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Nov. 14th, 2007

Captured by Jesus

Capital Punishment

Today, November 13, 2007, I read in the Spokesman Review, that Joseph Duncan’s attorneys filed legal arguments saying the death penalty is clearly arbitrary and unfair. It is reported that federal prosecutors have complained in court that one of Duncan’s attorneys, capital punishment specialist Mark Larranaga is on a “crusade” against the death penalty rather than specifically seeking to represent Duncan.

The article reports, “Duncan has admitted to killing three members of the Groene family in a bloody attack in 2004 at their home hear Coeur d’Alene, before he allegedly kidnapped to young children from the family for sex and killed one, a 9-year-old boy.” What the article doesn’t say is that the surviving child, who was 8 years old at the time, Shasta Groene, witnessed her mother, teen brother, and mother’s boyfriend being beaten to death. Then she endured sexual abuse (over a period of weeks) and probably had to watch her 9-year-old brother also be sexually abused and then killed and burned up in a campfire.

It’s obvious that Duncan’s attorneys have given no thought to the surviving victim and the victims’ family, not to mention the many of us who wept, hoped, and prayed that the two children would be found alive. I don’t know Shasta Groene, but my heart broke for that young girl and her living relatives, and the four lives that were put to an abrupt end before it was time.

Some of the arguments:

“Evolving standards of decency” in deciding what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the US Constitution’s 8th amendment.

The punishment should fit the crime. Duncan murdered four people and tortured two children. No, we should not torture him like he tortured those five people. But why should they die and we let him live? Capital punishment fits the crime of murder to the fourth power. He arbitrarily inflicted his own will onto five people to satisfy his perverse sexual appetite for innocent children. Personally, it wouldn’t bother me if we made it as humane as possible by giving him a general anesthesia before lethal injection. That way, he most probably wouldn’t feel a thing, but simply go to sleep and never wake up. There is no torture in that, and nothing cruel. It’s a bit unusual, but only in the sense that it makes the death as comfortable as possible for the perpetrator who bludgeoned to death four innocent people and repeatedly raped two small children.

Studies have shown no deterrent effects on murder rates in states that have capital punishment.

There’s a reason for that. There’s rarely an immediate consequence for someone on death row. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_row “Due to the lengthy, expensive and time consuming appeals procedure that must be followed in the United States before an execution can be carried out, prisoners may wait years before execution; nearly a quarter of deaths on Death Row in the U.S. are in fact of natural causes.” We are, in a sense, saying, “There are no real immediate consequences for your actions, no matter how heinous. The worst that can happen to you is being placed in prison while the powers that be try to figure out what to do with you. And don’t worry – there are plenty of lawyers like Mark Larranaga fighting for your right to rape and murder without severe penalty. So, dream up your most wicked fantasy and have the time of your life, because even if your buddy Mark loses his battle for you, you’ll still likely die of natural causes on death row. You just need to decide if it’s worth it.” If anything needs reform, it’s the United States appeals procedure.

Since 1973, 124 inmates have been released from death row because of new evidence of innocence.

Many of these cases were overturned because someone had originally withheld evidence. There should be severe penalties for anyone who withholds evidence or perjurers themselves. It should be severe enough that if they’re found out the result is painful, like losing law license, job, and serving jail time and restitution payable to the person whose life they destroyed, or if too late, the family of the deceased. In fact, if someone is put to death because someone withheld evidence or perjured themselves, that person(s) should be tried for, at the very least, manslaughter.

Many of these cases were overturned because of the leaps and bounds made in forensic science. If anything, that should be a case for keeping the death penalty, because it’s less likely mistakes will be made and more likely the right person will be tried for the crime. Most of the cases that have been overturned have been since 1993, clearly, when knowledge has increased to the point of aptly finding the truth. Perhaps, with forensic science, there will be less margin for error.

This is what makes Duncan's case a bad place to "crusade" for abolishment of capital punishment.  He's admitted it.  There is no question as to whether he's done it -- and no amount of appeals would change that outcome.  He was caught red-handed with the girl and confessed he did the crimes.  According to the article I read, there is no doubt Duncan is guilty.   Therefore, he should accept the consequences of his crimes.  What gets to me more than anything at all is that the legal system seems to have failed all of Duncan's victims, past and present, and if the death penalty is abolished as a result of this trial, that will have been his legacy.  He'll have come out of this somewhat of a hero for those who oppose the death penalty, and there will be no justice for the Groene family or the other families Duncan has tortured, tormented, raped and murdered.  All hail the perpetrator!  

