Pew: Support for death penalty at lowest level since early 1970s

posted at 4:41 pm on March 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

Gallup detected this same trend in its own poll on capital punishment last October, but even they didn’t see support drop below 60 percent. Pew does. They’ve got it at 55 percent versus 38 percent opposed. That’s the first time the margin between support and opposition has been less than 20 points since the 1960s. Something’s going on, but what?

The magic-bullet explanation is that it’s a reaction to the steep decline in violent crime in America since the early 1990s. The safer people feel, the less urgent their impulse to punish society’s worst offenders severely. (Tangentially, that may also help explain why support for prison reform is growing within both parties.) But the crime rate can’t explain everything; to see why, read this post from last year flagging a pair of graphs from Gallup showing that trends in how safe people feel haven’t steadily declined over time. They’re down from where they were in the 90s, but they’re actually up from where they were a few years ago — and yet support for the death penalty continues to plummet. There must be more happening here. A clue from Pew in the last three numbers here:

pew

Demographic change must be moving the needle on this issue just as it’s moving the needle on subjects like gay marriage. As the number of minority voters grows as a percentage of the total electorate, support for capital punishment softens. And it’s not just racial demographics that are driving it. Per a Pew poll from 2011, millennials as a group lean a bit further left on this subject than other age groups, just as they lean further left on so many other issues:

p2

A different poll taken in January of this year found something similar happening among Christians specifically. When asked if the government should have the option to execute the worst criminals, 42 percent of Christian baby boomers said yes — but just 32 percent of Christians born between 1980 and 2000 agreed. Whether this is now a fixed star in millennials’ liberal-ish ideology or a simple reaction to the fact that they’ve grown up in a safer America, which could change if/when the crime rate does, is obviously unclear. That’s the evergreen question mark with this group ever since Obama was elected. How many screw-ups by the Democratic Party would it take for them to sour on (some) leftist positions? Or are they dyed-in-the-wool Democrats/left-wing independents for life, having assumed that identity in their formative years? Consider it a subset of the question of whether the U.S. really is irretrievably on a European track, as Europe’s managed to keep its taboo against capital punishment intact despite decades of political change.

One other interesting footnote to the Pew data: The numbers on capital punishment don’t wax and wane as a reaction to the president’s party affiliation. The rap on Democrats when I was a kid was that they were soft on crime, which would lead you to expect a rise in support for the death penalty whenever a Democrat lands in the White House. That’s not what’s happened. Support dropped throughout most of Clinton’s presidency, bounced up slightly after 9/11 before dropping some more during Bush’s terms, and then bounced up slightly after O was elected before continuing to drop. Which makes sense: According to Gallup’s poll last fall, it’s Democrats and independents who have shifted the most towards opposing capital punishment over the past 25 years. It’s a matter of principle, not a purely partisan thing.


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Pew: Support for death penalty at lowest level since

early 1970s

They didn’t Poll me.

ToddPA on March 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Since each state gets to decide, why didn’t they break it down by state?

cozmo on March 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Since I qualify it with “innocent” I’m good.

cozmo on March 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Government is inherently corrupt regardless of party. Do I think there are humans that deserve to die for their crimes? Yes I do but I’d rather see murderers rot in jail as opposed to an innocent man die at the hands of the state.

MoreLiberty on March 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I’m a Texan. We just put another one of these killer scum off our dole just last night. A nutjob who ordered a pizza and for kicks and grins decided to kill the little asian gal who delivered it. We don’t like providing three hots and a cot indefinitely to monsters such as these here in Texas. The other 49 (or in Obama’s case 56) states can do what y’all want. Here in Texas we’re going to keep on keeping on. If that is something that you are too delicate to handle I suggest you move to a more genteel state. We don’t play in Texas. If you kill someone and get put on death row you will die.

neyney on March 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Yes, because that baby broke into your womb, stole the tv, kicked your dog, killed your wife and was convicted by a jury of its peers.
Go sell stupid somewhere else, Wendy.

