What an imbecile. I'd call that attempted murder. If we lived in old Rome, they would have thrown her in a lion's den. I'd do that if I had a say in this."
I, like most people, am appalled by the news stories I read involving horrible crimes like murder, torture, and child abuse. The idea that there are people out there that would inflict injury on another person, particularly an innocent child, is appalling to me. I have never hit anyone in my entire life nor have I had the desire to. Usually the story exists because the perpetrators have been caught and will now stand trial or face repercussions for the thing they did. Justice will hopefully be served.
What I find disturbing about these stories though isn't just the act itself, but the comments. People who suggest sterilization for stupidity. Ones who hope that the perpetrator is raped and/or killed in prison. Others who wish the same crime they committed to be visited on them and worse. You raped and tortured a woman to death? The same should happen to you.
Put her in a prison cell with the most violent women and leave her there for one year. She will never harm another child, I assure you.
I find these ideas to be just as repulsive as the crime. There are some very sick individuals in this world who have done some terrible things, but there is no part of me that wishes that criminal to be tortured for their crimes. No part of me. That is not justice. That is punishment. It is barbaric and cruel and our system was created the way it was to stop things like that.
In America, we have the largest incarceration rate per capita than any other nation in the world. I think this is because people still have the mindset that prison is a place for punishment, like some medieval torture chamber sans the torture. It certainly isn't a place where people are rehabilitated. In the past few years Norway has had to close down five prisons because they changed to a rehabilitation system and found that by rehabilitating their prisoners, they didn't repeat their offenses and stayed out of jail. I don't think Americans want that for their prisoners. They want them to be punished. Who hasn't heard something like, "How dare they get to watch TV/read a book/get a degree when my loved one is dead/hurt/hurting. They should have to sit alone with nothing to do and contemplate their crimes." In essence what they are proposing is psychological torture, something that sadly does happen to inmates across this country through the use of solitary confinement.
It's a very nuanced problem, one that I can barely begin to touch on in a quick post. But here is my real issue with all of this. We live in a country where 87% of the people believe in a god, a good portion of those claiming to be Christian. How much do you want to bet the people who are proposing the idea of torturing a criminal until they die also claim to be Christian? I was taught growing up that if one became a Christian, God could fix anything. Anything. He would make you a better parent even if you had abused your children in the past and he would forgive you to boot. He would cure you of your homicidal tendencies. Improper sexual urges. God would fix it all.
Of course, this is the same religion that follows the Old Testament too, where eye for an eye was the norm and death for even simple infractions was a given. I found numerous articles in religious magazines and on websites that supported the idea of punishment and restoration being only for the victims.
But I don't think many Christians actually believe in forgiveness and restoration. If they did, our justice system would look a lot different. We would actually believe that people are capable of change and we would give them opportunities to do so. Instead of wanting to sterilize the woman who abused her child, there would be the understanding that she just needs a mixture of parenting classes and god. I understand that it is human nature for people to want justice. The issue is that there are many Christians that don't seem to understand this, thinking that justice is from God and it is our duty as human beings to carry out that judgment. Of course, these days we don't torture people, but it seems that there a lot of people out there who would be happy if we did. Is it everyone? Of course not. But I see this sentiment often and it is pervasive. And it is scary.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.