek: epaoidos).[9]
According to the Masoretic Text, practitioners of kashaph[10] - incanting maleficium. According to the Septuagint version of the same passages, pharmakeia[11] - poisoners. Historically this passage has been translated into English using vague terminology, condemning witchcraft in general.[12]
Sabbath breaking[14][15][16]

Sexual practices

Rape by a man of a betrothed woman in the countryside[17]
Being either participant in consensual sexual activity, in which a betrothed woman consensually loses her virginity to a man[18]
Adultery with a married woman.[19]
Marrying one's wife's mother[20]
Certain forms of incest, namely if it involves the father's wife or a daughter-in-law.[21] Other forms of incest receive lesser punishment; sexual activity with a sister/stepsister is given excommunication for a punishment;[22] if it involves a brother's wife or an uncle's wife it is just cursed[23] and sexual activity with an aunt that is a blood relation is merely criticized.[24]
Male on male sexual intercourse. Certain sexual activities between males (Hebrew: zakhar) involving what the Masoretic Text literally terms lie lyings (of a) woman (Hebrew: tishkav mishkvei ishah),[25][26] and the Septuagint literally terms beds [verb] the woman's/wife's bed (Greek: koimethese koiten gynaikos);[27][28] the gender of the target of the command is commonly understood to be male, but not explicitly stated. The correct translation and interpretation of this passage, and its implications for Homosexuality in Judaism and Homosexuality in Christianity, are controversial. Translations into English are wide-ranging.[29][30]
Prostitution by the daughter of a priest[33]


Murder, believed by Jews to apply to non-Jews, or (Noachides) as well[34][35][36][37]
Smiting a parent[38]
Cursing (i.e. repudiating) a parent[39][40]
A son who persists in disobeying his parents[41]
Contempt of court[44]
False witness to a capital crime[45]

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 14, 2015 10:39:01 AM

The prohibition of the death penalty among American and Israeli Jews is best explained by their adherence to left wing, big government politics. I find it appalling that they use religious authority to further a crass political agenda. All the religious authority supports the death penalty.

I found it interesting to learn in that article that 12th Century, Maimonides said, Better a thousand guilty men be set free than one innocent man get punished. He was also a doctor who needed patients. Blackstone's take on that idea was of course prompted by the payment of a fee to the lawyer by the guilty men.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 14, 2015 10:49:50 AM

A great debate among the nation as a whole; not just "liberals" oppose the government (or even any earthly power) having the power to execute people. Others disagree. Though yet again a bad translation of a single commandment that is in the midst of a document that allows execution for lots of things won't seal the deal.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 14, 2015 12:56:56 PM

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