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Catholic activist speaks out against death penalty and torture

Sister Helen Prejean spoke against the death penalty and torture during her address at the interfaith gathering.

"It reveals the deepest wounds of our nation ? a readiness to use violence to solve social problems. We've killed over a thousand people in our killing chambers. It's the death of white people that causes outrage in our country.

"90 percent plus on death row are poor. Our DNA instinct of this country is to kill people. If needed, torture the enemy since he's not human like we are anyway. We are not worthy of the death penalty as a people. I invite dialogue with both political parties.

"There's a deep religious underpinning. When you start talking about the death penalty, the image of God comes forward. Many people still have an image that God demands an eye for an eye, it's God who's pleased with a sacrifice.

"There's a deep religious underpinning. When you start talking about the death penalty, the image of God comes forward. Many people still have an image that God demands an eye for an eye, it's God who's pleased with a sacrifice.

"There are those in the Christian community that say ... when we kill criminals for their crimes, God accepts their death as payment. What kind of father would demand the death of a son? Is it a God or an ogre? We project a God of vengeance. Jesus forgave his executioners and showed us the way of compassions. Jesus showed such a way of loving that no one can be called enemy, at least for long. He said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice. Not a life for a life." Jesus said, "Pray for those who persecute you."

"Our faith goes hand in hand with our understanding of human rights. Every human being has the right to life and no human being should be tortured. All religions teach humans have sacred life."

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:August 24, 2008 at 4:15PM
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Catholic activist speaks out against death penalty and torture