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June 14, 2012


Leadership of Episcopal church Displays Their Hypocrisy

The leadership of the organization that claims to be the Episcopal church is all in for the opposition to the death penalty.

When Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill in April making Connecticut the fifth state in five years to abolish the death penalty, Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Suffragan James Curry’s attendance at the ceremony testified to the influence of Episcopal leaders on ending capital punishment in the state.

Curry and other members of the diocese had worked with the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty since the 2005 execution of serial killer Michael Ross, the first prisoner put to death in New England in 45 years.

Abolishing the death penalty became “a very, very contentious issue” in Connecticut after two recently released prisoners invaded a home and “brutally murdered” two girls and their mother in 2007, he said.

At least they claim to be opposed to the death penalty.  Somewhere they have forgotten the millions of innocent babies they have joyfully relegated to the trash heap.  How can any human being be opposed to the death penalty for convicted murderers but advocate for the murder of the most innocent among us? 

We will have to answer for the corporate sin of allowing the death and destruction of our young.  Lord, please open the eyes and ears of those who forget that all life is precious.


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20 comments

But, but, but ... the courts are SO trustworthy on property!  Golly, gee, Mr. Ed!

[1] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 6-14-2012 at 10:37 PM · [top]

I don’t think they are being hypocritical in matters pertaining to the sanctity of life.  This is not imho, part of their moral framework.  I do however think that they are being hypocritical in not identifying their moral framework properly.  This is not about ‘sanctity of life,’ but rather about slopping a synthetic version of Grace on people who do evil. 

Obama said it himself.  He would support his daughter’s hypothetical abortion because, according to him, he would not wish to punish his daughter for the indiscretion (which to him, probably means using inadequate birth control rather than letting a heavy petting session get out of hand while not being married). 

Murder is more difficult to justify, particularly one as cold-blooded as the one described here.  However, it has come to my attention from a defense attorney who has defended these sorts of cases, that most murders are Crimes of Passion.  That’s the term he used for it.  Kind of makes me want to compose a ballad about a crime of passion, to the honor and memory of some poor but noble soul who got hoodwinked into being declared a criminal.

But I digress. 

It’s “grace” without any justice.  It’s the great feeling of releasing the criminal from the bear-trap of consequences and justice, while shooing away their victims into obscurity (how dare these victims and their loved ones not forgive the poor criminal as we have done). 

That’s their moral framework.  They haven’t owned -that-, but rather paid lip service to the moral framework of you and myself. 

That’s the source of hypocrisy. 

It’s not about the sanctity of life.

[2] Posted by J Eppinga on 6-15-2012 at 02:59 AM · [top]

Other examples of hypocrisy:

Former Iranian President Khatami, who advocates the annihilation of Israel and the execution of homosexual persons, was invited as a special speaker at Washington National Cathedral.

Vida Dutton Scudder, a member of the Socialist Party, who delighted in the vast Russian experiment called Communism and was untroubled by their atheism, was commemorated in the liturgical calendar and will be included in Holy Women, Holy Men. The vast Russian experiment murdered an estimated 60 million people.

[3] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 6-15-2012 at 03:56 AM · [top]

I think Moot gets it. What kind of moral framework can hold two contradictory positions, and proclaim them both from the roof top at the say time?

The same kind that can read to the congregation in church on Sunday,

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

And support same-sex marriage when speaking to their congressman on Monday.

[4] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-15-2012 at 09:52 AM · [top]

Agree with Moot and Pewster.

Only from our point of view is it hypocrisy. From theirs it is seen as “justice” ......... and murder of the unborn? well, it is simply a woman’s decision to make as everyone knows the life of the child starts at birth so it is not really killing…...  Deluded they are- no doubt.

[5] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-15-2012 at 10:52 AM · [top]

If Jackie’s argument is that those who are opposed to the death penalty and who are also pro-choice are hypocrites, then, according to her argument, it stands to reason that those who are for the death penalty and are pro-life are also hypocrites.

[6] Posted by Pressing On on 6-15-2012 at 01:34 PM · [top]

Pressing On #6, only if the principle is “No killing for any reason.”

If the principle is, “No killing the innocent and killing only for just reasons,” then I don’t think that Jackie is hypocritical.

TEC is arguing that it’s OK to kill (via abortion) for “practical” social reasons or just personal ones, while the legitimate governing authority should not kill to protect society or to apply a measure of justice to crime.