Cheese Wheel on March 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Since I qualify it with “innocent” I’m good.

cozmo on March 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Same here.

Stoic Patriot on March 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

They’re not named ‘Pew’ for nothing….

BigWyo on March 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

This should be handle at the state level. Also, I support the death penalty but it is not a make or break issue for me.

BigGator5 on March 28, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Death to the death penalty! Being a Texan, some people just need killin’. No, Libs, I don’t volunteer…

vnvet on March 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

And again, lucky for us…no one here gives a squirt of pi$$ about what you think…

BigWyo on March 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I’ll give you a bit of credit for admitting that abortion is killing a life. Can’t get that from most abortion ghouls.

Bitter Clinger on March 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

What did the baby do to deserve the death penalty? Consistent. LOL.

I would be OK with locking them up in a super high security prison that has no luxuries at all where they work to provide their own food and otherwise do hard labor for life with limited medical care until they die. The only Luxury I would accommodate is religious study.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

I used to be for the death penalty but it’s become so complicated I’m now against it. I know there are scumbags who should be disposed of. I think they should be turned over to the relatives of the person they killed. Since it was decided that the electric chair is cruel and unusual punishment they have been looking for an alternative and not doing a very good job of it. I will support it if they bring back the electric chair.

crankyoldlady on March 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Irrefutable evidence?

Summary execution.

BuckeyeSam on March 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

This should be handle at the state level. Also, I support the death penalty but it is not a make or break issue for me.

Too bad for your federalist idea that there is also a federal death penalty for federal crimes.

For example, are you good for letting Tsarnaev go to prison for life? I’m not.

Pincher Martin on March 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

If you believe that life is precious than you should be for protecting all life.

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Life is precious, which is why we punish those who choose to take the lives of others. To do less dishonors the dead and cheapens the value of the lives they lived. How is it any different than spitting on their grave? Those who choose to murder have freely made a choice where plain justice demands the forfeiture of their lives. For that matter, how does your logic of “protecting all life” square with the use of deadly force by officers or soldiers? Surely they are justified in killing, to defend their lives or the lives of others?

Yes, life is precious. The right to life is the first of all rights, without which no other rights can stand. If one is not free to draw breath, one can hardly be free to do anything else, including such acts for which justice calls for the forfeiture of one’s life. That is the dividing line, that one must choose, of one’s own free will, to take a life unjustifiably. Actions have consequences, including the creation of new life, worthy of being protected. I’m consistent like that.

David Marcoe on March 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM

My take on abortion, the death penalty, and the use of lethal force in self-defense was summed up by Billy Barty and Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter (1973), when discussing the plan to bushwhack the three gunmen coming back to burn down the town of Lago;

Mordecai: What happens after?

The Stranger: Hmm?

Mordecai: What do we do when it’s over?

The Stranger: Then you live with it.

That said, I believe that if someone tries to harm you, you are within your rights to take whatever steps are necessary to make them cease and desist. If that results in the demise of the other party, well, the third-person the old Super Chicken theme song, “(He) knew the job was dangerous when (he) took it”.

But the best remark on the modern-day progressive attitude on abortion and capital punishment was made by P.J. O’Rourke. As he put it,

“A staunch humanitarian might be against both, and a ruthless pragmatist might be in favor of both. But it takes a very special sort of mindset to conclude that it is always permissible to take the life of an innocent child in the womb, while simultaneously holding that one may never do the same to an adult who has, of their own free will, demonstrated their willingness to kill without a good reason.”

Seen in this light, the modern-day “progressive” philosophy on both says something about the basis of that philosophy.

Namely, that it is fundamentally anti-humanistic, if not in fact fundamentally anti-human.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Too bad for your federalist idea that there is also a federal death penalty for federal crimes.

For example, are you good for letting Tsarnaev go to prison for life? I’m not.

Pincher Martin on March 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Always depends on the prison conditions. It should be just barely not torture and inhumane. I would make the conditions such that it would be a coin toss whether the person would choose to die rather than live 10 years let alone 50 or 60 years in those conditions.
If we cannot get to that level of conditions for them, then they should just simply die.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

the death penalty is only for those up to the 7th trimester

El_Terrible on March 28, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Only 20+ percent support obama’care’ – so what?

