A Loaded Question for Christians

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chimp3's picture
A Loaded Question for Christians

Here is a hypothetical moral dilemma :

A man has been sentenced to twenty years in prison for an armed robbery. The victim was severely beaten. After one year in prison this man starts attending church. He "gets saved" and professes his salvation by Jesus to others.

You are a Christian and now are the U.S. President. Do you grant this man a Presidential Pardon?

Why or why not?

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bigbill's picture
I feel that if I was a

I feel that if I was a Christian I once was, There should be respect and justice set forth.What this person did was violate another and hurt the person since he is under laws of the penal code he should be punished. if you don`t have laws in a given society you then fall into chaos. As for being a Christian and a president of the usa, the president should stay out of the jury and judge decision to meet out punishment. a presidential pardon is a bad act here.

chimp3's picture
Didn't Jesus forgive his sins

Didn't Jesus forgive his sins? What is he guilty of once he is forgiven?

algebe's picture
If were the President of the

If were the President of the U.S., I'd probably let him out, since I wouldn't want someone like that in the next cell when they put me in jail for groping women and running a fake university.

As someone who really had to make the decision, such as parole board member, I'd first want to hear what the victim thought about it. If the victim is dead, the killer should stay in jail until the victim stops being dead. If the victim is still hurting, the crim should stay in jail.

If the criminal is really serious about finding Jesus, then he should be happy to stay in jail and atone for his sins by doing Jesus' work in a place where there are plenty of sinners to save. The fact that he's asking to get out would make me suspicious. There are no atheists in front of parole boards.

I'm sorry, but I have zero sympathy for villains who cause pain, death and mayhem and then claim to be changed people. I see prisons as places of punishment and quarantine for people who make hurtful choices. However, all of the POWs from the War on Drugs should be let out to make room for those whose crimes actually have victims.

CyberLN's picture
Although I'm not, and never

Although I'm not, and never have been, a xtian, I'll butt in and provision my two cents.

Sociopathy and religious beliefs frequently reside as opposite ends of a spectrum in an individual. He could profess his salvation til the cows come home...it doesn't mean he will change his behavior.

I'd like to see the data that indicates the frequency (therefore, likelihood) that this sort of salvation actually results in a sustained change of behavior.

BAACKJD's picture
My understanding of the

My understanding of the function of forgiveness is that it requires that you forgive offences committed against you or others. Though you forgive the perpetrator, he still may have to serve his full sentence, as he would if I were the Christian president.
I think that the requirement of forgiveness pertains more to the victims than to the legal system.

DealWithit's picture
HELL No! In USA, we have

HELL No! In USA, we have separation of Church and State. No Brainer.

BAACKJD's picture


The problem is that politicians (perhaps the majority) are at least pretending that there is no separation of church and state. I think the premise of the question (I could be absolutely wrong) is that in this scenario, you're one of these particular politicians. A kind of George W. Bush type character?

DealWithit's picture
No politician here, but, and

No politician here, but, and I could be wrong, your use of the word "character" for me implies bias against people who believe in the rule of law or that W was an idiot. . True that George W Bush refused to pardon a Karla Tucker, when he was governor, and she was a murderer who "found Christ" in prison. She did everything but express remorse to the victim's family and was found guilty by jury trial. Bush was petitioned by do-gooders to pardon Tucker, and he did not, nor was he under any obligation to do so.

I agree with Agnostic Enlightener

Pitar's picture
This is not necessarily a

This is not necessarily a christian-oriented focus. It asks a person to recognize the church over the state, christianity in particular.

Setting that premise, all so-enlightened prisoner claims should be given a number and reviewed in turn. More to the (pragmatic) approach and with fiscal responsibility tightly held, that number should be issued as a prisoner number and worn on the perp's prison uniform. That does not assume the perp will get religion some time down the road. It assumes he will be asked some time during his incarceration by the prison administration if he did get religion. It also assumes he will be briefed about getting religion as part of his prison in-processing, just in case he does have an epiphany, and provided with relevant literature about the procedures and protocol of getting religion. If it becomes an instant-gratification, sentence shortening end run, it should be a hard and lengthy process to endure. Did I mention "endure"?

Are we seeing how really, really stupid this makes people, gods and religions look? And, at a cost to the society the perp harmed?

State over church with the latter a far flung distant-second consideration. I'm still wincing every time I see "In god we trust" on our currency. It's a great reason to carry plastic only.

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