God Forgives Them

There was an article up on CNN today about serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. He’s a very religious man who lived a life counter to religion’s teachings, further proof that religion has no bearing on morality. But I only wanted to post this so that I could ask a question.

Franklin says he’s going to heaven because he’s repented. He says, “”The scriptures tell us when someone repents, God forgives them. Everything is forgotten, once forgiven.”

How do sinners know they’ve properly repented and that God has now approved their passports for passage to heaven?

This is the underbelly of the religious system. You can ferry all the guilt away simply by imagining your father has forgiven you. You’re still a child. You never grow up and assume the responsibility and repercussions of living by your own, internal moral code. It’s too bad we can’t rewrite the Bible to say, “You only get one shot at heaven, so don’t f*ck up. You will not be absolved.”

It seems damn unfair that this guy finds peace and relief in believing that he’s been forgiven.

Thankfully, our criminal justice system is not so forgiving.



20 responses to “God Forgives Them

  1. To me this is one of the biggest reasons why Christianity doesn’t make any sense. Be a serial killer and recant/repent on your deathbed and you go to heaven. Be a truly loving and giving person, and for that one moment you aren’t in a “state of grace” you die and it’s a brimstone brownstone for you.   Which kind of, but not really, leads into why I don’t believe in the death penalty. Serial Killer gets a nice chemical cocktail that puts him to sleep for good. Peaceful, and undeservedly so.   Now I don’t believe in revenge, but I do think that life in a jail cell is far worse of a punishment than the needle.   Keep up the great stuff!  

  2. Deborah,

    This may be the teaching of Christianity that I have the biggest problem with (aside from the whole deity thang).

    Why should I ever follow the moral code when all I need to do is tell god that I’m real sorry and voila, get out of jail free card ! At least Catholics think total absolution is a little too good to be true and believe in purgatory.

    Yes, people like jpf are delusional. But they’re also the kind that make me wish that I could believe that there’s a place like hell waiting to swallow up horrible people so they get their just deserts :/ I’m also pretty sure wishing that is a sin lol.

    Keep the posts coming !

    • But to answer your question, I think christians mistake the somewhat euphoric or weight-lifted-off-shoulders feelings that are naturally felt when we accept or take ownership for our actions(sins) with absolution.

      Plus, you’ve got to tell daddy you’re sorry if you want to leave time out.

      Third option — compounded delusion !

      • @Nicole Good point: “…christians mistake the somewhat euphoric or weight-lifted-off-shoulders feelings that are naturally felt when we accept or take ownership for our actions(sins) with absolution.” Or even, they mistake confession with absolution….

    • @Nicole I have to admit, some sort of divine justice would be really, really nice. Serial killers and child molesters would have to suffer for their crimes.

      Of course, maybe we’d all get punished to greater or lesser degrees for sins large and small!

  3. A poster-boy for xianity!!

    Did you read the comments on CNN – basically none were willing to touch the religion-issue at all. I guess it comes too close…

    What I just cannot fathom is that many xians use prison conversions (this wacko seems to have been deluded already before jail) as proof of God’s power. Why did this impotent deity not stop people like Franklin in the first place? Like we discussed in one of the earlier pieces, the deities have a win-win situation.

    • @saab93f I did not see the comments until this morning–there were none when I posted yesterday. But people say some mean things to each other, and they totally miss the point/irony!

      They use the prison conversions, as you said, “as proof of God’s power.” Yet how does one know? Does God give them a sign they’re cleared? The guy did not appear contrite to me.

      Did you hear him say that he was on a mission for 3 years, just like Jesus was? I think he really believes that he and god are on the same side.

  4. This was the CNN interview I watched.
    At 3:58 he states that his death is not awaited by a “burning hell” because he is a “servant of the Lord”.

  5. Interesting.
    We have a guy here (Joseph Franklin) who’s murdered many people able to state with conviction that he’s forgiven and confident he will be admitted into heaven.
    In the prior blog post, we have a guy (Ted Turner), who’s done a lot of good things for people, bit of a scamp at times, stating he’s not entirely sure there is a heaven yet hoping he will be admitted. And concerned he does not end up in Hell for his deeds.

    What a contrast-hubris and humility.

  6. @vh Yes. What a great observation. The irony is that they will both just decay and be gone forever.

  7. Christians repent on Sunday for the sins they’ll commit again on Monday.

    • On a Finnish forum a religious person was once again spouting the “Eternal Truth ™” and got this as a reply:

      Knock knock.
      Who´s there?
      It´s Jeses, let me in.
      I have to save you.
      From what?
      From what´ll happen to you if you don´t let me in.


  8. Whatever he has done, whoever he is, I feel nothing but shame for my country who keeps teaching the world about human rights, proclaims that “cruel and unusual punishment” has no place in our judiciary system and yet is about to put a human being to death after keeping him in prison for 30 years. Shame, shame, shame! One of my “ungodly” values is that human life is sacred and shall not be taken. Period.

  9. AMEN! Only a narcissist would take such a stand as this fellow.

  10. The Cosa Nostra has relied on this thinking since its inception in order to carry out the heinous acts it has. This is why I say organized religion is the next best thing to organized crime. There are avenues to “forgive” highly immoral acts and, in some cases (like the extermination of native peoples) acts as the justification.

    I agree with Larry Flynnt (who was also a victim of this man), let him rot in jail for the rest of his natural life and remind him each day of the terrible things he did.

  11. You say “too bad we can’t re-write the Bible…” That’s exactly what kings (King James) & various Popes & ancient scholars did to get us the present day document. They changed things around, left out stuff they did not like, in order to get it to “say” what they wanted it to. They were also trying to translate Greek & Aramaic into their present day languages, and doing a poor job of it. It was also mentioned: “At least Catholics think total absolution is a little too good to be true and believe in purgatory.” Very true, and they also believe in not taking the Bible literally. (Good idea)

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