Schadenfreude on March 28, 2014 at 5:06 PM

actions have consequences and some actions are so horrific a final punishment is needed.

dmacleo on March 28, 2014 at 5:06 PM

David Marcoe on March 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM

I just typed practically the same setence in two different paragraphs. I need sleep.

David Marcoe on March 28, 2014 at 5:08 PM

MeanWhile,…in Texas:

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/us-lethal-injection-drug-shortage/

US lethal injection drug controversy
Texas, US
1h
Texas Supreme Court blocks enforcement of ruling requiring prison agency to name drug supplier – @AP
end of alert
==============

Texas, US
1d
Judge orders Texas prison agency to disclose execution drug supplier to inmates’ attorney – @AP
end of alert

canopfor on March 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM

I don’t think it’s race, age or a greater sense of security.

I think more and more people realize that the legal system is not sufficiently infallible to allow it to determine life and death. Is there even a single week that goes by in which someone is not released from prison, even Death Row sometimes, because of a faulty verdict? People now know that defendants can have incompetent counsel, the Duke lacrosse case taught us how unethical prosecutors can be, and we know that DNA evidence has disproved eyewitness testimony on countless occasions. And, we KNOW that witnesses lie…a lot.

And look at the uncertainty. This week I learned that in Florida, a guilt or innocence verdict is by the traditional unanimity rule, but a 7-5 majority is sufficient for a death sentence in the penalty phase. I think this kind of stuff is causing more and more…not all…people to rethink capital punishment. It’s not about the justness of the punishment, but about the reliability of the system.

So, c’mon…that’s the point. If a person is wrongfully imprisoned for 10, 20 even 30 years the mistake can be rectified at least to some extent. If they’re dead…well obviously not. So, warehouse them instead. If it turns out it’s a mistake, fix it. If not, life in the Big House is no picnic.

Blaise on March 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Another dishonest poll. Stop it already! There is no death penalty for those simply convicted of murder. It takes:

first degree murder plus
special circumstance, plus
aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating ones plus
some states require the state prove future dangerousness.

The jury can recommend death or lwop.

Blake on March 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

The Left: Save the guilty! Kill the innocent! (abortion)

The Right: Kill the guilty! Save the innocent!

Only one of these stances makes sense. I have absolutely no respect for someone who thinks that abortion should be legal, but that capital punishment should not. Someone who believes that abortion should be legal, but capital punishment should not be at least believes in life above all, but the Leftest position makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Theophile on March 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I’ll use Kenneth McDuff (since he’s the guy I’m most familiar with) for evidence against releasing people put on death row. He once said, “Killing a woman is like killing a chicken. They both squawk.”

Ward Cleaver on March 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Although I support the death penalty, how it is enforced could sure use some fixing. No one should be on death row without hard physical evidence, not because what an informant said or if picked out of a lineup, hard evidence to include DNA. Another fix would be to prosecute prosecutors and law enforcement who tamper with evidence or coerce testimony. I fear there are people on death row just because someone wanted a conviction and that is wrong, way wrong.

major dad on March 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

These polls are designed to elicit an anti DP response. They are paid for by the anti DP lobby and HotAir. How about some freaking honesty for a change?

Blake on March 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Too bad for your federalist idea that there is also a federal death penalty for federal crimes.

For example, are you good for letting Tsarnaev go to prison for life? I’m not.

Pincher Martin on March 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

I… Just… What?

Didn’t I just say I support the death penalty? The Federal Government having their own death penalty suits me just fine, just so long as they keep out of each state’s death penalty.

And don’t call me a federalist (or even a libertarian) again! I am a conservative, but don’t confuse me as a single issue voter!

BigGator5 on March 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Blaise on March 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM

As I was typing, I saw your comment right above the comment box.

