Thursday, July 8, 2010
Capital Punishment and Adultery: a perspective on Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions
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Imposition of death for Iranian woman for adultery, facing death by stoning has created a repulsive reaction in the Western Societies. I am repulsed by killing of any person irrespective of any justification a State or government may offer. I could only surmise on Muslim religion; I would think their rules are based on the Old Testament, a common standard for Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions. I find imposition of death by state-religion using any method to impose death to be barbaric and unacceptable being Koran or the Old Testament.
However;the question of sex, religion, state and church is relevant to our Western societies. Could our society apply punishment using the Old Testament standard for judgment and law in our societies?
The following sections of the bible (the Old Testament) define the punishments for committing adultery:
Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery."
Deuteronomy 22:22 "If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die."
Leviticus 20:10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."
Proverbs 6:32 "But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself." He destroys himself by being put to death as shown above.
Leviticus 21:9 "And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the whore, she profanes her father: she shall be burnt with fire." Why should only a daughter of a priest get burnt to death if she profanes herself? Why can't this law apply to all daughters?
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 "If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity." Similar sections in the Old Testament also can be identified for homosexuality.
However, adultery is considered a recreation in many western Christian societies. Fathers are not sure the children they had supported and cared for were conceived by someone else. Some children are suspicious that the man they have called “dad” may be just a benevolent caretaker. Is this an issue of morality or social contract? As a social contract, a father is obligated to support his children. Is genetic linkage between a man and a child the only prerequisite for fatherhood? Many adopt children and love and care for them.
Are the Old Testament rules for adultery, homosexuality, and capital punishment irrelevant for our modern societies? Is the influence of the Old Testament on our life practically speaking dead in the secular Western societies?
We should eliminate the capital punishment in the Unites States.
Post publication addition:
Christianity considers marriage as a sacrament and not just joining of two people in a social-economic contract. But, in secular world, marriage could at best be defined as a socio-economic contract registered by state and privileged to some legal rights. This contract, let us define it as a registered union of two or more people, may entitle the individuals to inheritance from the union and other rights defined by the union contract and the state.
The union of two people may not be registered by the state and still could have legal rights. One fundamental demand for the union may be impositions for providing the cost of care would a child is created during the union; this is a consideration irrespective of the duration of the union. In a union of a male and a female, law would impose cost of care on the male. The male could be the genetic father, but also could not be the one. Should all union contracts have a clause to eliminate this imposition of the cost of the care if the genetic relationship is not validated? Should all children be tested at birth not only for some inherited diseases, but also the genetic linkage to the male caretaker?
Do you feel emotionally more at ease if the union of a male and female was a marriage and blessed as sacrament? Has adultery created a psychological and social difficulty in our modern society? If adultery is an accepted practice, then should the name “marriage with connotation of a” sacramental practice” be replaced with the word ‘Union” in the contract?In our society free from the religious constrains, should prostitution (a service for pay) be legally available? This action, like many European societies, would allow safety of sexual encounter by medical-legal licensing of prostitution? Are we living in a society full of hypocrisy by accepting adultery, but pronouncing prostitution as a sinful act?