No, gays are not the barbarians, as Michele Bachman's husband infamously said.
State governments that continue to execute citizens are barbaric.The individuals that sanctioned these executions, and that did nothing to prevent them from happening (i.e. SCOTUS, governors, boards of pardon) are barbarians.
This is 2011. We live in an educated and supposedly civilized society, yet today, in the Birmingham News, are at least 4 stories that reflect our culture of government killing its own citizens.
The most heart wrenching story is the execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia, who by most accounts is not guilty of the crime for which he was killed, and by all accounts had reasonable doubt established as to his guilt.
In this country, in which a vocal segment of the population claims to be "pro-life," isn't it odd that many of those same people are "pro-death." And isn't it even odder, that so many of those same people claim to be Christians, yet their book of inspiration speaks of forgiveness and loving your enemies and commands us not to kill and not to seek retribution.
Last night in Texas white supremacist Lawrence Russell was killed for the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American who, along with Matthew Shepard are recognized in the name of the Matthew Shepard James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act which strengthened the existing law and added LGBT protections. Governor Rick Perry, who gloats over his states record on killings to wild cheering from supporters, is probably dancing today.
In Alabama Derrick Mason is scheduled to die at 6:00 pm today. Mason apologized to his victim's family years ago and gave his life to God. The state (or an employee of the state) will insert a needle into his vein, and inject a liquid into his body that will kill him. How can a person do that? Are they any better than the person they are killing? Even if it is rigged so they don't actually push the plunger, or know who starts the process, whatever they do to try to absolve their role in killing another human, it fails.
Also in Alabama the lawyer for a man charged in Shelby county of killing 5 people is asking for the trial to be moved. This is a death penalty case, and the prosecutor will ask the jury and judge to let the state kill him.
It may be hard to imagine how one might feel if a loved one was murdered. But that doesn't matter. We need to take the emotion out of the picture, and step back. Look at the process. The state does not like a citizen, or what he did, so the state kills him. That is sick. Again, this is 2011, and we live in a society that claims to be civilized. It's hard to make that claim, however, today.