You’ve said it better than I have and what keeps me from being a supporter is that the state does make mistakes, people make mistakes, people lie and there is corruption and/or agendas.

Once in a while people are exonerated.

Is even one person executed in error a good tradeoff? I don’t think so, but that’s just me.

kim roy on March 28, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Holder:

“Let’s release everyone on death row!”

DNC:

clap clap clap clap

fogw on March 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Lucky for me I am ok with abortion before 20 weeks, so am ok for death penalty in certain crimes. I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

20 weeks exactly?

DarkCurrent on March 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

I just think it is so sad that allahpundit couldn’t take this misguided youth into his home:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/oagnews/release.php?id=4686

Or this young woman:

http://nukegingrich.com/2014/01/30/execution-watch-suzanne-margaret-bassotx/

Blake on March 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Of course it has dropped and it will continue to, because our education system has conditioned people to believe that nobody is responsible for their actions. It is always someone else’ fault.

Further evidence of the impending implosion of a once great nation.

Neitherleftorright on March 28, 2014 at 5:35 PM

How might public support for executions be if the they were held in sports arenas, with tickets sold, and televised on pay per view? And instead of lethal injections, the convicted would be dispatched by hanging or firing squad?

Ruckus_Tom on March 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Thanks Kim Roy. You have put it succinctly.

Blaise on March 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Ruckus_Tom on March 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

That is how I want to see Obama go out.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Thanks Kim Roy. You have put it succinctly.

Blaise on March 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

If we are not going to have the death penalty, then we must change the stupidity of coddling people who have been sentenced to life in prison.

Also, the technology exists today to virtually assure that no one is wrongly executed. We can and should require the evidence to be far more exact than what is currently used.

Neitherleftorright on March 28, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Ruckus_Tom on March 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

As long as we spay, or neuter, every attendee, okay.

cozmo on March 28, 2014 at 5:46 PM

I think the slip in support is probably due to stories we hear about every month or so about somebody who was convicted of a crime and exonerated by DNA after spending years behind bars. It highlights the fallibility of the system.

Mark1971 on March 28, 2014 at 5:56 PM

I am consistent

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

So are bowel movements.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Given the increasing corruption that is ever more visible at all levels of government, is it any wonder that people may perhaps have second thoughts about the state having absolute control of life and death over every citizen? Although I conceptually support the death penalty, I can live with life without parole if it means reigning in an out of control state.

mpthompson on March 28, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Government is inherently corrupt regardless of party. Do I think there are humans that deserve to die for their crimes? Yes I do but I’d rather see murderers rot in jail as opposed to an innocent man die at the hands of the state.

MoreLiberty on March 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

So…we’re more sure that only the guilty receive jail time, but aren’t so sure that those who receive the death penalty are guilty?

Curious logic there.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

canopfor on March 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Heard about the case that’s going on in Hawai’i? They abolished the death penalty there before even becoming a state (in 1957) but there is currently a death penalty trial underway…

UPI

Hawaii could see its first death sentence as former U.S. Army soldier Naeem Williams faces capital punishment for the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, Talia.

The state abolished the death penalty in 1957 but the crime happened on a U.S. military base and is being tried in federal court.

Talia Williams died in 2005 after her father and stepmother, Delilah, allegedly beat the girl for several months. An investigator in the trial testified that Williams thought his daughter could withstand constant beating because she was, “Teflon tough.”

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Don’t take anything from Pew too seriously, they are the most progressively-biased and unethical of any major polling outfit. They have admitted to push-polling and biased questions in order to advance their political programs.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2014 at 6:14 PM

, I can live with life without parole if it means reigning in an out of control state.

mpthompson on March 28, 2014 at 6:06 PM

But it does not mean that. What it means is government having longer to hold the criminal over the heads of the people. Well, its a nice neighborhood you got there. We spent all the money you already gave us, if you do not cough up more we will be forced to let these guys out on parole in your neighborhood.
See California for more details.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Do I think there are humans that deserve to die for their crimes? Yes I do but I’d rather see murderers rot in jail as opposed to an innocent man die at the hands of the state.

