Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hangs

So the Butcher of Baghdad is dead. He certainly deserves it. But was his execution necessary or even prudent? As I watched news coverage leading up to his hanging, I was reminded of a great line from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. After Frodo says that Gollum deserves death, Gandalf responds:

Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it.

Did Saddam deserve death? Absolutely, but by what authority was he executed? What are the possible repercussions of his execution? Is not the possibility of increased violence a reason not to execute him? What about possible repentance and conversion? Unlikely, but possible. As a Catholic, I hold true to the Church's teaching that capital punishment is a legitimate punishment, but alternative, bloodless means may be better suited. Did he deserve death? Yes, but we cannot possibly see what might have happened had he been allowed to live.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hodie Christus natus est: hodie Salvator apparuit.--
This day Christ is born, this day the Savior hath appeared.
(Antiphon of the Magnificat Christmas Day, Second Vespers)

May you and all your loved ones have a most happy and holy Christmas, remembering the true reason for this season: the Birth of our Lord.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just Plain Sick

Senator Tim Johnson (D - South Dakota) underwent surgery last night to treat serious and life-threatening bleeding in the brain. The man is quite literally fighting for his life. So what do the American media do in response? They have a veritable orgy of "what if" speculative reports on what would happen to the Democratic control of the U.S. Senate if "the seat is vacated" (in other words, if he dies). The man could possibly be on his death bed and political junkies the nation over care only about how this affects the Senate. To sum it up: this is just plain sick. But I suppose I should not have expected anything less from our amoral and heartless news media.