Within religious factions there is often a great deal of tension regarding debating the death penalty. Death penalty laws and religious beliefs and teachings often conflict a great deal. While many recognized religions have taken an official stance on capital punishment, many religions continue to remain obscure and uncertain about their views of the death penalty. In many cases, religious groups remain ambiguous about their stance on capital punishment because the faith’s followers and authorities are still debating the death penalty.
Though religions may argue amongst each other about the morality and necessity of capital punishment, members within each religious denomination also debate about death penalty laws. Individuals will often cite examples and situations from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur’an which support and justify the use of capital punishment.
Other people will argue that the death penalty contradicts fundamental religious teachings that have been essential in faith-based education for many centuries. People have been debating the death penalty throughout the history of capital punishment and death penalty laws. It continues to be a topic of extreme contention today.
Debating the death penalty is a very common occurrence amongst religious factions and within religious denominations. Through the writings and statements of religious officials, the Roman Catholic Church has supported the use of capital punishment. The Church believes that death penalty laws are essential to deter criminals from taking part in harmful and irreversible criminal activity. Despite the Church’s official stance on the death penalty, though, there continues to be a great deal of debate within this religious community.
Some members of the Roman Catholic Church argue that by taking another individual’s life, a criminal is relinquishing his or her right to life. If a murderer is not executed for his or her crimes and in the course of his or her life he or she kills another individual, then society and the Government holds some responsibility in the victim’s death because society and the Government did not take the proper precautions to protect the community from a dangerous individual.
Other Roman Catholics who take a stance in debating the death penalty argue that capital punishment opposes the basic teachings of their faith. From the time that Roman Catholics and most Christians begin studying the Bible, they are taught that human life is sacred. Murder is a mortal sin no matter who the victim is. They are repeatedly told that if someone inflicts harm upon them to turn the other cheek instead of seeking vengeance.
Another fundamental Christian teaching is that God loves all people, despite their sins. Capital punishment contradicts all of these beliefs and teachings. Christians who support the death penalty laws are not turning the other cheek, practicing forgiveness, or respecting human life. They are disregarding the instructions of the Christian faith. Despite these arguments, the large majority of Christian denominations support the use of capital punishment.
Christian denominations are not the only religious factions that argue over the death penalty. Individuals who practice Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism also experience a great deal of disagreement of the use of capital punishment. Whilst these religions all teach and support the fundamental belief that all life is sacred, they do acknowledge the right of a court to impose capital punishment.
However, most of these religions believe that in order for the death penalty to be justified, the crime must be extremely heinous and abominable.