Sep. 26th, 2007

Captured by Jesus

Yahoo!

Tonight several topics came up, and it seems that my Mormon friend Storm was right in the midst of it all.  The two topics that consistently come up in our discussions are...

1.  The authenticity of the Bible.

2.  The Triune Godhead.

I think I probably need to make a post explaining where I stand with the Bible, first. 

Then I will make an argument for the Trinity as Bible-Believing Christians know it. 

Feel free to leave comments if you think you have anything helpful on either of these topics.
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Sep. 20th, 2007

Captured by Jesus

Yahoo!

Hi, everyone. I haven't posted in here in a while, but winter is coming soon, so I know I'll be spending more time indoors.

Recently, I've been hanging out in Yahoo Christian Chat 3. While there, I've met some really interesting people. It's not like you might think... a Christian run and operated place. It's diverse with lots of people representing lots of different beliefs.

I've gotten a soft spot for a guy I'll call "Storm." He's a Mormon and he's recently given me a website to examine. It's right here.  Since Mormonism vs Christianity is such a vast topic, I've decided to go ahead and publicly examine things one at a time right here on my blog.

I'll probably be posting some things about Judaism, too.  I've met a delightful Jewish woman I'll call "Metookah."  I just love listening to her.  She adamantly denies Christ is Lord, though, and I know some interesting topics will develop, and I'll want to discuss them with you here. She gets kind of mad when people tell her she needs Jesus to be saved, but then she gets mad at me, too, when I tell her I believe that God's not done with the Jews yet (Romans 11).  :)  But mostly she just likes to talk and exchange thoughts.  Tonight I listened to her talk with a guy called "ex_christian," and she really defended her faith well. 

One thing is for sure... these are all very intelligent people, so I respect them, and adore them.  They all have unique and wonderful personalities.  It can be a bash-fest at times, but usually it works itself out. 

There's a few flirtatious men in there, but they're pretty harmless. :)

Hope all is well with you. 
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May. 31st, 2007

Captured by Jesus

Support LiveJournal

There's a lot of whining, complaining and boycotting LJ because of their recent action to suspend some journals and communities that may be outside of LJ policy in promoting pedophilia, murder, abuse, etc. There have been some journals/communities suspended that maybe didn't deserve to be. But LJ has been very apologetic and is working very hard to correct any problems. I know I would be bothered if this affected my use of the journal, but at the same time, I am very thankful that LiveJournal isn't willing to promote any kind of mayhem. I'm glad they're trying to do something about this problem. They're taking a lot of flak and criticism about being the "thought police" etc. Today I'm going to renew my extra user pics and buy time on all my accounts. I may even buy some of you something. Pass on the good will if you can, but if you can't here's a way to show your support for LJ.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Please credit: slidewithme for the icon and the banner. I'll be putting it on my user info page as soon as I make this comment.

Also, if you have time, it wouldn't hurt to run by the news page http://news.livejournal.com/ and give them some encouragement to offset some of the drama.
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May. 9th, 2007

Captured by Jesus

Guiness Book of World Records

Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, and Quasimodo were all talking one day.

Sleeping Beauty said, "I believe myself to be the most beautiful girl  in
the world."

Tom Thumb said, "I must be the smallest person in the world."

Quasimodo said, "I absolutely have to be the most disgusting person in the
world."

 They all decided to go to the Guinness Book of World Records to have their
claims verified.

 Sleeping Beauty went in first and came out looking deliriously happy.
"It's official; I AM the most beautiful girl in the world."

 Tom Thumb went next and emerged triumphant,
"I AM now officially the smallest person in the world."

 Sometime later, Quasimodo comes out looking utterly confused and says...
"Who the heck is Rosie O'Donnell?

May. 5th, 2007

Captured by Jesus

Pray

Please pray for the  Kansas tornado victims and their families.
Captured by Jesus

The End of Days/End Times

 

Apr. 18th, 2007

Captured by Jesus

My (very brief) thoughts on the V-Tech murders...

This is my response to a post a friend made.  The first comment is regarding Bush, the NRA and gun control.

Still the fact that one of his biggest supporting groups is the NRA, well that's a problem to me. You can't condemn what is happening in the world if you're a beneficiary of the one group that has a vested interest in the thing that has helped make this incident happen.

