Every now and then I read strange stories about executions in the US. Things like executions being “rushed through” because the substance used to execute the criminal is about to expire.
It all seems absurd to me.
It is as if a criminal had a sort of right to be executed in the most painless, safe, clinically proven method possible. Such a right has never existed, not should it.
Either it is unjust to condemn a criminal to the death penalty, or it isn’t. Catholic doctrine has always said it is justified when the circumstances are sufficiently serious. That’s it. Besides the obvious necessity of not choosing a method unnecessarily painful, there is no obligation to go the extra ten miles to make the experience of being executed extremely complicated and extremely expensive, by the way offering to the defence attorneys countless ways to try to delay the (allegedly) inevitable.
In more Christian times all these problems did not exist. One got either shot or hanged, and that was that. In the Papal States, civilians normally got hanged, though apparently it was not always that way (Tosca‘s Cavaradossi gets a firing squad for an execution that should be fake, but isn’t; it might be poetic licence as he wasn’t a military man, I don’t know).
Either way, it wasn’t very long, and anyone who wanted to avoid the short suffering that was necessary merely had to avoid being executed. Often, the criminal would die instantly or almost instantly. But honestly, it isn’t too much to ask, say, a murderer to wait thirty second before dying. Tough luck, boy (or girl). You should have thought about it before.
In the Age of Effeminacy, this seems to be too much. The entire kindergarten assembles and decides what is the absolutely darnedest safest way to execute one. Why?
Murder = noose. This is what the kindergarten needs to be told. In the Papal States, young boys were made to assist to public executions, and no Nazi social worker crying “child abuse” in sight.
You see a man being hanged. It sits. Which is exactly what is supposed to happen.
Life is a simple thing, but the loss of faith makes everything complicated. Suddenly innocent children can be murdered in the womb in the most atrocious way, but condemned criminals have every right to the most immaculate white gloves, foxes become more precious that babies, and the planet God has created becomes endangered by one of his most diffused components, which is most certainly not a pollutant.
Let us learn from our very Catholic forefathers, and from our extremely saintly Popes of the past.
Get a noose and a priest, and be done with it.
I am informed that Utah might reintroduce execution of capital punishment via firing squad, as the extremely sophisticated poisons needed to execute people in a way halfway satisfying your typical faggo-liberal Latte-sipping whino become scarce.
Obviously, the pansy army has reacted calling a firing squad “barbaric”.
Please look at the implications. If a firing squad is barbaric, then every foreign military operation of the US is “barbaric”, the “American Sniper” was a top Barbarian, and everyone who carries a firearm is basically a savage. See where they are going?
There is nothing wrong with a firing squad. Honest, truthful, manful way of executing someone. Is it painful? Rarely for long, I would say, and in many cases only for an instant. But a propos pain: how many murderers take special care that their victims die an absolutely painless death? How many can say to the judge: “look, Your Honour: I went to extraordinary expenses to buy the best poison that money can buy; the one that would give my victim an absolutely non-barbaric death! Could I please receive the same courtesy from the taxpayer? I know it's expensive but cut me some slack, I am dying here…”
My hunch is that they aren't very numerous, and your garden variety death row inhabitant is not very averse to inflicting pain, either. But I digress…
Execution is meant to have the convicted killed. Get over it. You do not want to get executed? I do not think is a very difficult thing to do.
In Mundabor's Utah, things would run like in the good old times: civilians (men and women) get hanged, whilst soldiers and people executed by the army get the firing squad. Easy peasy.
Is, then, execution by hanging “barbaric”? Were the Papal States barbaric? Were they unable to find anything more “civilised”, like giving people some poisoned herbs in Socrates style (no great fun, that, I bet), or giving them a warm bath with complimentary wrist-cutting in Seneca fashion? Did they want to save the expense of the bullet? Or did those wise men of the past not think, instead, that hanging is just a perfectly adequate and functional way of execution, and perfectly fitting for the purpose?
“But Mundabor! Mundabor! Some of them do not die instantly! They will slowly suffocate for thirty or more seconds!”
Get a grip, and grow a pair. When you or I die (of a stroke, or heart attack) our farewell from this vale of tears might be not a bit less painful. It might,min fact, be a lot more painful, and for a much, much longer time! Is God, then, barbaric? Should we all, then, receive an injection to avoid the danger of pain, before a cruel God inflicts us some pain far worse than any hanging, let alone firing squad?
As far as I am concerned tell me where to sign for thirty or forty second of pain (or whatever it is God in His wisdom decides to send me) if they allow me the grace of final repentance. Who knows how many, who had mocked the priest offering them the crucifix, saved their soul in the gasps of death? Who is better off, that man or the one who got his neck bone snapped instantly, and died unrepented?
It is nothing less than astonishing that wussydom is so prevalent nowadays that hanging, or even the firing squad, are considered “barbaric”. What a bunch of limp-wristed pansies.
Ask Pope Blessed Pius IX how a criminal should be executed.
He will have no hesitation.
