The Death Penalty in Kansas

There has been a lot of talk about the death penalty in
Kansas lately. I thought it might be good to post the official United
Methodist position on this issue. It is found in The United Methodist
Book of Disicpline of the United Methodist Church, paragraph 164.G:

“We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.”

My own personal opinion (for the little it is worth): I agree with columnist Ann Quindlen who wrote in the June 26, 2006 edition of Newsweek:

“Last year four countries accounted for nearly all executions worldwide: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States. As my Irish grandmother used to say, you’re known by the company you keep.”