A brief news article from Breitbart the other day featured a headline saying “Iran insists executing children is not a human rights violation.” It is a short article, and mostly pulls quotes from someone whose title is the dystopian United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A takeaway from the headline, and a subsequent reading of the myriad comments below, suggests that Iran is supposed to be painted in a bad light, particularly when considering the shady and immoral dealings Obama and Biden love making with the murderous, totalitarian regime.
While my own visceral reaction was to think “yikes, Iran offs young people,” it soon morphed into a few questions. Is it ever morally acceptable to execute minors? What constitutes a minor? Doesn’t the United Nations condone abortion? If so, how is this different?
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Let’s tackle those one at a time.
Question #1: What constitutes a minor?
In the United States, we are often led to believe that 18 is the demarcation between child and adult. It is arbitrary, no doubt. That is the age when one is eligible to vote, enlist in the military, legally marry, or when just males (looking at you, feminists) are required to sign up for the Selective Service. Of course, 16 is the age of legal driving, while 21 is the age of drinking and buying a handgun. In the sense of judicial process, 18 also marks the distinction between juvenile and adult sentencing guidelines. Of course, 30-year-olds still live in their parents’ basement, eat cereal, wear pajamas all day, and play video games, so the concept of adulthood is murky at best.
Regardless, the world does not revolve around American concepts of adulthood. Iran, for example, follows a strict reading of Islamic teachings. Based on both several verses from the Quran and cultural norms, puberty is often cited as a baseline for transition to adulthood. In many respects, it is not uncommon to view the age of adulthood as 15, including Iran. Wikipedia calls it the “age of majority” and notes that Iran has the youngest age in the entire world. This is not a unique concept; Judaism follows similar logic with its bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs at the age of 13, although Israel’s legal ages do not comport with the religious views.
Not entirely unrelated, it seems worth pointing out that the age of consent in Nigeria is just 11 years old. In other words, old enough to take away a life but not old enough to have yours taken away? That doesn’t seem right. Not to be outdone, though, California passed a bill that legally allows for gay adult men to sodomize minors so long as the person doing the sodomizing is not more than ten years older than the person being sodomized. So there’s that.
All of this is a pithy way of noting that various cultures view adulthood very differently.
Question #2: Is it ever morally acceptable to exact capital punishment on minors?
The Bible does not mince words when it comes to capital punishment. In the interest of space and time, rather than place them in the article, a link to a separate page will suffice. Surely, given the size, scope, and contradictory notions that often appear in the Bible, there are likely passages condemning the execution of severe sinners somewhere, though the biblical stance nevertheless seems pretty decided. At the root of capital punishment is the idea of maintaining and exalting the value of human life. If a good man can be killed by a bad man, and only the good man’s life is truly ended, what does that say about a society that allows good to perish and evil to go unpunished? American concepts of restorative justice are based on ignorant notions of kindness and rehabilitation, however they are not rooted in valuing human life or moral decency.
I would guess that young people get a reprieve of sorts from God, but does that mean young people have a cart blanche for murder, rape, and other atrocious acts of barbarity? I have a hard time believing that.
Question #3: Does the United Nations condone abortion?
It does more than condone it; The United Nations wants to bring abortion to every corner of the globe. It wants the proliferation of abortion. A recent article from the Federalist lays out the agenda for reproductive health in poor countries: If there isn’t enough food to go around, then it’s best to just murder the fetus before it has a chance to starve. Apparently, the U.N. doesn’t concern itself with concepts like abstinence, family planning, contraceptives, or personal responsibility. What are we supposed to believe after Joe Biden said “poor kids are just as smart as white kids.” Based on Biden’s logic, shouldn’t women around the world be able to determine if they aren’t prepared to raise another kid?
However, abortion goes far beyond just a tool to allocate limited rations. In 2019, the United Nations declared abortion a human right. Language in the General Comment No. 36, global fools dictated that:
“Although States parties may adopt measures designed to regulate voluntary terminations… restrictions on the ability of women or girls to seek abortion must not, inter alia, jeopardize their lives, subject them to physical or mental pain or suffering.”
This is the same United Nations that condemned America for being systemically racist against blacks while at the same time included countries like China, North Korea, Cuba, and African countries with death penalites for homosexuality on its Human Rights Council. Good job, United Nations.
Question #4: If the U.N. supports abortion, how can they be outraged over the execution of minors in Iran?
This last one is the real question and the height of hypocritical insanity. To observe the left lacks moral guidance and self-awareness is to observe that water is wet. Based on moral codes of leftism, it is perfectly fine to dismember and otherwise murder an innocent, unborn human being because it is an inconvenience on the part of a woman, but it is an outrage to condemn to death a pre-adult simply on the grounds that legally-defined “minors” are not responsible for the commission of heinous crimes. Their worldview is entirely backwards.
Let me clear up how morality works: The unborn are innocent by default. They have committed no crimes nor any evil. By comparison, human beings have free will and often use their autonomy for destructive purposes. Many do commit crimes and evil. The former group deserves compassion because they have done nothing wrong whereas the latter group should face consequences commensurate with their actions. Is that so hard to understand?
Instead, the High Commissioner on Human rights is quoted in the Breibart article as saying (among other things):
“The executions of these two child offenders are absolutely prohibited under international human rights law…Numerous United Nations bodies and experts have made it clear time and time again that the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18 at the time of the offence is strictly prohibited [sic]…This is both regrettable and, given the clear illegality of these actions, reprehensible.”
Just to be clear, Iran executed 17-year-olds, not kindergarteners.
Rather than be perturbed by Iran’s actions – and I can’t believe I am agreeing with Ayatollahs – we should be receptive to modeling our own justice system after them. We need not mete out capital punishment as if slopping food on a cafeteria tray, however the morally correct action, both in deterrance of crime and in its punishment, is to accept that life is only as valuable as the form in which we respond to its theft.
One’s age might forgive a sin, trespass, or transgression, but a morally defective compass at the age of 15 will likely not improve at the age of 25. In Washington, D.C., two young black girls killed an Uber driver when they attempted to carjack him. After running him over and as he lay dying, their only concern was a dropped cell phone. For these actions, a craven judge gave them a mere warning. Is it so awful to think they deserve life in prison or a state-sanctioned execution? Is the Pakistani’s life worth so little as to let these animals continue enjoying their own?
This story of subhuman behavior is not uncommon. I challenge anyone to read the story of a 13-month-old baby being murdered by a 14-year-old and 17-year-old and come away thinking capital punishment is off the table for supposed minors. What if it was your infant shot point blank in the face? For me, lethal injection is too compassionate. Bring in the aircraft artillery.
Years ago, there was a book series called Left Behind. In them, the antagonist (really, the antiChrist) is based out of the United Nations. Does it seem impossible? Much like with Orwell’s writing, it’s scary when fiction becomes reality.