Church resolute in its opposition to hanging convicted murderers
The House of Representatives met in Belmopan on Friday to discuss a range of issues including an amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Bill which should see an increase in penalties for gang related activities. Most importantly Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced the Eight Amendment of the Belize Constitution Bill 2011 which allows for the execution of the death penalty. But while there is public support for the enforcement of capital punishment given the urban warfare, the church is at a crossroads with its flock. The church has fervently opposed hanging as a form of capital punishment despite its followers calling for its implementation in light of the violent times befalling the country. According to Canon Leroy Flowers the church remains resolute in its opposition to hang convicted murderers.
Canon Leroy Flowers, Representative, Council of Churches
“The church will now be faced with a new dilemma because while people are calling for hanging the church has a position and that position never wavered. We do not support capital punishment. So that on one hand it is about the rights and the other hand it is about now the state now taking on and it would be very interesting to see how this would unravel as the days and weeks and months play ahead because while there are many who claim an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth that is the Old Testament but in today’s day and age the Christian Church proclaims the period of grace.
As a matter of fact in the Anglican Church we have just reminded our members what the church’s stand on the capital punishment [is] and this is very important for people to understand. Yes there are members who may, maybe seventy percent of the members may not agree [with the church] and that’s alright but that will not phase the church from its understanding of what its role is [and] what it needs to do. In the same way, on the other side of the coin about the homosexuals; they’ll be those who don’t agree, but that is the stand that is the moral authority which the churches speak on. And to a very large extent at the end of the day members have to expect that the churches have a position whether right or wrong.”Email This Story