Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Forgiveness and the Law

Newspaper newspaper headlines cried, "Protesters demand forgiveness for killer." Article after article proclaimed that citizens believe that felons should be forgiven. One individual quoted said, "As a society, we must forgive those who are bad for their crimes. We are taught to forgive."

For old age the above mental attitude concerned me, but I wasn't able to give concrete grounds as to why I disagreed. However, I finally have got the answer: Only people who are wronged can forgive the criminal, and forgiveness and legal effects are two different things.

If a foolhardy speed demon hits me in presence of my house, I can forgive the driver since I was the 1 hurt. However, if the hurrying auto work stoppages my neighbor, I cannot forgive, nor not forgive, because I was not the individual harmed. Plus, if the individual agony from the accident forgives the speeder, the driver must still confront the legal effects of his or her actions. My "forgiving" the 1 who injures my neighbour is not really forgiveness because I am a by-stander, not anyone involved.

Jesus stated that the people of His clip were to render under Julius Julius Julius Caesar what is Caesar's (Caesar representing the government) and unto Supreme Being what is God's (God being the moral, the righteous). In other words, people are to follow the law and take the effects if they don't.

In our permissive world, we have got mixed the two: What is God's and what is the government's (the law's) are intermingled in countries that they shouldn't be. Forgiveness by people or even the Christian church leadership makes not negate the penitents' duty to confront their fates according to the law.

In states or states with working capital punishment, homicides cognize the punishment if caught, establish guilty, and given the decease penalty. The household and friends of the victim make have got the right, and maybe even the obligation, to forgive the killers; however, that forgiveness makes not extenuate the fact that the criminal deliberately took the life of another individual and confronts the consequences. Nor should forgiveness by those harmed take away the incrimination and resulting punishment.

The statement that a criminal repents is not a valid alibi for his not facing the consequences of his actions. As person with a stopping point relation who have spent much of his grownup life in prison, I cognize personally that prison houses and jailhouses are filled with repentant inmates, and with many who claim they to be innocent. (On a side note, I recognize that some guiltless people make end up in prison, but the big bulk of inmates are guilty as charged.) I also cognize from first manus experience that many that repent are bad they were caught. Also for a big number, jailhouse house faith soon vanishes after the captive is released. Therefore, being bad for one's actions or being forgiven by the victim or victims should not wipe out the effects of a crime. Legal effects and moral forgiveness are two different constituents of life.

I may forgive the adult male who murdered my niece, and I may forgive the relative whose actions brought "shame" to my family, but I cannot and should not change the legal rendering. We all demand to render unto Julius Julius Caesar what is Caesar's and unto Supreme Being what is God's.

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