If I thought they’d stay there, I could live with that. But I don’t believe the government will keep that promise. In fact, I’m sure they won’t because they’ve already broken it in many cases. A death penalty has the advantage of putting the issue beyond the review of some bleeding-heart leftist judge who sympathizes with the criminal and thinks he knows better than the jury did and is unaccountable to the public.

Socratease on March 28, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Since the DP was reinstated in the 70s, not one person executed has later geen determined to be innocent. Sure, the thug lovers claim they have been but they are lying.

To those of you who say one innocent person executed is too many — how about all the people murdered by inmates that should have been executed and were not? This includes other inmates, correctional officers, prison staff, escapes where civilians are murdered or where they order a hit on witnesses? Do their lives count?

Then there is the fact that they don’t want to just abolish the DP but lwop and life sentences, too. Hell, they think any sentence over 15 years is too long.

The latest meme is that these thugs were too young to appreciate their actions at the time of their murders. The op-eds are full of these sorry stories and we are bombarded with photos and documentaries of doe eyed murderers. They never tell you exactly what they have done to get on death row and how they are sociopaths who continue to act out in prison.

Blake on March 28, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Don’t get me started on kids. They suffer the worse. They are not just beat and killed but are usually systematically tortured over months or years.

Blake on March 28, 2014 at 6:19 PM

I love it when the “Cheistians” here show their true colors.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:37 PM

I love it when the “Cheistians” here show their true colors.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:37 PM

God promises that the death penalty is a reliable deterrent:

“So you shall put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously.” Deut. 17:12-13

Yet, the death penalty as executed through American courts is not much of a deterrent. Wise King Solomon 2,900 years ago explained why this is so:

Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Eccl. 8:11

When a murderer is executed, three appeals and 12 years after his crime, society has largely forgotten about him. His death has almost no deterrent effect on crime. Further, a life sentence cannot be executed speedily. The swift death penalty deters crime and aids evangelism. Thus Christians, in obedience to God, should support the death penalty.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 6:44 PM

I love it when the “Cheistians” here show their true colors.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Followers of Chia?

Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 6:46 PM

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 6:44 PM

I said “Christians” and you cite the OT?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Reality check: There are about one execution per state per year on average…yes about 50 executions each year. That’s what a few days in Dr. Gosnell’s office?

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

true colors.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:37 PM

————————————————
So you’re against the DP? I bet you’re all for abortions. I bet we know YOUR true colors –don’t we?

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I love it when the “Cheistians” here show their true colors.
iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:37 PM
Followers of Chia?
Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Might as well be.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I said “Christians” and you cite the OT?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Hahahahahahaahahahaha you’re as hilarious as you are ignorant. Thanks for playing!!

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Since each state gets to decide, why didn’t they break it down by state?

cozmo on March 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Yep. And good luck to any politician running on repealing the death penalty. Despite any “poll” he/sge would lose in a landslide in any state.

Of course, we could see activist liberal judges trying to impose their will, but any time voters get to decide, the death penalty will win.

Norwegian on March 28, 2014 at 6:52 PM

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I am 100% pro-life. Abortion is murder.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Might as well be.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM

You are cute.

Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 6:54 PM

I said “Christians” and you cite the OT?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

The old testament is the law on which Jesus stands.

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.”

John 19:11, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above ….”

Interesting that Jesus sees his own capital punishment as proper for his teachings, is it not?

“If I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of these things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them.”

Here Paul says that it would be right to execute him if he did things worthy of death.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 6:54 PM

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:52 PM

So Christ was pro-DP?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Not Joanne Milne cute tho.

Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:52 PM

So Christ was pro-DP?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Prove he wasn’t .

Now back to your idiocy— psssst Christians read the OT too.

Now you’ve learned something today. Feel better ?

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Here’s betting the troll addresses my last post before he does astonerii’s.