[7] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-15-2012 at 02:18 PM · [top]

#6 - Your theory is incorrect.  There is a big difference in the innocent and the death penalty.  Let me tick off a few differences right now.

1 - The unborn cannot speak for themselves.
2 - The unborn had nothing whatsoever to do with their situation.
3 - The unborn have not committed crimes or broken laws.
4 - The unborn are not entitled to legal counsel -  free of charge or paid.
5 - Two other people must have done something to put the unborn in their situation.
6 - The felon was considered innocent until proven guilty.

You give the unborn the same rights as the convicted criminal and THEN you have an adequate analogy.

[8] Posted by Jackie on 6-15-2012 at 02:32 PM · [top]

#8, based on what you wrote, I believe my theory is spot on. Your claim was not that TEC is acting WRONG or has the formula BACKWARDS. Your claim is that it is guilty of HYPOCRISY. I am pointing out that the words you chose to use leaves a person to logicially draw the conclusion I drew above in #6. You would have been better off to simply state that their position is backwards for the reasons you espoused in your #8.

[9] Posted by Pressing On on 6-15-2012 at 03:26 PM · [top]

#6, Your logic is faulty. It is not a logical conclusion that if you are against the death penalty and are pro-life, you are also a hypocrite.  However if you are against the death penalty for people who had been tried, convicted and sentence by the justice system (as imperfect as it may be)  but think it is perfectly acceptable to kill unborn babies by the thousands and millions, you are indeed a hypocrite and deluded to boot!  How can one consider killing an unborn child acceptable and yet consider the death penalty not acceptable?

[10] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-15-2012 at 03:40 PM · [top]

#9 - Where did you study logic?  A Tec seminary?

Unless this is the firist of my posts that you have read, you must know that I believe Tec is acting wrongly.  In almost every category.  They are poor managers, poor leaders, terrible spiritual directors, the worst theologians to have ever claimed the title and possess an alarming lack of any sense of discernment.  Now I readily admit there are shining stars within that grouping but they are few and far between.  It does not make my assertion fail, however, as none of those individuals has a leadership role at the top.

My assertion is that they are hypocritcal - plain and simple.  They would advocate for the abolishment of the death penalty (rightly or wrongly) while simulteneously advocating, marching, lobbying and shouting at the top of their lungs that abortion is a good and blessed thing.  Just ask Ragsdale.  Why is the killing of an innocent okay and the killing of a convicted felon not okay?  Where is the logic? 

My reasoning stands.  Tec advocates for the killing of babies regardless of their innocence or guilt.  Yet, they advocate for sparing the guilty despite the fact that court of law found they had participated in an illegal and immoral act.  Their guilt was determined and their sentence was passed by individuals who had no part in their actions and nothing to gain or lose from the sentence. 

Where so the unborn?  These babies are victims, not participants.  Their judge and jury is the same person who knew the consequence of participating in a sex act. 

Someone who is pro-life and pro-death penalty does not suffer from the same hypocrisy.  The difference is the innocence of the unborn and that the very person or persons who have been charged with their defense, sign their death warrant.

[11] Posted by Jackie on 6-15-2012 at 04:35 PM · [top]

TEC’s stance is one of hypocrisy reigning supreme.

[12] Posted by cennydd13 on 6-15-2012 at 05:46 PM · [top]

According to God, the unborn deserves care from their parents. 

Also according to God, the murderer deserves care from well, God. 

And there are appropriate parties (usually not the father) who bring a child from the womb to the care of his or her parents. 

And there are also appropriate parties (most assuredly, not the family of the victims, but rather entities who have been granted authority by God) who deliver a murderer into the care of God. 

Only God is qualified to care for the murderer.

[13] Posted by J Eppinga on 6-15-2012 at 08:35 PM · [top]

Actually, Jackie, yes. I did study at an Episcopal seminary, the same one that Matt did, many years before he did. To my knowledge, logic was not a subject ever offered but I think you meant that remark as unveiled and unwarranted sarcasm.

Yes, I know what your feelings are based on your previous writings about abortion and the Episcopal Church. That is why I was surprised to read the headline of your article. I did not initially chime in to argue the merits of supporting the death penalty (which I am against because one innocent person being killed by the state is one too many) vs the sin of abortion (which I think is a sin). I chimed in because I saw your headline as being incongruent with your previous writings. I maintain that when a person, such as yourself, accuses the Episcopal Church as being a hypocrite because they oppose the death penalty and yet are pro-choice, they are inviting the hearer (or reader) to assume that the congruent course of action would be to respect ALL of life, period. I know that is not how you believe and so I raised the issue of the way you presented it. It was not as clearly presented as some of your other writings have been. Your reasoning behind your article may stand; your presentation of your reasoning, to a person who does not your earlier writings, is misleading. Our “argument” or “debate” is over your choice of semantics. There’s not much I can add to that and so we’ll continue to disagree.

