Friday, May 31, 2013

Jodi Arias & Jesus.

A lot happens on Facebook. You see lots of pictures of people's grandkids, you see the end of relationships, and if your newsfeed is anything like mine, you see a lot (and I mean a lot) of political commentary.

Of course, the most popular thing to have an opinion about right now is the Jodi Arias trial. I don't see a lot of comments about this from the people I am friends with, but when I click on shared photos or a sponsored status pops up, of course I read the comments (who doesn't, right?!).
One linked article (via MSN) was regarding the fact that Arias may be able to take a deal that would bypass a new trial/jury in favor of life in prison without any chance of parole. It then asked the question: Is this a just outcome?

Some said yes, some just want Arias out of the news, and then I saw a ton of responses that shocked me.
In big, bold all-capped letters, the answer to MSN's question was this:


This just... I don't know. Doesn't sit well with me? Rubs me the wrong way? I don't know, I'm struggling to find the words that describe how I feel about those two words.

I think what I found most shocking was the fact that it wasn't an isolated comment - there were many, many just like it. Some quietly called for the death penalty, while others loudly exclaimed that she deserved a public death. Some suggested lethal injection, others suggested a very public execution by firing squad.

There is something about this that absolutely disgusts me. Sure, you can give out the reasoning "an eye for an eye," or "you take a life, you pay for it with your own," which is always the answer I get from people when they learn that I am not a fan of the death penalty in any circumstance (that's another blog post for another day, though).

Nowadays, trials are made into complete circuses and are media frenzies. Days, sometimes weeks, are spent covering every little aspect of a trial. Public opinion comes from the amount of attention the media puts on murder cases, and this is exactly why we have comments like all-caps-crucify-her.

But with all of the comments saying that the government should all-caps-crucify-her, I am reminded of the death of Jesus.

If Jesus were alive now, and his trial were in today's society? He'd be Jodi Arias. He'd be Casey Anthony. He'd be an absolute media sensation. His trial would be televised, with every media outlet doing complete coverage 24/7. He'd be a person who is innocent until proven guilty, but the public just KNOWS that person is guilty. A person the public just KNOWS deserves death in the most public, slow, painful way.

That's exactly the way Jesus died for us, too. He died in a public place, in front of hundreds. His death took hours to be complete.
And this death? It was exactly what the public wanted.
Imagine if that took place today. Would those people who are crying out for Arias to get the death penalty feel satisfied with themselves when it was over and done with? Would they feel accomplished? Or would they feel that they were victims of peer pressure (their peers being the media influence).
Just as those who want the death penalty for Jodi Arias & feel that she deserves it, those who called for the crucifixion of Jesus felt that they were right, that Jesus deserved death for His 'crimes.'

I'll admit, I haven't kept up with the trial, just watching bits and pieces, but I do know the details. Do I think she's guilty? Yes. Do I think she deserves death? No, I don't. And I know that's an unpopular opinion to have.

But at some point, Christians have to stand up and stop making these judgements and commenting on Facebook statuses saying that Jodi Arias "needs to fry." I read once that Christians are fundamentally "pro-life." That is, until the baby is born, for most. We need to be pro-life from conception until death. We need to protect all human life, not just the unborn.

Jesus died so we could have life, and Jodi Arias took a man's life - I'm in no way saying that Jodi Arias is God and free of guilt and sin. That's definitely not what I'm saying.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I am sad for what the vast majority of Christianity has become. Christians are all over Facebook making unjust comments and calling for the death of a fellow human being. When should we, as Christians, ever want another person to die? When should we, as Christians, and as humans, take joy in the death of a person? I find this sickening.

I don't know why I feel so passionately about this, but for some strange reason... I really, really care about this topic. 


  1. I feel the same way. The whole first sentencing phase just nauseated me. Every time they would announce something, I just knew it was that she got the death penalty.

    I just don't get it. Any time we see these stories of radical grace--when the mother of a murdered man publicly extends forgiveness to his killer in a courtroom--we're all so moved. We all can't believe it, and we know something divine has happened. But the death penalty--it's almost as if we're saying, "You're not only too far gone for our grace, but too far gone from God's." And I have a HUGE problem with that, because grace is for everyone regardless of their actions. That's why it's so powerful. I can't rob someone of reconciliation with God. That is absolute evil.

    It drives me nuts when Christians use the "eye for an eye" verse to justify the death penalty. That verse wasn't given so we could exact revenge--it was to keep violence from escalating. It was saying, "You can only take what was taken from you, no more." I read about this theory called "the Divine Pull" and I think it's brilliant. It's the belief that, throughout history, God has been pulling humanity toward Him and His character in small steps. A lot of the Old Testament Bible verses that seem barbaric hard to swallow were actually very forward-thinking for their time. So "eye-for-an-eye" was there until we were ready for "Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either." The Bible isn't a checklist of dos and don'ts--it's the story of God's love drawing us to closer relationship with Him and resemblance to Him.

    Okay, sorry for the novel. Word vomit, you know. :)

  2. Very good hay. You're an incredible girl with an incredible mind to make decisions for yourself. Love you forever.

    Oh and thanks for keeping people posted on my condition! I'm home now and on the road to recovery. Thank you everyone for the prayers. One day we will meet in heaven and I will give you the most massive hug! Love you all!