May 1, 2017

Death Penalty Games

The spectacle that has become the death penalty process recently came here to Arkansas. Events were set in motion by the state announcing its plan to execute eight men within a span of 11 days. The reason for the cluster of executions was because the state needed to carry out the executions—before its supply of midazolam would expire at the end of the month. I knew the process was not going to be that simple.

The left has become fanatically opposed to capital punishment. They don’t care if Muslims are throwing homosexuals off rooftops or stoning women to death for being victims of rape. Their compassion is for people who are guilty of coldhearted murder.

The chief strategy in combating the death penalty is to gum up the justice system with endless frivolous appeals. The average time it takes to put someone to death for a crime is over 20 years. Some cases stretch out over 30 years. You would think that after multiple decades of legal wrangling, there would be little doubt about a convicted murder’s guilt when the time comes for their sentence to be carried out.

There has been a huge legal battle over how the state purchased their supply of midazolam, which is used to sedate the person being put to death. To obtain the drug, a worker for the state had to travel incognito to a distributor. When McKesson Corp, the maker of midazolam found out about the plan to use its drug in the executions, it filed for an injunction. McKesson did receive one injunction, but it was later overturned.

With the appeals system staffed with liberal judges committed to the anti-death penalty agenda, disruptions have become routine. One of the first judges to stand in the way of the executions was Judge Wendell Griffen. Immediately after he halted Arkansas from executing six prisoners, he participated in a protest against capital punishment outside the Arkansas governor’s mansion by laying on a cot, as though he were a condemned man on a gurney. Since then he has been barred from taking up any death penalty-related cases. This type of outrageous judicial misconduct should be grounds for removing Griffin from the bench all together.

It didn’t take long for half of the planned executions to be canceled or receive a stay because of various court decisions. But time did run out for convicted criminal, Ledell Lee. It was the first time in 12 years that Arkansas carried out the death penalty.

Of course the liberal media has diligently kept track of the stats on capital punishment.  They have implied we were doing well for a dozen years and then we lost our way. I could sense the dismay in the media coverage when it was announced that two killers would be executed within hours of each other. The last state that put more than one inmate to death on the same day was Texas, which executed two killers in August of 2000.

The last double execution in Arkansas took place last Monday April 24, ending the lives of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams. The lawyers for these convicted criminals proclaimed their clients were too fat to be put to death. Since both men had eaten themselves into poor health, the lawyers argued they may not respond to the drugs, causing them to suffer a painful death. Nevertheless, the executions went off without any major problems.

Since weight comes up in many death penalty cases, I can only conclude the likelihood that many of these criminals are being advised to become as overweight as possible, to try to prevent their death sentence from being carried out. (The obesity ploy may be the wrong way to get sympathy.)

The execution of a fourth inmate, Kenneth Williams, shows the problem of warehousing murders. One of the most common arguments used to do away with the death penalty is the suggestion that we can lock people away forever, without any chance of an innocent person being put to death.

Whenever a hardened criminal escapes prison, the innocent public often suffers. Williams was less than three weeks into a life term for killing a University of Arkansas cheerleader when he escaped by hiding in a load of garbage. In his short time of the run, Williams killed two people. Only now after his execution, can we be sure that his murderous rampage is over.

We don’t have endless space in our prison system. The jails in Arkansas are so full, we have to rent space in other states to find lodging for our criminals. Every time we add a person to the prison population another prisoner has to be released. Quite often, the person being set free is someone who committed murder and was sent to prison for life. These murderers get back on the street and eventually kill some other person. As jails become a revolving door, it becomes clear that our approach to justice needs to be reexamined.

The following two passages of Scripture are often used to support the position of capital punishment:

“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:6).

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake” (Romans 13:3-5).

God does not play games with sin. Whenever He administers judgment in the Bible, He is very direct and to the point. These liberals who think they would have the God of heaven tongue-tied on judgment because they stood the moral high ground, are in for a big surprise. The Lord sees sin as such a serious matter, the death of His Son was the only way to lift punishment.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).


America’s Schizophrenia

The United States is divided today as much as it was during the Civil War. We aren’t shedding blood in furious, literal warfare, but the hatreds–the differences in thought–divide as surely as did the north-versus-south issues of the mid 1800s.

Our  name “United ” is no longer applicable in the truest sense. We are split in many ways, from political ideology with regard to constitutional authority, to worldview on geopolitics, socioeconomics, and religion. In terms of the discipline of human psychology, we are a schizophrenic country. We have severe split personality disorder, at the very least.

