It's not every day that I get to beat up on a nun, but here goes. Truthfully, I’m about as agnostic as you get on spiritual matters, but I do believe that everyone retains a right to distinguish right from wrong.
Which is why the Athenaeum was wrong to be bring yet another left wing speaker to the Athenaeum.
Apparently that’s what Bonnie Snortum gets paid for – imposing her views on the rest of us. This semester its been three activists for so-called homosexual rights. This coming semester, we've got Sister Helen Prejean, a radical nun who adamantly opposes capital punishment. But unlike the speakers on gay rights which have credibly been in the news as of late, there's little to no evidence that public opinion has shifted on the death penalty since at least 2002.
Here are some of the more outlandish things that Sister Helen Prejean has said, along with the facts that show how foolish the Ath is for inviting her:
On the execution of the thuggish Stanley "Tookie" Williams, she said:
“One way to show remorse is just say, ‘I am so sorry I killed those people.’ Another way to show remorse is with your life, what you do with your life. And look what he’s done with his.”
Williams was anything but a model prisoner. He threatened jurors, calling them “sons of bitches,” he got into dozens of fights while in prison, he remained a lifelong gang member, and he refused to apologize for the murders up until he died. He even laughed about how he killed a 7-11 clerk. He also murdered an entire family for about 120 bucks. Oh, and he wrote some children's books, which never sold. And got nominated for a Nobel Peace prize, because you know they only give those out to people that warrant them.
If that alone weren’t enough, Prejean's moral seriousness is on full display when she can't recognize that sometimes, not all the time, it may be morally justifiably to execute people for their heinous crimes. In a debate with Dennis Prager that occurred while this was ongoing on Larry King Live, Sr. Prejean could not bring herself to endorse the execution of Adolf Eichman, who ordered the execution of at least three million Jews.
It's this kind of wishful thinking that makes it hard to accept some of her predictions were we to abolish capital punishment.
“When people realize that they are safe from criminals and that those who commit capital crimes will be kept out of society for very long periods of time, then I think the tide will turn against the death penalty.”
It'd be great if we could lock somebody up for life, but given what we've seen in states facing budget difficulties and where violent offenders have been let out of jail, I'm less than inclined to think that they'll keep their promise of locking up those offenders. A dead man kills no one.
Death row isn't quite the island it used to be. In May of this year, Wired Magazine ran a story entitled, "Prisoners Run Gangs, Plan Escapes, and Even Order Hits With Smuggled Cellphones," which noted, among other things, that "the maximum-security sector looked like a telemarketing center." Here's another stat from that article that's sure to make you sleep easier at night: "Last year alone, officials confiscated 947 phones in Maryland, some 2,000 handsets and accessories in South Carolina, and 2,800 mobiles in California."
Given this evidence, there's all kinds of evidence that they will and do kill again. Oh, and there's also that pesky empirical work that actually shows that the death penalty saves lives.
But if Prejean seems slow to condemn evil on the scale of Eichmann or the killers that populate our death rows, she's very quick to condemn President George W. Bush. On August 3, 2006, Sister Prejean signed a statement in The New York Times that called for President Bush to be ousted on account of his support of "a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism," torture, "a murderous" war, "a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance," and attempts to curb abortion. On that final point, Prejean later distanced herself, but she never apologizes for the ad, which compared George W. Bush to Hitler. (Note her defense of Eichmann, earlier.)
So here's a question for Sister Prejean, whose anti-abortion status seems always to be an after thought. (Babies, after all, never get a say when their lives are terminated in the womb.)
Given your presence at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, does that mean you support the platform of the Democratic Party, which is pro-abortion? There's simply no record of you speaking about your defense of life there.
And if you do not, why does that say about you -- that you spend more time defending murderers and rapists than the life of the unborn?