I'll try not to spoil it for those of you who didn't see it (awesome episode BTW, one of their best I thought). Meredith is asked by a death row prisoner to attend his execution. "It would be nice to have a friendly face in the crowd." he says.
I think if a prisoner asked me to do that I would go. As Helen Prejean has often said of the prisoners she has seen executed, "I will be the face of Jesus for you."
I also wouldn't go to an execution of someone who victimized me or my family I think. I would also do what I could to show him or her compassion. In other words, I don't think I'd seek revenge in any instance where I or my family or friends had been victimized.
With regards to capital punishment a good friend explained how he felt about this to a death penalty supporter very simply:
"I think if someone killed my mother I have no doubt that I'd want to kill him. I also think because of that instinct the government should stop me from doing it."
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.