Thursday, December 28, 2006

Saddam's Impending Execution

What exactly is the appropriate Catholic & Christian response to the death sentence against Saddam? In the past few days we have seen the articles about his impending execution, and then I saw this morning an article about a Cardinal who is opposed to the execution.

I was thinking about it the other day. I used to be for the death penalty, but then I decided that creating a culture of life, a culture that included all life, was more important than meting out punishment. Although I came to be against the death penalty, I always qualified it that I was against it in this country, and that it may still be approrpiate outside the U.S.

Now I am faced with Saddam's execution, and I'm not sure what to think. Do I particularly care what happens to Saddam? Not really. As far as I'm concerned he's an evil man who is getting the punishment he deserves. Trust me, no tears will be shed here for this man when he... ahem... swings. But in general how do I feel about the execution?

Perhaps killing him will bring some closure to the Iraqi people, and will finally close his chapter in Iraq's history. Perhaps with him gone they can finally begin to move on out of the chaos and horror of the past to something better. But, if I were on the jury could I sign off on executing him? Could I put my name to that? And if I couldn't, can I really support it?

This makes me recall a column Fr. Jonathan did after Zarqawi was killed, and he asked what we should be rejoicing in? The death of another person, or that their evil actions have come to a halt. Perhaps I should look at Saddam similarly. If you want to read his post about Zarqawi, Zarqawi is Dead. Should We Rejoice?.

I think I still have a lot of thinking to do. I'm open to thoughts on this one.


FloridaWife said...

I've thought about this too.

A little closer to home, I'm half-Cuban, and my whole life have heard all my Cuban relatives talk about the end of fidel castro. His end is near. As a Catholic, how do I react? Surely, Miami will be aglow in celebration, but is it in celebration of his death or celebration of a New Beginning for Cuba? I tend to think that it's more of "good that man is dead so that no one else is wrongly imprisoned or killed and we have a New Beginning." I think I will feel the same about Hussein. As long as he's alive, he can keep ordering hits on people (as he's done).

Next question: As a Catholic, am I supposed to pray for the soul of castro, or just let it go? My aunt posed the same question (and this from a woman who was forced to flee 44 years ago), but she's a devout Catholic. I'm inclined not to pray for him, he'll get his judgement, and that'll be that. I guess I'll just reflect on that.

catholicandgop said...

You've given me even more to think about. ;)

Its really not, for me, so much about what happens to him. Its more of a 'where do I want to be as a person when it comes to him'.

Thats an interesting question when it comes to Castro. Are these horrible people worth praying for. I'm inclined to say no because they will get what they deserve, but God desires all men to be brought to him.

These creeps make it hard... I'm inclined to think one way but then another part of me thinks 'do you really want to think like that'. But I want everyone to know its not sympathy for Saddam.

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Catholic and politically conservative, I graduated with a BA in History (concentration in American) and Political Science. I'm between two parishes; one in Wisconsin that is fairly traditional, and one in Illinois that is fairly liberal. I teach CCD. I work in the food service industry, which basically means I'm working in fast food until I find a better job. I'd like to work for the church somehow. Right now I'm working on getting my teaching certification, although I'm unsure thats the correct path for me. This blog is as random as I am. I hope you enjoy.