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Community Forum: Death penalty is redemptive violence
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Would you teach your children not to steal by stealing? Furthermore would you teach your children to rob, rape or kill by doing just that? There is no justification, therefore, no justice in the logic of redemptive violence.

Redemptive violence is seeking redemption through violence. Just as the death penalty and even war teaches. This is not what Christ had in mind, redemption comes through love, grace and forgiveness. Not more violence.

God is greater than life; He is the giver and taker of life. And even those who have created great violence can have the image of good come to life again within them through the redemptive love of Jesus.

A death penalty trial is nothing less than a premeditated murder. The district attorney decides to spend tens of thousands of dollars, countless amounts of hours and a jury of 12 to sentence someone to death. This is redemptive violence at its best.

Teachers teach that it is wrong to kill except in war. The president debates its wrong to kill except for terrorism. Uncle Sam says its wrong to kill except for patriotism. The death penalty says its wrong to kill except for killing.

This I am sure of: the teachings, presidential debates, Uncle Sam and the death penalty are wrong. Just as the state will try to prove to the jury that killing is wrong, Jesus showed the world that you fight evil with goodness. So why are they seeking to kill for killing?

We are so quick to reflect the action of others by bringing "justice" through the judicial system and how it causes our society to think through the lens of redemptive violence.

Just as you would teach your child not to steal by not stealing, you don't teach society not to kill by killing. If two people are killed, one person may be killed because of a drug-related incident, and the other through a death penalty trial for killing. Is either of them any less dead? Are either of the killers any more justified?

I just don't get it: How do you teach the rest of us not to kill by killing? Does anyone else see not only the irony, but the moral dilemma our society faces with the acceptances of redemptive violence?

Roley and Heather Faubion
Flowery Branch

Motorists often fail to stop for school buses
What is wrong with people who can't see a great big yellow school bus stopped with its big red lights flashing and the "stop" arm out? If they do not know the law then they should not be driving anything.

Lives are in danger. We see this everywhere. The last time was on Ga. 115 West coming into Cleveland two Fridays ago; my husband was stopped behind the bus and people were flying by it.

Come on now, get real, people!

Dora Sumner
Cleveland

Let Hall County keep its money for service
To Sen. Barack Obama: I recently read of your plan to spend $3.5 billion per year to provide additional service opportunities. At a cost of $10 for every man, woman and child in the United States, here in Hall County, (population: 170,000) our share of the cost would be $1,700,000 every year.

The Times regularly publishes a list of service opportunities that includes 30 agencies in the community. Anyone can view this information at no charge by using Internet access through the local library to view the paper's Web site.

Given this community's multitude of existing opportunities, I am writing to request that your proposal exclude Hall County so we can keep the $1,700,00 to build our local economy.

Kathleen McManus
Gainesville

Is oil a dirty word? It is to Democrats
Why has oil become a dirty word for Democrats? It's not an evil product when you look at how it has enriched the world. Instead, we should be singing its praises by aggressively expanding exploration within our country's borders.

If the Dems are truly into being progressive, that is what they should be actively pursuing. But sadly, that isn't the direction they want to lead in.

Oil is our friend, a gift from God. Over the decades we have expanded the uses and technology has delivered unbelievable products made from this gooey stuff. Our politicians need to get on board and work at moving us forward by expanding drilling along our coast and on our lands. Oil is what we need to keep our economy working and our citizens moving until we can fold in alterative energy sources.

Some folks think oil is just what we refine for airplanes and cars and heat homes with. They seem clueless of the millions of products that are made from petroleum: Anything made of plastic, cosmetics and clothes, computers, CDs and DVDs, appliances, phones and home decor. In hospitals, it helps doctors and technicians create miracles, even in some of the drugs we take. It preserves our food, kills our bugs and fertilizes our lawns.

Oil isn't just liquid gold, but jobs that continue to make our economy and nation stronger. So why does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Congress want to stymie this by sending our dollars and manpower elsewhere? I would rather prop up America than a radical nation that will bite us in the rear end.

Why do some Americans want to strangle our nation and hold us hostage to the world as our oil dollars prop up their economies? We can't afford a disruption of oil from rogue nations to maintain our strength in the world.

It's also interesting what politicians don't say on TV, like how much money the federal government takes in from Big Oil through taxes, then more taxes when we buy it at the pump. Why are they shouting so much disdain towards an industry that delivers so much taxes and revenue through leases on government lands?

Whether Big Oil uses land already leased or not, it stills takes all the risk to find and develop oil when our government just sits there with its hand out for a take.

Our technology to build and expand alternative energy resources is still in the baby stages, and most Americans can't afford it yet.

Let's embrace oil and all that it has accomplished to make our lives better. We have the technology to drill and pipe our oil where needed without harm to our environment. We've also gone through major hurricanes in the Gulf without an oil spill disaster. Those rigs have not disrupted tourism and growth from Alabama through to the Texas coast, and the folks up in Alaska want drilling in ANWR. Florida needs to come on board and start coastal drilling, before other countries tap into the international waters of the Gulf.

Stop blaming Americans use of oil and start praising all that we have delivered the world by tapping into what this rich black stuff can do to enrich and save lives.

Jane Browder
Gainesville

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