[14] Posted by Pressing On on 6-15-2012 at 09:36 PM · [top]

#14, the logic you are using does not hold. You are arguing that if a statement is true, then its inverse must also be true. That is incorrect.

Jackie’s statement: “If you are for abortion, then you must be for the death penalty [to be consistent].”

Your inverse: “If you are not for abortion, then you cannot be for the death penalty [to be consistent].”

This does not follow logically, and to assume that it does is a common fallacy. To illustrate, let me take a simpler statement:

(1) If an object is a triangle, then it is a polygon.

Inverse:

(2) If an object is not a triangle, then it is not a polygon.

Although (1) is a true statement and (2) is its logical inverse, (2) is obviously false. For example, a square is not a triangle, but it is a polygon.

The actual truth that logic teaches is that if a statement is true, then its contrapositive (which reverses the order as well as the truth value) must also be true—not its inverse.

The contrapositive of (1) is: If an object is not a polygon, then it is not a triangle. And that is perfectly true.

And the contrapositive of Jackie’s statement would be: “If you are not for the death penalty, then you cannot be for abortion [to be consistent].” And that is exactly what she was arguing.

[15] Posted by A. S. Haley on 6-16-2012 at 12:00 AM · [top]

To my knowledge, logic was not a subject ever offered but I think you meant that remark as unveiled and unwarranted sarcasm.

You are correct.  It was pure and simple unveiled and unwarranted sarcasm.  I apologize. 

The subject of abortion is one that brings me to my knees.  It is the best, the brightest, the smartest among us that are being slaughtered.  It is an act of sacrifice to Molech.  What makes me so weak is that as a society we cannot see this.  How have we come to such a place where the altar becomes covered in the blood of our innocents as the price for an “easier” life.  A price that could have been paid by a simple act of self-denial. 

Valid comparisons must acknowledge the similarities and differences of the objects being compared.  The similarity between abortion and the death penalty is that both individuals subject to the act die in the end.  That’s where the similarities end.  The differences are so vast that it is no longer an apples and oranges analysis.  It is apples and motor homes. 

So, yes, I stand by my statement that one who objects to the death penalty but supports abortion is a hypocrite.  There is no way that mere semantics could even that playing field.

[16] Posted by Jackie on 6-16-2012 at 07:21 AM · [top]

I understand where you are coming from, Jackie, and I admire your passion behind your wanting the innocent protected and their lives respected. I also appreciate Haley’s lesson in logic. Although I would maintain that many people would jump to the conclusion that I did based on the wording (and I think Haley would agree with that since he said it was a “common fallacy”), I thank him for taking the time to address the issue for me.

If I could be so bold, I would offer a modification or an addition to your thought about similarities. I would say that the similarity between abortion and the death penalty is that both can subject innocent people to dying in the end (abortion always, state execution sometimes). As I mentioned above, I am opposed to the death penalty because innocent people have been shown to have been executed by the state. (Further, I think those who rationalize that it’s such a small number that it’s still worth having those laws on the book should be asked to either volunteer themselves or one of their loved ones to be innocently put on death row and innocently executed next. But I digress.)

Your points are understood and appreciated and may you have a blessed remainder of the weekend.

[17] Posted by Pressing On on 6-16-2012 at 10:48 AM · [top]

I would say that the similarity between abortion and the death penalty is that both can subject innocent people to dying in the end (abortion always, state execution sometimes).

As much as I would love to find a middle ground on this issue as it is one that tears at the heart and soul, I cannot agree to your modification.  The felon (even the innocent one) had a voice and a chance he or she would be allowed to live at trial.

If a child were given that same opportunity, what judge or jury would send down a death sentence because Mom wanted to look good in her prom dress?

[18] Posted by Jackie on 6-16-2012 at 11:12 AM · [top]

She certainly doesn’t need my support, but I’m with Jackie on this - completely. 

Although I would maintain that many people would jump to the conclusion that I did based on the wording

FWIW, I do not jump to this conclusion - not that I’ve ever been much in sync with the “majority.”

