Jesus on Death Row
By Victoria Van Dyke

81% of Canadians say they believe in "a god or higher being" but only 22% of young people in Canada attend church (2000 statistic).

Is Jesus dying? Should we be afraid for the continuation of the Church? How many people will believe in god 40 years from now?

Christianity is the lion's share of religion in North America, and its been fueled by two sources: Traditional white families and Hispanic Catholics. The influx of Hispanics from central and South America is actually boosting the percentages of Catholicism/Christianity (in 1992 only 18% of young people attended church).

So popularity is up thanks to Hispanic immigrants, but how long will it last? History has shown that the mixing of cultures results in children growing up to be atheists or simply "spiritual" (which means they don't attend church).

And does attending church really mean anything anymore? DO WE HAVE TO ATTEND CHURCH? No, we don't. Its not a necessity anymore. These days churches are regularly being sold and converted into community centres/etc.

We no longer have prayer in public schools, politicians are talking about privatizing the Catholic School system (the Conservatives want to turn Catholic schools into private schools) and separation of church and state has become official Canadian law.

We now have gay marriages in Canada, a fact I approve of. It allows the gay and lesbian community to reaffirm their spiritual beliefs. They may not be "Roman Catholic", but at least they're spiritual.

Many years ago we got rid of the death penalty, but in the United States the death penalty still exists in many states. Americans apparently don't care that Jesus was executed for being a charlatan due to the same barbaric laws. Isn't it time American Christians stood up for their fellow person and got rid of the death penalty?

The death penalty doesn't stop murder. It only creates more murder.

Can people, as Christians, stand idly by while their fellow people are murdered? Its regardless of whether they are guilty or not. Even a guilty person deserves to live their life in a prison without the fear of death row hanging over their heads.

Of course, maybe thats because Americans just don't care. They're too busy being greedy. They care more about their SUVs and their gasoline prices than they do about the lives of fellow human beings. What is more barbaric than sheer greed and murder?

George W. Bush has proven that American Christians are a force to be reckoned with. He was elected thanks to them. But why do those same Christians don't care about people on death row?

Because the people often sentenced to death row are black.

And Jesus supposedly was white.

You can never underestimate the amount of racism that exists in the US justice system. White murderers are regularly given life sentences and black murderers are given death row.

How fair is that?

Why not just get rid of the death penalty and make it finally equal: Life sentences. Jesus would certainly approve.

If Christianity is dying due to lack of interest in our fellow people, what will replace it?



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