Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tookie Williams, Facism, etc

I'm completely shocked at two posts I just read (Atrios and Kevin Drum) saying "I oppose the death penalty, but if anyone deserved it, it's Tookie Williams." I have exactly the opposite take. I, too, oppose the death penalty for lots of reasons. But if anyone has demonstrated that he regretted his previous thug life and was trying to make amends, it was Tookie Williams. Yeah, he's a gangsta and did some horrible things. But his later life was one of trying to keep others from making the mistakes he did. Is that not worth some forgiveness?

The most repulsive thing to me is how Christians can be for the death penalty. What I don't get about a lot of Christians is that they don't seem to understand that the whole point of Jesus was that he came to change the old ways. Now I'm not Christian, never have been, but it seems to me that Jesus was saying "hey, you know the ways of those old Jews? Fuggedaboutit. Here's the new way." And the new way was love, compassion, forgiveness, etc.

Anyway, the whole Tookie Williams thing, coming after my own state executed the 1,000 person since the death penalty was reinstated, has just added to my state of upset at the madness engulfing this nation. I have some European friends who lived here briefly but fled with some very bad feelings about the US. And its very, very difficult to make a case for our country right now.

Recently, I came across this Sinclair Lewis statement: "When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." So, so true -- and I wonder if its happening now.


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