Let the punishment fit the crime

This one comes with a disclaimer: this post deals with the difficult topic of rape, specifically as it is commited against children.

The Supreme Court decided recently to outlaw the executions of people who rape children.

Both presidential candidates are outraged and disagree with the decision.

The Supreme Court calls it cruel and unusual punishment to execute such people.

Two things.

If it’s cruel and unusual (and therefore violates the Constitution) to execute people who rape children, how is it not cruel and unusual to execute convicted murderers? Or anyone else on death row for whatever criminal act they may have commited? How do we all of a sudden get to pick and choose who we execute based on the crime? As far as I’m concerned, ANY crime commited against a child is inexcusable and…in my human desire for justice…unforgiveable. If there’s anything cruel and unusual, it’s that violent acts are commited against children everyday. (how ’bout the FBI sweeps of child prostitution rings in THIS country just this week?) There’s part of me that would happy carry out the execution myself for someone who raped a child.

But then the rational, Jesus part of my brain kicks in. I am opposed to the death penalty. I am. In spite of my statement at the end of the last paragraph. And here’s what I think about the aforementioned issue…there are natural consequences to many of our actions, and God (like a good parent) allows us to experiences those consequences, good or bad. While there really is no natural consequence for rape, there should be a significant consequence for those who commit such a heinous act, against ANYONE. I’ve said all along that I think any man who rapes anyone-child or woman-should be castrated. Period. Jail time is good, too. But let’s face it. If they don’t have a penis, it makes it more difficult to commit the violent act of rape. Granted, other objects have often been used, in addition to or apart from genetalia, and that may even make the crime worse for the victim. But I gotta think that castration may be a more appropriate punishment than execution.

I wonder what Jesus thinks about that. Or maybe it’s just that Jesus is on the side of the child (or woman or any victim) and works through the Spirit to bring healing and restoration. It’s an ethic even I don’t like sometimes when I hear about those situations and am out for blood, not reconciliation and forgiveness.

Oh, and the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) also ruled today that we can still own guns for self-defense and hunting. Anyone see any mixed messages anywhere?


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