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

So Christ was pro-DP?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

He was executed you know. He told his executioner that God gave him the authority to execute him. Yes, Jesus was pro death penalty. In fact, the thief beside him that said that they were getting their just reward was rewarded with eternal life.
He also told his disciple that if you kill by the sword you die by the sword. In other words, if you murder someone, then the government will kill you.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM


Is there any doubt in your mind that Jesus Christ knew of these Old Testament incidents? If you believe Jesus did not approve of the death penalty, how do you explain his silence on these well-known stories from the Old Testament? It is absolutely unthinkable that he did not know, since he was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). Since he did know, why did he not say, “I am aware that Samuel hewed king Agag to pieces and that Elijah killed the prophets of Baal. Although these were God’s prophets, they sinned grievously by their violence”? If he thought such violence was always sinful and approved of it any way, how can we say Christ was honest and sinless? It ought to be obvious that Jesus Christ endorsed the death penalty under some circumstances.

Has it ever dawned on you that Jesus never–not even one time–criticized the teaching of the Old Testament? He disapproved of the way some of the Jewish leaders abused and misused the scriptures, but he did not question the inspiration and authority of one word of the revelation of God in the Old Testament. If the Son of God endorsed all of the Old Testament, how can we call ourselves Christians and doubt any of its teachings? I am reminded of a question raised by a radical Jewish scholar. He asked, “How can you call yourself a Christian and entertain a different view of God than Jesus Christ had?” We must have the same attitude toward the Old Testament that the Son of God so openly expressed.

But did he endorse all of the Old Testament? Did he not have some reservations about the flood, the prophet Daniel, Jonah and the big fish story, Lot’s wife and information about Abraham, David and other Old Testament characters? If he had such reservations, he never expressed them–never. The truth is: He approved of the very incidents that most liberal scholars doubt or deny.

Not as clear as the troll would think.

CW on March 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 6:54 PM

The John passage is quite a stretch to contend Jesus was pro DP. “Turn the other cheek” and “Cast the first stone” are relevant.

And there is a big difference between Paul calling for his own death if he had done wrong and your assertion that he supported the death penalty.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:58 PM

So Christians are supposed to follow all the OT laws? Do you even try to do that?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:07 PM

So Christians are supposed to follow all the OT laws? Do you even try to do that?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:07 PM

It’s not an all or nothing proposition. There has to be a reason to not follow Old Testament Laws, though. Not following dietary laws is OK because the New Testament says specifically that they are unnecessary. Not following the laws against homosexuality, for example, is not OK because the New Testament does not say they are unnecessary.

philoquin on March 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

CW on March 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

One example off the top of my head…Rebuking the people for wanting to stone a woman…which was sanctioned by the OT .

Also healed in the sabbath.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:11 PM

philoquin on March 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

That’s not a horrible line of reasoning…but that isn’t what others were arguing above (Christ totally agreed with the OT).

I am sure they don’t even try to follow ALL of the OT rules but the OT becomes convenient to support their pro DP position.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

The John passage is quite a stretch to contend Jesus was pro DP. “Turn the other cheek” and “Cast the first stone” are relevant.

And there is a big difference between Paul calling for his own death if he had done wrong and your assertion that he supported the death penalty.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Those are commands to individuals and with good reason. Not exactly the same thing. But God allows rulers to execute. As for the first stone. Why would he say such a thing?

They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.…

He would say such a thing because where they were only a roman Ruler had the authority to declare the death penalty. This is why Jesus had to be taken to the Roman ruler to be executed and not executed by the priests who wanted him dead. Effectively he was following the law of the land. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Actually there is no difference. Paul was saying that you have the authority to put me to death if I am guilty. Otherwise he would have told them they have no authority over him.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:17 PM

One example off the top of my head…Rebuking the people for wanting to stone a woman…which was sanctioned by the OT .

Also healed in the sabbath.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:11 PM

The Sabbath is a day for God. Doing healing is perfectly in line with this.

