Is this the prettiest portrait of who the United States is?
Here we go again. The good old death penalty has reared its ugly head here in the United States in horrific fashion.
The Associated Press headline read: “Okla. inmate dies of heart attack in botched execution”
The story recounted how, using a new, untested, lethal injection drug resulted in Clayton Lockett “writhing and clenching his teeth on the gurney Tuesday, leading prison officials to halt the proceedings before the inmate’s eventual death from a heart attack.”
It went on to say that “The blinds were eventually lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber, and the state’s top prison official eventually called a halt to the proceedings.”
“It was a horrible thing to witness. This was totally botched,” said Lockett’s attorney, David Autry.
Oh, so many thoughts are dancing around in my mind. I think of how Christians have been told to leave the old ways behind (old testament, an eye for an eye) and
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Then I move into CWG mode with excerpts from “Conversations With God, Book 1”
“Should societies use killing as a response to those who violate behavioral codes? . . . Is there a difference between killing and murder? . . .
Society would have you believe that killing to punish those who commit certain offenses (these have changed through the years) is perfectly defensible. In fact, society must have you take its word for it in order to exist as an entity of power. . . .
Do you believe these positions are correct? Have you taken another’s word for it? What does your Self have to say? There is no “right” or “wrong” in these matters. But by your decisions you paint a portrait of Who You Are. . . .”
It is the last statement that jumps out at me.
“But by your decisions you paint a portrait of Who You Are. . . .”
The United States paints, at best, a confusing portrait of who it is, and the rest of the world wants us to make up our minds, and is doing its part to help us make a decision. How? They are refusing to sell us the drugs required to execute.
As a recent New York Post article put it:
“EU nations are notorious for disagreeing on just about everything when it comes to common policy, but they all strongly — and proudly — agree on one thing: abolishing capital punishment.
Europe saw totalitarian regimes abuse the death penalty as recently as the 20th century, and public opinion across the bloc is therefore staunchly opposed to it.
The EU’s uncompromising stance has set off a cat-and-mouse game, with U.S. corrections departments devising new ways to carry out lethal injections only to hit updated export restrictions within months.”
“Our political task is to push for an abolition of the death penalty, not facilitate its procedure,” said Barba Lochbihler, chairwoman of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights.
The United States seems to not see that it is in violation of Human Rights.
I think that anyone who is for the death penalty must ask themselves these questions:
If the blinds had to be “eventually lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber”, what does that say about the “rightness” of what was going on behind those blinds?
What makes this kind of killing somehow more “wrong” than with the other death cocktail?
Might there be something about ourselves, and our connection to everyone that we deny whenever we rationalize the taking of another life, for whatever reason? What is the death penalty really about?
Why keep testing for the best way to kill someone rather investing in how to allow someone to live a life in which they would never even think of killing?
What portrait are we painting of ourselves as individuals, and as a nation?
(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com She may be contacted at: Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)