The Federal Government is contemplating whether to seek the death penalty in the murder of two young girls by Ms-13 gang members. Story here.
Gangs reserve for themselves the right to carry out capital punishment. Meanwhile the state, in outlawing or refusing to carry our capital punishment, too often seeks to unilaterally disarm itself in its war to defeat the enemies of public safety. Let’s hope it does not do so in this case.
The families of these young girls properly placed their right to seek true justice into the hands of the state. They could not do it themselves – they neither had the power, the means, nor the dispassionate objectivity to do so. They are correct in seeking the death penalty. They are doing their civic duty. It happens here their call of justice matches their personal desire for vengeance. That is how vengeance works – it flows from a internal appreciation of and a longing for justice.
Just as an artist seeks to reveal truth and beauty in his work by his expert creation of art using proportion, those who work in the administration of justice similarly seek to reveal truth and a sense of beauty in their own noble work. The unmoored underpinnings of the post-modern era have warped our appreciation of truth . Art is far too often formless and/or ugly. Justice has similarly become so meaningless we have a new laughable name for those who seeks to administer it in its new perverted and ugly form: the Social Justice Warrior.
In many cases, the new artist and justice warrior are more technically brilliant than ever before. But their creations in presenting truth are too often indistinguishable from junk. And the response is a shrug that truth is relative, that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” – a futile response which seeks to justify a creation indistinguishable from common ugliness by suggesting there is a truth hidden somewhere in the morass. The viewer needs to work to discover the hidden truth beyond the perversion of truth, beauty and justice displayed so brazenly. That may indeed be true in one sense. There may be a “hidden truth” in this new work. It may be enjoyable sometimes to do the work necessary to uncover it. But the goal of both the truly great artist and the truly just justice warrior is to display, for all to see, the universal brilliance of truth in their work. To not do so, to cloud truth in obscurity so that beauty is ugly, truth is false, is to offer a perversion – of art or of justice – no matter how brilliant perversion is presented.
Meanwhile, many religious groups see true justice, the kind administered on behalf of the aggrieved individual, as some sort of blemish on society. They seek to remove it entirely from public life. In its place, rising mysteriously from the void of a justice-less world will be something akin to John Lennon’s utopian vision offered in the both beautiful yet idiotic song Imagine. This vision is a world where all mankind will share all goods, ill gotten or not, freely and in peace. We have seen too many horrors done in service to this vision by the modern era fallen man. But we ignore Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, make excuses for North Korea and Antifa, and soldier on in our delusions. Christians are apparently seen by the religious post-modern as a vanguard to usher in this utopia by ignoring justice. They are instructed to forgive all offenses except their own. This may be a true and beautiful response, if the Christian properly understands that there is a God and that He has made clear that “vengeance is mine, I will repay.” The Christian thus recognizes the truth and beauty in proportion of justice, administered by a God of Justice who has ordained a heaven and a hell for such purposes. And as such, the Christian “works out his own salvation” in a fallen world “with fear and trembling,” as St. Paul, Christian teacher extraordinaire put it. To understand that no one is guiltless is not to then infer that everyone is guiltless.
The state is not constituted, as the human being is, to forgive. The state is constituted to maintain law and order and public safety by administering justice. If the state forgives, and offers mercy instead of justice, it is done by an individual: the ruler, offering an amnesty – person to person. It is to be an exception, a safety valve, because perfect justice cannot be offered by an imperfect humanity.
As St. Paul said regarding the role of the state, “…if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” To hand the rulers a sword with a command not to use it to bring punishment to the wrongdoer is to bear the sword in vain.
The use of capital punishment should be judicious because humans make mistakes and can practice evil in their administration of justice. But to remove it altogether in the face of a criminal element that reserves it for themselves is a dereliction of duty.
Unperverted justice in this situation is capital punishment. And unperverted justice has the additional benefit of serving the great goal and desire of civilization for public safety. It is impossible for civilization to flourish without public safety.
Public safety is administered by putting rabid dogs to death. If you can’t cure a rabid dog, you must put it down. The difference between a rabid dog and these criminals is that a rabid dog has no way to control his behavior. Laughing and smirking at your murder of an innocent person is indicative of a similar deficiency in controlling behavior. They will kill again, if given the opportunity. It may be a prison guard. It may be a prisoner who angers them. It may be an innocent citizen after a prison break. It may be a hit ordered from a prison cell. If such a thing happens, the state will be at fault for shrinking from its duty.