Two men sit in a car around 2pm in a busy street in London, near the Woolwich Barracks. They wait for someone to come out. When this happens, they knock him down with the car, with a violence showed by the damage to the vehicle as it ends against a post.
The two get out of the car and start to, literally, butcher the man alive, insulting him and shouting Islamic slogans. They are armed with a least a big knife and a meat cleaver (yes, a meat cleaver), apparently also with a machete that I have not seen in any video.
After the murder they remain there, shouting, inviting people to get near, and take photos and videos. The man with the meat cleaver, his arm and hands covered in blood, rants his Islamic slogans. They are clearly waiting for the armed police to arrive and probably shoot them. After an astonishingly long 20 minutes the armed police is there, and punctually takes both of them down. One is gravely wounded, and is transported with a helicopter to an hospital to (oh, the irony…) save his life.
Not even the stupidest, most brainwashed liberal out there can have any doubt these people were compos mentis, and will be convicted as surely as the “amen” in the church.
In saner times, they would have been condemned to death. In a case like this – an obviously premeditated murder, and a brutally cruel one at that, against a man targeted purely for being a soldier – the capital punishment is not only the expression of an elementary sense of justice, but is also very useful for the murderers, as the approaching of the punishment for their deed helps them to repent and die at peace with at least their god, hoping the real one considers it sufficient to avoid hell. They say – and I do believe – that the approaching of death concentrates the mind beautifully.
This was also what happened in, say, the Papal States. Justice required foul murders to be paid with one's life, and charity provided spiritual assistance to the very end. Who knows how many have (obviously helped by God's grace) managed to achieve a happy death at the gallows, who might otherwise not have been achieved.
Not in these disgraceful times, though. You can butcher a man you have never seen with a meat clever, and an army of social workers will be busy on you for the decades to come, the prospect of freedom one day a distant, but not unrealistic one. The social workers will, in fact, do all they can to avoid realising you are just evil; you must be mad, or at least reformable if enough employment opportunities for the likes of them (not you; them) is given.
Modern society is so scared with death that it does not want to contemplate it, not even for evil bastards like these two. The country simply removes the reality of death from its radar screen for as long as it gets. Life (all life; even the foxes' or the badgers') is one of the sacred cows of our godless societies.
Let us congratulate, then, the two bastards; who after having butchered a man alive have now the perspective of a long life, all expenses courtesy of the stupid taxpayer, whilst feeling like heroes.
After the storm of the past days (promptly ceased after the secular press has discovered that they just got it wrong, but without giving the fact any relevance anywhere near to the screaming with which the “change in Church’s position” was announced) it might be good to say two words about lesser evil and double effect.
The idea of the “lesser evil” is the concept that if one evil is a given, than it is justified to act in a way that the evil is at least minimised. The concept is not a religious, but a political one. The examples are too numerous and too much of a day-to-day occurrence to bother giving them. Diplomacy is made of just that.
Christianity, though, doesn’t think in this way, because morals and politics operate on different planes. In morals, the question cannot be seen in terms of “if you must do evil, at least do the lesser evil”. The moral approach to evil can only be “don’t do evil”. As I have said yesterday, evil will at times be tolerated, but this doesn’t mean that the evil is justified or endorsed in any way.
Catholicism doesn’t know any “lesser evil” doctrine. When Christianity says that you shouldn’t kill, it means exactly this. Discussions about the endorsed way to kill a man are not part of Catholic moral teaching. To use Ronald Reagan’s immortal words: it is not about explaining how to do it, it is about explaining not to do it*.
Catholicism does know, however, the doctrine of the double effect, that I have briefly mentioned yesterday. I suggest that you make yourself acquainted with it, because in the next months or years you’re going to be unnerved by those “Christians by hearsay” who want to teach you about Catholicism and inform you that you are out of date because “The Pope has changed his teaching about condoms”. I feel my adrenaline level rising already.
You can find a nice (and beautifully short) explanation here. When you have read it, you’ll see that this is much different from the case where evil is chosen in the first place and you are dealing with the modalities of the evil. There are no justified modalities of committing evil (I mean here excluding the unavoidable evil coming from the double effect), because the evil act is not justified in the first place.
Let us elaborate on yesterday’s example of the mexican gang member. The Church can’t possibly say “where a Mexican gang member really wants to execute a member of a rival gang, it is justified to kill him with a pistol shot rather than raping and torturing him savagely before finishing him”. This can’t be said because the murdering of the man is not justified. Still, it is undeniable that the torture and rape of the man are further evil acts compared to the murder seen in isolation. Therefore, if the Mexican gang member decides to at least have some respect for the humanity of the rival and murder him with a shot in the head without first raping and torturing him, this “can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants”.
In this case, not even the BBC would say that the Pope has “endorsed in limited cases the shooting in the head”. The teaching is exactly the same and neither torture nor murder are endorsed. Only, it is very rare that redemption simply explodes within a man’s consciousness; rather, there will be in most cases a progressive process of awakening. The male prostitute will, possibly, start using a condom, thus avoiding adding a potential massacre to the sodomy.
