Recently, the sultan of Brunei decreed that the country will return to the harshest form of Islamic Sharia law, a ruling to be imposed upon Christians and Buddhists alike who make up 30% of the country’s population. Besides jailing and flogging, limb amputations will be imposed upon thieves and death by stoning for adultery, gay sex and insulting the Quran. Amnesty International has decried that the decision will move the country back to the dark ages. (“The World at a Glance,” The Week, May 16, 2014. Pg. 7)
Unfortunately the opinions of many Americans aren’t far behind. A recent poll printed in the Huffington Post reveals how deeply our sense of justice is wedded to Hammurabi’s ancient law of an eye for an eye. 65% of American support the death penalty for murders and of those who support it, 74% say they want executions to continue even if the condemned suffer extreme pain and struggle for breath for more than 20 minutes before dying. (“Poll Watch,” The Week, May 16, 2014 pg. 19)
If justice were perfect, if everyone accused of a crime were guilty of it, if cruelty didn’t encourage more cruelty, perhaps draconian measures might be justified. But not all the brutality of the Inquisition managed to eradicate sin, which makes me scratch my head at any society, especially ours, that continues to cling to the notion that a perceived evil can be healed by imposing a greater one.
(Courtesy of bulletinoftheoppressionofwomen.com)