National  schizophrenia continues to manifest in ways that indicate mental disorder within some factions of American society and culture. Anger, unfounded, i.e., unprovable as to reasons it is warranted, is growing. Denial of reality, in that much of the population refuses to accept the legitimacy of a constitutionally conducted presidential election, is a prime symptom of the nation’s psychological illness.

Members among that faction talk openly in social media about actually wanting to see the newly elected president murdered. It’s a psychological–even psychotic revisitation, some might say–of those long ago, southern-like sympathizers in the mold of John Wilkes Booth.

Their mindset is not unlike that of the  dastardly assassin, who so resented President Lincoln after Lincoln’s directing the winning of the Civil War to preserve the Union that he could abide nothing less than the sixteenth president’s murder.

Voters have spoken within the rational, constitutional process. They put the current president in office. Mainstream media, entertainment media, higher educational institutions, and leftists of every stripe refuse to accept the legitimate election. They are observably driven to a form of madness. They are the ones who manifest the mental illness they accuse the new president of having.

We review just a few of the schizophrenic symptoms manifest in the U.S. It all stems from reprobate or upside-down thinking of which the apostle Paul warned in Romans chapter 1. It’s what happens when any people move in a direction other than that which God prescribes.

* Muslims are called peaceful while Christians are called homophobic, islamophobic, etc.

* The liberal mindset is that we should do all for the children, yet they are responsible for 58 million being murdered n their mothers’ wombs.

* This mindset calls homosexuality an acceptable alternate lifestyle, while God Word calls it abomination

* Marriage is between one man and one woman, and this culture now says it is legally a marriage between man and man and woman and woman.

* The mindset is to say “God Bless America,” yet the government has kicked God out of public affairs in 1963 and since.

* Schizophrenia exists as Islamists commit heinous attacks out of hatred for anyone who doesn’t see things their way (bow to Allah), yet the mindset is that we must have open arms and welcome people from those countries–without questioning and examining (vetting) them.

* Christians are called intolerant, yet the progressives won’t tolerate the Christian worldview–they see it as intolerant and hateful.

* Men want to become women, women want to become men–now men want to be made into women who can have babies.

* Presidential administration always looks for a “motive” when it is obviously Islamists who murder. Never call them Islamic terrorists.

* Socialism is literally impoverishing all societies around the world and yet capitalism is called the system that demeans people–examples being Venezuela and other places of late…

* Israel has only a sliver of land and the Arab nations have vast lands, yet the world diplomatic community (and many among the ideological left in America) demands that the Jewish state divide its land and give it to make a Palestinian state–from people blood-vowed to kill all Jews.

The final bulleted point in this list is the most troubling. It holds the very fate of America within its grip, if one believes God’s Word as given in Genesis chapter 12–and we do.

The schizophrenia is seen to be a perhaps unresolvable spiritual malady in this regard. America has for the last couple of decades–particularly over the past eight years–exhibited a split over support of Israel.

The former administration “put light” between the U.S. and Israel, something one of the Obama administration spokespersons vowed would happen as stated at the very outset. The Trump administration has vowed to do just the opposite. It has indeed to this point embraced the Jewish state and even is seriously considering moving the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Yet at the same time, the American government is again befriending Israel, there is a faction, made up of domestic terrorists, it seems, who are exhibiting psychotic hatred reminiscent of that found in the Germany of the 1930s.

NEW YORK – Antisemitic incidents in the United States surged by 34 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, and have jumped 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017, new data released by the Anti-Defamation League on Monday showed.

In its annual ‘Audit of Antisemitic Incidents’, the ADL reported that there has been a “massive increase” in the amount of harassment of American Jews, particularly since November, the month of the US presidential election.

The report stated that there was a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016, nearly 30% of which occurred in November and December. These incidents included 720 incidents of harassment and threats, 510 vandalism acts and 36 physical assault incidents.

During the first three months of 2017, another 541 incidents took place including 380 harassments and 161 bomb threats. In addition, the beginning of the year saw 155 vandalism acts – including three cemetery desecrations– and six physical assault incidents. Among the latest incident, included one last month, in which a New York rabbi received a threatening email, which read in part: “Things will start getting bloodier for the Jew boys, I know where you live.”

According to the data, if antisemitic occurrences continue at this rate, 2017 could end with over 2,000 incidents. (Source: “US Antisemitic Incidents Jump 86% at Start of 2017,” Danielle ZiriJerusalem Post, April 24, 2017)

For the moment, it seems that the current administration wants to apply healing balm to the rift with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his nation caused by the previous administration. But the American schizophrenia remains a most serious spiritual disease that grows within. Believers must continue praying as hundreds of thousands prayed leading up to the presidential election just past. It is the only Rx that will spare this nation the demise that the Lord says will befall all individuals and nations who choose to defy His divine order for mankind.