It was the man who pulled the trigger, friend. There is a lot of truth to the fact that it isn't Bush's fault, God's fault or even the law's fault. This guy set out to do something and he did it. The only difference, if gun control were tighter, would be that it might have happened in May instead of April. People who don't care if they kill 30 or so people also don't care if they get a gun illegally, or not. But in May it might have been a machine gun, or something, killing many more. Maybe not. But why not blame the judges who give a slap on the wrist for obvious obsessive behavior? If they had given him a record, Cho wouldn't have been able to get a firearm legally. Still, I think when someone sets out to do something, they will, no matter the law.

I do think you make a great point that we should reach out to our neighbors, though. Here's an example that happened just yesterday. I posted about it, but you may have missed it:

A blessing today. Yesterday, when I went to pay bills, I'd forgotten my checkbook for the City. They don't take debit cards there. So I told them I'd be back, but I forgot. So today, when I took Shawn to work, I stopped there on my way back home. That went fine, and something really cool happened when I left. My hair was sort of messed up, though I brushed it, because I hadn't yet showered today, and I had no make-up on. I wasn't exactly some hot chick, you know? Anyway, this really handsome old man with a walker passed me on his way in when I was leaving. I was sort of in my own little introverted space, but he smiled and said hello to me. It made my day that he saw fit to be polite to me no matter what I looked like or who I was. So many people are so rude (and judgmental) these days. It was uber refreshing. I prayed and prayed that the Lord bless him. :)

But again, Cho refused people who reached out to him.

You said, "There are plenty of people in the world that have it worse off, but they do not go into work or school or the mall and shoot it up. Cho was disturbed, but I wonder, at what point did he lose control?"

I made this response to someone else in another journal regarding this.

I'm guessing from my own experience with emotions and trials that what probably happens is that a person holds on to one offense or offenses (big or small) so tightly that it becomes their focus. They start to think about revenge and how good that would feel to them, what a release it would be. Most people, at this point, would realize that this is a path they don't want to continue down and they would make every effort to find a new focus and/or forgive and let it go, but some don't and it plays out like it did at V-Tech.

It's hard to say what goes through the mind of someone who has isolated himself so. I think there's a reason why the Lord says that vengeance is His and why He encourages us so to focus on Him. Another good reason to spread the Word.
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Apr. 3rd, 2007

Captured by Jesus

I love Mormons

I participated in this thread in [info]christianity .  Try as I might, I can't seem to get across the point that I'm not trying to harm anyone, but that I care about people who are misled by the LDS leadership.  Here is an exerpt from the thread: 

I don't think anyone is going to get the "gold star" for getting every doctrine right. From my observation I could be a part of any number of denominations and be in unity with them, though I might not agree with everything taught there. There are small differences that do not matter. I do not think that is the case between Christianity and Mormonism. There are very large differences that are not something Christians should put aside for the sake of unity. The Bible does say, 2 Corinthians 6: 14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.

You either believe the Bible, or don't, in my opinion. If there is any part of it you can't believe, you might as well not use it at all, because you will have no solid standard. I choose to have a standard. I would contend that anyone who doesn't believe in the Bible is not a Christian. They can claim to be Christians, but if they reject the Bible, they reject the very thing that teaches us of Christ. I am not God, so I have neither power or desire to take away someone's salvation. What concerns me is that someone may think they're saved when they've never had it in the first place. I agree that there are Mormons who appear to be very upright people, but only God knows the motivation of their hearts. Same is true of Christians.... some appear to be upright, but only God knows the motivation of their hearts. I don't think everyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian.

If the Mormons are depending on Joseph Smith for their salvation at all, they are different than Christians. I believe their are some Mormons who have no idea what the church really teaches and it's possible that they only know the good that is taught. I believe that God will bless those people. But it's a scary line and my only concern is that they are being deceived and may never see what they think they'll see, just as the suicide bombers of Radical Islam will never see the virgins they are promised.
I can't count how many times I've heard others say to me, "to each his own," or "why can't you just let people worship how they want to?"  I can't control anyone but myself, but I feel that if I did not at least make an effort to make a case for true Christianity that I would be a bad witness and there could even possibly be Mormon blood on my hands.  It's not about what I might get out of helping someone to true salvation, but what they get out of it.  I can only hope people will start to listen and understand.

Blessings to you.
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Captured by Jesus

Hello... bet you thought I abandoned this journal again...

NOT!

Not a chance.  I've just been really busy.  I have lots of posts planned, but first things first.  Note my new icon and feel free to use it.  No credit necessary.  :-D I love it.  It's right in the Bible folks! 

Those of you who replied to the post for things you'd like me to post about, I haven't forgotten you.  Eventually, you'll be scrolling your friend page and see it roll by. 

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