There are more dead people than living. And their numbers are increasing. EUGENE IONESCO, Rhinoceros
Australia has no death penalty, has not had a death penalty since 1985, when death for treason was abolished in N.S.W.. The last man to face Australia's death penalty was Ronald Ryan, who was sentenced to death for killing a prison guard. He was hung in Pentridge jail in 1967.
Perhaps it's our convict past; perhaps it's the dying vestiges of lower class rebellion but it is unlikely to be the result of the high moral ground that got the death penalty abolished here.
So why this obssesion with the death penalty. Well, America had the *fly~by* & we got Bali. On October 12th 2002 Islamic extremists blew up a Bali night club killing 88 Australians amongst others. Aussies took it pretty hard. I can understand that. We tend to be an easy going lot. We don't make enemies. Hatred is foreign to us, discrimination unheard of. That any one could hate us enough to blow us up shocked a lot of people. Being a little more cynical & having listened to enough ranting from the more extremist Islamic groups I was not surprised. Sad, just not surprised.
What has surprised & saddened me is the outpouring of hatred, vengence, & happiness at the exectution, by firing squad, of the Bali bombers. I do not see how that helps anyone. Worse, these men now have no opporunity to hear the gospel & repent. The youngest appears to have died badly. OK, I know I have an overactive imagination, & I can imagine all too well being in that man's shoes, but to call for vengence, to rejoice at the death of someone who hated us enough to kill us, to acquienence to the death penalty, well, that makes us as bad as them. We are called upon to forgive our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to do good to those who do us evil ...Oh I forgot. We are only a nominally Christian nation so I guess that doesn't apply.
I do not now recall where I originally heard the quote but asked what he would do with Hitler a litle boy replied, 'I would make him a very,very good man.' Now that is definitely sweet vengence but it makes far more sense to me. Can you imagine being very wicked, then being made very good & knowing exactly how bad you have been? As Christians isn't that exactly our fate? Although we all deserve the death penalty for our sin we have a suspended sentence that many will hear the Good News, repent & enter into the joy of the Lord. I guess I'm in the minority though. Oh well. I'm used to that.
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumour. - Aldous Huxley