When the members of a church forgive an arsonist, they enjoy
the spiritual benefits of letting go of the desire for vengeance. Each grows
spiritually when he brings himself or herself to forgive. Most likely, though, the
churchgoers’ collective forgiveness will have no moral effect upon the arsonist.
He will still be the dangerous criminal he was before he was forgiven. Therefore,
the law must deal with him, in an effort to prevent more churches
from being burned.
No, I do not think that those convicted of church arson should go free if members of the parish forgive them. They still broke the law and need to be held accountable for their actions and repay their debt to society, despite any forgiveness they may have received from church members.
No, I do not think that those convicted of church arson should go free if members of the church forgive the perpetrator, because the person still needs to be dealt with by society. If the person does not receive some kind of punishment, they will be more likely to reoffend.
I believe those convicted of arson, regardless of what type of building they burn, should be subjected to the same punishments. It does not matter if the church members forgive the perpetrator, he still committed a crime that comes along with a punishment. Churches should never trump the legal system.