[19] Posted by Nikolaus on 6-16-2012 at 11:37 AM · [top]

This may be more technical than necessary, but I thought it might help crystallize the controversy.  Abortion is certainly a very serious and emotional issue with many more aspects to it than mentioned here.  This is merely a formal analysis of some arguments provided thus far.  I wrote most of this last night after comment [15] and apologize for repeating a little of the further comments.

In the original article Jackie interprets the TEC’s position relative to her morality like this:

Let:
~ = “not”
DP = “Death Penalty”
A = “Abortion”
K(i) = Kill the innocent
G(x) = x is good

1) ~DP         (Assumption. The article shows that the TEC opposes DP.)
2) A             (Assume the TEC supports abortion.)
3) DP = K(~i)  (Definition: death penalty=killing the not innocent)
4) A = K(i)      (Definition: abortion=killing innocents.  TEC would reject this definition)
5) ~K(~i)      1,3 substitution
6) K(i)          2,4 substitution
7) G(~K(~i))    (5, Value judgment, i.e. it’s good to not kill the not innocent)
8) ~G(K(i))      (6, Value judgment, i.e. it’s not good to kill the innocent)
9) G(K(i))        7, Double negation elimination
XXX
Contradiction between 8 and 9

In other words, Jackie implies that the TEC contradicts itself by holding that it’s good to not kill the not innocent (7-anti-death penalty) and it’s not good to kill the innocent (8-) because this devolves into saying that it’s good and not good to kill the innocent.

However, this argument is invalid.  Step 9 is the problem.  “It’s good to not kill the not innocent” (7) does not reduce to “it’s good to kill the innocent.”  (9)  While double negation elimination is valid for a proposition (not not P entails P, e.g. “It’s not not raining” means “it’s raining”), I’m pretty sure that in first-order predicate calculus it’s invalid to break across a function to do double negation.  I could be wrong here, but I don’t think I am.  In any case, sparing the convicted certainly has a different moral valence than killing the innocent.  To assume otherwise is to beg the question in a very dubious way that restricts mercy towards criminals.  Is there a way to rehabilitate Jackie’s argument?

Version 2.0 Deontic Logic
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-deontic/

Let:
PE(x) = x is permissible
OB(x) = x is obligatory
IM(x) = x is impermissible

1) ~DP         (The article shows that the TEC opposes DP.)
2) A             (We assume the TEC supports abortion.)
3) DP = K(~i)  (Definition)
4) A = K(i)      (Definition.  TEC would reject this definition)
5) ~K(~i)      1,3 substitution
6) K(i)          2,4 substitution
7) PE~(K(~i))  (5, Value judgment, i.e. it’s permissible not to kill the not innocent)
8) IM(K(i))      (6, Value judgment, i.e. it’s impermissible to kill the innocent)
9) ~OB(K(~i)    7, Traditional Definitional Scheme 1: PE(x) <—>~OB(x)
10)OB~(K(i))    8, Traditional Definitional Scheme 2: IM(x) <—>OB~(x)

In other words, we’re left saying that it’s not obligatory to kill the guilty (9) and it’s obligatory not to kill the innocent (10).  That sounds right.  And we’re speaking entirely in terms of obligation, so that term is consistent.  But we’re still comparing apples to oranges in that we’re comparing the guilty to the innocent in terms of the obligations generated by each.  Apples cannot contradict oranges or motor homes.  That you’re not permitted to kill the innocent (8) implies nothing about the permissibility of sparing the guilty (7).  There’s no inherent causality between what we owe the guilty (on death row) and what we owe the (unborn) innocent.  Even with considerations of innocence, death penalty policy and abortion policy are logically independent.

That is unless we make further assumptions like Father Tim does in [7].  Personally, I think that the TEC claims (however muddled) to be Christian and that Christianity entails strict opposition to abortion, so the TEC is materially inconsistent (and dangerous and wicked) in its stance on abortion with regard to its religious claims.  To the extent that this inconsistency is motivated by the desire for selfish gain, it is rank hypocrisy.  I take hypocrisy to be saying one thing and then contradicting it for personal gain.  Someone who does good and bad isn’t necessarily a hypocrite.  A hypocrite must speak out against or deny their own badness.  The TEC is hypocritical because it claims the Psalms and cross of Christ while taking the easy way out against the defenseless.

[20] Posted by The Plantagenets on 6-16-2012 at 02:59 PM · [top]

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