He did not rebuke them, but thwarted the evil in their hearts. They did not come seeking justice but came with malice.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM

I am consistent like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I am writing this comment here because I have a don’t write on Ted Cruz thread policy on hotair. I am classy like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

My poop doesn’t smell funny. I’m odiferous like that.

coolrepublica on March 28, 2015 at 4:52 PM

hawkdriver on March 28, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Also healed in the sabbath.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:11 PM

And?

hawkdriver on March 28, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Of course, the other argument against the failure for Jesus to have her stoned would be the following…

The evidence for the non-Johannine origin of the pericope of the adulteress is overwhelming. It is absent from such early and diverse manuscripts as Papyrus66.75 Aleph B L N T W X Y D Q Y 0141 0211 22 33 124 157 209 788 828 1230 1241 1242 1253 2193 al. Codices A and C are defective in this part of John, but it is highly probable that neither contained the pericope, for careful measurement discloses that there would not have been space enough on the missing leaves to include the section along with the rest of the text. In the East the passage is absent from the oldest form of the Syriac version (syrc.s. and the best manuscripts of syrp), as well as from the Sahidic and the sub-Achmimic versions and the older Bohairic manuscripts. Some Armenian manuscripts and the old Georgian version omit it. In the West the passage is absent from the Gothic version and from several Old Latin manuscripts (ita.l*.q). No Greek Church Father prior to Euthymius Zigabenus (twelfth century) comments on the passage, and Euthymius declares that the accurate copies of the Gospels do not contain it.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:44 PM

He did not rebuke them, but thwarted the evil in their hearts. They did not come seeking justice but came with malice.
astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM

So Jesus actually supported stoning women for adultery, as long as they have the right motive? Do you support stoning women for adultery?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:45 PM

He would say such a thing because where they were only a roman Ruler had the authority to declare the death penalty. This is why Jesus had to be taken to the Roman ruler to be executed and not executed by the priests who wanted him dead. Effectively he was following the law of the land. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.
astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Total speculation on your part.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Yeah, so what other passages shouldn’t be in the Bible?

I confess, I find the process of what became scripture and what was left out to be fascinating and disconcerting at the same time .

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:52 PM

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Good little poodle.

CW on March 28, 2014 at 7:56 PM

That’s not a horrible line of reasoning…but that isn’t what others were arguing above (Christ totally agreed with the OT).

I am sure they don’t even try to follow ALL of the OT rules but the OT becomes convenient to support their pro DP position.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

You sure like to put words in other people’s mouths .

Also, you must be one of those stone throwing Christians eh?

You’re hilarious. Thanks for the laughs you tiny little person. Talk at you later!!!K? Baby?
Out.

CW on March 28, 2014 at 7:58 PM

CW on March 28, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Well bless your lil’ ole heart.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

So Jesus actually supported stoning women for adultery, as long as they have the right motive? Do you support stoning women for adultery?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I guess you have at least gotten to the point that you believe Jesus himself says that the Death Penalty is Godly. Now you have a few more steps of mourning before you finally get over it.

As for which parts of the bible are accurate. It requires research and time. The Kings James Bible …
3. Theodore Beza [whose annotated Greek text was the basis of the King James version] did not suppose that a text ought to be traditionally adopted, and then, as it were, stereotyped: his notes gave him the opportunity for expressing his opinions; and he thus proved that if his attention were properly directed to ancient evidence on a passage, he so weighed it as to consider that it ought to prevail. Thus the passage in John viii. 1-12, the omission of which by critical editors has seemed to some such a proof of temerity, or of want of reverence for Holy Scripture, was differently regarded by Beza: he states the manner in which various ancient writers knew nothing about it, and the great variation in MSS.; he then concludes thus:–”As far as I am concerned, I do not conceal that I justly regard as suspected what the ancients with such consent either rejected or did not know of. Also such a variety in the reading causes me to doubt the fidelity of the whole of that narration.”

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

I guess you have at least gotten to the point that you believe Jesus himself says that the Death Penalty is Godly. Now you have a few more steps of mourning before you finally get over it.

Nope. It was a direct question to you. You avoided both of my questions.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Jesus directly contradicted the OT on “eye for an eye” and commanded us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Not all murders are immoral, so I don’t support the death penalty for everyone, but I think it should be an option for certain people.

