My appearance in 1996Wayne Stegall

Copyright 2011 by Wayne Stegall
Updated May 12, 2011.  See Document History at end for details.

Delayed Justice

Ten years seem a long time to wait for justice against Osama Bin Laden;   we would rather have got him in a year or less.  Imagine if the victims of other capital crimes felt the same way.  There is an odd parallel here with the course of justice for these other victims.  In our system, if lawmakers have not subverted the death penalty in the relevant jurisdiction, a capital criminal is convicted by due process, spends 10 years on death row while his victims await justice, then he is executed.  Osama was given a summary conviction on the wartime order to take him dead or alive, spent 10 years a fugitive from, and then died at the hands of the blood avenger.  Does the course of these events show us something about our own justice system?

As a consequence of the delay of Osama's execution, we know that terrorists are not as filled with the fear of retribution for their deeds as swift retaliation would have brought.  In the same way the violence of our nation rages unrestrained by the sort of swift and strict justice that would abate it.

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.  (Ecc 8:11)

Those who have good sense about justice regard it in terms that agree with the Bible.  And yet many would enact laws contrary to the Bible to the harm of our nation.  Consider that many strive to abolish the death penalty contrary to this wisdom:

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.  (Gen 9:6)

After the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, CNN journalist Ali Velshi said something like "The problem is that criminals on the street have guns," then followed with the common rationalizations for gun control.  Wisdom was on his tongue in the phrase "criminals on the street", then passed without figuring in the remainder of his reasoning based on "have guns".  The misrepresentation of single-shot repeating weapons (aka semi-automatic) as automatic weapons during times of report of gun violence is a more deceitful attempt to bend public opinion.  Although they have the right to their opinion, these would deny us our Second Amendment rights to defend ourselves.  Does the Bible uphold lethal self-defense, the most effective deterrent to crime?  Indeed it does:

If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.  But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.  (Ex 22:2-3 NASB)

The latter part of this passage is to prevent self-defense from becoming a pretext for murder.  The last statement regarding being sold for his theft, regarded a temporary arrangement to work off the financial loss involved, similar to some practices considered fair in our culture such as community service, prison work, or service in a chain gang.  Persons who keep these in bondage past the point of repayment were in transgression and were condemned by the prophets.

Although his words and teachings are the most often misquoted in support of pacifism, even Jesus advocated self-defense in the face of impending danger:

Then said he (Jesus) unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.  (Lu 22:36)

The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is startling proof that our Founding Fathers had wisdom from the Bible that many do not possess today.

Document History
May 12, 2011  Created.
May 12, 2011  Added additional explanation of some point thought possibly to be misunderstood.