Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Friday, March 31, 2006

He Smote a Mosquito-Is His Soul in Peril?

Nationally syndicated talk radio show host Dennis Prager is a passionate supporter of the death penalty. And, he clearly stated his case at a speech last Wednesday night on behalf of The University, a consortium of Southern California Catholic parishes sponsoring a variety of talks. Dennis’ talk was titled The Moral Case for Capital Punishment. Dennis supported his thesis Biblically and intellectually.

You may think it odd that the Catholic Church hosted a speech advocating capital punishment given that the late Pope John Paul II was an adamant opponent to the death penalty. But as pointed out by The University director in the introduction to the speech, the Catechism validates the death penalty. How is it that Pope John Paul II could oppose the death penalty in contradiction to the Catholic Church Catechism? Dennis answered that question by pointing out that the Pope was a good man, as opposed to an infallible man.

Dennis was passionate and persuasive as he expounded upon his position that a rejection of the death penalty cheapens life.

During the question and answer portion of the evening, Dennis was asked about the commandment, from the Ten Commandments, to not kill. Dennis pointed out that the Hebrew language has two different applicable words: One is to kill; and the other is to murder. Per Dennis, the King James version of the Bible is the most accurate translation from the original Hebrew which states that you shall not “murder” and does not say that you shall not “kill.” In other words, you can have theology in opposition to the death penalty, but it is not Biblical.

If the Bible did actually prohibit killing, we would all be required to be pacifists and vegetarian. And, Dennis would be in grievous theological peril since he admitted that he “smote a mosquito.”