Why, then, all the mess? Because the matter of double effect and lesser evil cannot be simply implied by quoting a couple of sentences in a book without causing a great stir in people accustomed to a more brutal and simplified (particularly if journalists) way of thinking. It might be that the book in his entirety is such that no wrong impression is caused, but there can be no doubt that if you mention homos and condoms after the interviewer has asked whether the Church is, then, “not opposed in principle to the use of condoms” you are clearly looking for trouble.
What I am angry at the press for is not that the statement might have misled them, but that:
1) they don’t bother to ask the Vatican first, and
2) no one seems to notice that Catholic moral teaching just doesn’t change.
I mean, if a Muslim tells me that he has heard that the Pope has changed the Church’s position about condoms I can still understand the poor chap. Less so if he is a Catholic (of sort). Much less so if he is a journalist. But if they are Catholic journalists, then we are really in a bad shape.
*A short prayer for the Gipper is in order here, I think…
Let us make no mistake, this was an own goal. A perfectly useless and perfectly avoidable one. One which puts into question the ability of the Pontiff to defend Catholic teaching in a way not capable of manipulation by the secular media. This is a falling back to the days of John Paul II, when Catholic doctrine was not overtly contradicted – of course not – but badly represented in a way which made manipulation easy and widely spread. Read the words of the Pontiff again and you’ll see that whilst not contradicting Catholic teaching in the matter, his words open the way for misunderstanding and manipulation. He didn’t “change the rules”, at all. But his careless wording will allow superficial people to think so and the press to report so.
Last time I looked, the use of condoms was not morally justified. It is not justified because it is artificial contraception. Let us look at this again, what does the Church says about the use of condoms? That it is not morally justified. Oh, and we also know that it is not morally justified. We also know that if it is not morally justified no Pope can ever make it morally justified, because the Pope is not the maker of the rules, merely their custodian.
Ah well, we have this down then.
Now, let us all be aware of simple facts of life: that the Church knows that people are sinful. Whilst never justifying sin, the Church has always acted in a way meant to use common sense and sound judgment. The Church has always – when circumstances so required – accepted facts of life as a lesser evil. But she has always been attentive to say that this does not make the evil justified. The Church has, in fact, no system allowing the faithful to “choose the lesser evil”, even when she herself accepts (not justifies) the fact of life that evil will happen. A Catholic may never choose evil, and that’s that. It is evil to commit sodomy, and it is evil to use a condom. The Church can’t take the sodomy out of the equation and say “if you really couldn’t stay away from another person’s backside, then you may use a condom“. The Church says that you don’t commit sodomy, period.
The Papal States allowed prostitution. Prostitution was, in fact, rather an industry in Rome before reunification. But this doesn’t mean that the Church considered going with a prostitute “justified”, nor that it thought that it was justifiable in some circumstances, nor that she said that if you go with a prostitute, then you may use a condom.
The same for condoms. In Fascist Italy the use of condoms was a criminal offence in general, but it was allowed inside of brothels and the Church never said a word against this, obviously tolerating a lesser evil. But this didn’t mean that the Church said that it was in any way justifiable to use a condom, or that fornication is justifiable in those circumstances where you really have blue balls and are on your way to better yourself. The Church merely recognised the existence of a fact of life (original sin; leading to lust; leading to prostitution) and dealt with it the best she could. She certainly didn’t provide any justification for sinful behaviour. One must stay away from the brothel, period.
She also never said that for a prostitute to use condoms might have indicated an awakening of her better moral nature. This is simply naive and misleading. The prostitute uses the condom to avoid pregnancy and diseases, as everyone else. Whatever awakening there might be in the single circumstance, any speculation about the fact that she might express this by using condoms only suggests in the less attentive that a prostitute is justified in using condoms.
The fact that a sin happens doesn’t mean that it is fine for it to happen. The fact that by committing a certain sin a worse sin can be avoided doesn’t make the sin fine. The more or less adventurous considerations as to the motives with which a person commits a sin don’t justify the sin, either.
A mexican drug cartel member in the very first, extremely vague step of his redemption may start torturing enemies in a less cruel way before killing them, but this doesn’t mean that he is allowed to torture and kill them.
After the careless words of the Pope, the entire world will now start saying that the Pontiff considers the use of condoms justified in certain circumstances. This is simply how the world goes and it is very naive to think that it may happen any other way.
Not only must a Pope never tamper with doctrine, but he must never be perceived as to be doing it. Never ever. It is his duty, whenever he explains the position of the Church in certain circumstances, to do so in such a way that no misunderstanding are possible and no Catholics confused. But this is exactly what has happened this morning, with Classic FM (5 million listeners every day) clearly giving the message that the Pope has modified the Church’s position.
When the press thinks they can say that, it is a clear sign that a Pope has communicated in a very poor way.
The Pope’s statements will confuse honest Catholics and will provide an infinite amount of excuses (not only about condoms) to lukewarm Catholics concerning everything that it difficult to accept to them. This was absolutely avoidable and seriously undermines the Pope’s efforts to fight aids in the right way.