Federati on March 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Not all murders are immoral, so I don’t support the death penalty for everyone, but I think it should be an option for certain people.

Federati on March 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

murder: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought

Merriam-Webster online

All murders are immoral. Sometimes killing is justified. Murder is not. Murder someone and forfeit your own life. That’s the way it should be.

JannyMae on March 28, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Jesus directly contradicted the OT on “eye for an eye” and commanded us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

That was for followers and believers. It didn’t preclude the authority of the government to administer justice.

You are confused. Very confused.

JannyMae on March 28, 2014 at 8:39 PM

It probably has something to do with death penalty activist trying to claim every single person about to be executed is innocent.

Fortitude on March 28, 2014 at 8:48 PM

That was for followers and believers. It didn’t preclude the authority of the government to administer justice.
You are confused. Very confused.
JannyMae on March 28, 2014 at 8:39 PM

So it is ok to support the death penalty as long as it’s done vicariously through a government? So Jesus supported Mao and Stalin killing their citizens since it was the government doing the killing?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

So it is ok to support the death penalty as long as it’s done vicariously through a government? So Jesus supported Mao and Stalin killing their citizens since it was the government doing the killing?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

No, Jesus supports the government giving justice for crimes. Of Course God cannot act on the behalf of those who live in sin such as those who allow Stalin and Mao to rule over them. Just like here in America where most have turned their backs on God, the blessings of God are few and far between and will likely continue to decline as does the righteousness of the people of the land.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

No, Jesus supports the government giving justice for crimes. Of Course God cannot act on the behalf of those who live in sin such as those who allow Stalin and Mao to rule over them. Just like here in America where most have turned their backs on God, the blessings of God are few and far between and will likely continue to decline as does the righteousness of the people of the land.
astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

So it’s the fault of those people that they were slaughtered by their government? All those millions were living in sin and deserved it?

Also, you never stated whether you would support stoning an adulterous woman. You also didn’t respond to my question about whether you attempt to observe all the OT laws.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

So it’s the fault of those people that they were slaughtered by their government? All those millions were living in sin and deserved it?

Also, you never stated whether you would support stoning an adulterous woman. You also didn’t respond to my question about whether you attempt to observe all the OT laws.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

On the whole, you always have the government you deserve. It is up to you to fight for your freedom. If you are not willing to do so, then yes, it is your own fault.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

On the whole, you always have the government you deserve. It is up to you to fight for your freedom. If you are not willing to do so, then yes, it is your own fault.
astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

So it was the Jews fault that the Nazis killed them?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 9:30 PM

So it was the Jews fault that the Nazis killed them?

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Yes and no.
Yes, how many of them cowered and failed to stand up and fight between being pointed at and taken to the camps? Particularly those taken later after they already knew what was going on. If a cop comes to my door today to arrest me, I can be forgiven for letting him arrest me, even if I know the charges are bogus. But if I know they are doing this as a systematic way to execute people unjustly, then I have an obligation to prevent it and stand up. The cops themselves have an obligation to not do those activities and to instead turn their guns on those who give them immoral unlawful orders. As does the military.
No, it was the society of Germany as a whole as to why they were killed. People stood by and let it happen. In fact, they rejoiced at having someone to blame for their failures. Soldiers followed orders rather than turning their guns on the government. No one wanted trouble, regardless of whether trouble was there or not. They allowed it to happen against the Jews.
You have the government you deserve on the whole. Each individual is different depending on what they do.
This is why I do not condemn Snowden in the least. He saw a bad government and stood up to it.

astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 9:42 PM

On the whole, you always have the government you deserve. It is up to you to fight for your freedom. If you are not willing to do so, then yes, it is your own fault.
astonerii on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

And the Nazis were blameless since they were just administering the govt-sanctioned death penalty? They were just following orders?

I can’t believe you would make this statement and avoid answering whether a woman should be stoned for adultery.

iwasbornwithit on March 28, 2014 at 9:44 PM

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