Amnesty International

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Postby maccastheman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 11:14 am

quote:Originally posted by Brains
we're amazed that America, which is so much like Europe, still has the death penalty.




The answer to that is pretty simple: we have far more fundamentalist Christians here than you do. Much of France, the Netherlands, etc., is Catholic. Of course the Vatican is agaisnt the death penalty. Southern Baptists, which make up the largest protestant population in the U.S., are for the death penalty. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. Most of my family members are Southern Baptist. I know why they believe the way they do because I was raised to believe that way. I don't think they are bad or evil people because they believe that way. They are God-fearing people that believe that's what should be done.
Religion plays a much larger role in this than you realize. I know it's ironic - killing in the name of God. Well, look at Islam.
I do think we will one day abolish the death penalty in the U.S. The Republican governor of Illinois placed a moritorium on the death penatly not long ago. It just takes people a long, long time to evolve.
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Postby Steve-o » Tue Jun 03, 2003 11:49 am

Sorry folks, but I'm for the death penalty. And it has nothing to do with my religious upbringing. It has to do with what I feel is right and just. If someone murders another human being in cold blood, it needs to happen. First Degree Murder=Death Penalty. Period. There needs to be severe consequences for heinous crimes. And special sentences for Hate-Crimes is wrong in my view. Humans are humans, no matter what race, sexual preference, or religious affiliation.
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Postby maccastheman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 1:13 pm

I still think the Puritan ethic has a much larger influence on shaping American attitudes toward the death penalty, homosexuality, and other hot button topics than we realize.

In Europe, if you were to tell somebody that you support the death penalty 100 %, not many people around you would agree. In fact, most would probably think you were a radical freak. I think a lot of that stems from Europe's Catholic and secular influences.

In America, because of our cultural and religious heritage, supporting the death penalty is considered perfectly normal.

I was mainly getting at the over-all cultural differences between the two regions. My personal feelings were kind of an aside.
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Postby Steve-o » Tue Jun 03, 2003 1:43 pm

You are entitled to those opinions, certainly, MTM. But--I think you may be generalizing too much, to be honest. I support the death penalty, but, at the same time, respect and even encourage one to follow their heart and mind in respect to their sexual orientation, or anything else in theri personal lives, as long as no minors are affected, and no one gets hurt. Those two views may seem to be totally opposite, but many of my friends feel the same way. I think too many of us pigeon hole people and their beliefs. Mine, like many of my contemporaries, are all over the board, and have nothing to do with any religious uprbringing.

But I can only speak for my area---We are a melting pot here in O-H-I-O. Lots of eastern US thinking along the great lake shore, middle america-corn belt through the middle, and WVA-KY in southern Ohio. And a mixture of all in the larger cities. My point is that your experience in your area may be different.
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Postby bianca_macca » Tue Jun 03, 2003 2:25 pm

I'm only against the death penalty because of the risk of killing someone innocent. On the other hand I totally disagree with the Dutch judicial system in wich nobody ever seems to get a just punishment: 1) sentences are way too short (like for the murderer of that politician Brains mentioned)
2) prisons and prison life are way too luxurious (many criminals, after they are released, can claim the income they woud have gotten if they were free man)
My solution would be: long sentences whereby the prisoner should work for his stay in prison (in order to press costs for the community).

But this has nothing to do with Amnesty, I think it's a fine organization.
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Postby bianca_macca » Tue Jun 03, 2003 2:31 pm

That fundamentalist thing is so hard to understand for me. I read a book last week about america's famous Scopes Trial and I was shocked by the still large anti-evolution sympathy. The Dutch sort of fundamentalist political party recieved only about 2 seats in our representative chamber (out of 150), so it's quite unfamiliar here. Can't understand that the movement is so big there and I think it's scary; government and religion should be strictly separated.
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Postby maccastheman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:43 pm

My main point is that you can't help but be shaped by the culture surrounding you. There are trends and attitudes that can be broken down into a number of different levels - local, state, national, etc. We live in a country where the death penatly is considered perfectly normal. That attitude didn't spring from out of the blue. I think religion has a lot to do with it. I think it goes back centuries. I'm not just referring to my own personal experiences. I am a college student working on my masters. We can't help but observe trends. Otherwise, we wouldn't have any way of analylzing culture, etc.
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Postby maccastheman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:52 pm

quote:Originally posted by bianca_macca
I'm only against the death penalty because of the risk of killing someone innocent. On the other hand I totally disagree with the Dutch judicial system in wich nobody ever seems to get a just punishment


I've heard of people simply walking out of prisons in countries like France. (Even terrorists) I'm against the death penalty, but stuff like that can't be allowed to happen - especially in this day and age. They should be locked up for a long, long time. (And watched so they don't escape)
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Postby scrodfish256 » Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:07 pm

I go back and forth on the death penalty thing. Mainly i'm for it because my husband is a prison guard and he tells me about some of the human scum that is in there.

They have it so easy.....pool tables,televisions in their rooms,a 5 acre garden,a theater with musical instruments,soccer field,many basketball courts,a movie theater with new movies,4 man cubicles instead of cells,A beautiful gymnasium,and a school with teachers.
This is a prison with bad, bad people in it not just theives.

This is where our tax dollars go. To make sure that child molesters and cold blooded killers have more rights than we do.
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Postby maccastheman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:24 pm

quote:Originally posted by bianca_macca
That fundamentalist thing is so hard to understand for me. I read a book last week about america's famous Scopes Trial and I was shocked by the still large anti-evolution sympathy. The Dutch sort of fundamentalist political party recieved only about 2 seats in our representative chamber (out of 150), so it's quite unfamiliar here. Can't understand that the movement is so big there and I think it's scary; government and religion should be strictly separated.


It's only big in certain pockets of America - particularly the Bible Belt. (Which is where I live - mainly the Southern and Mid-Western states) Certain pockets of the fundamentalist movement are very scary, but most of the Baptists I know are just your average folks. Also, we have a very open society with lots of checks and balances. That makes it much harder for these people to push their own personal agenda once they get into office.

I still think, however, that the Puritan ethic of the 1600s has never left us. Just look at how we were all enthralled by the Clinton Sex scandal, etc. Granted it's not near as extreme as it was in the 1600s, but it is a part of our past and I think things like that have a way of lingering on.
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