Any civilization protects innocent life, while barbarians rejoice in taking it.
Killing unborn babies should not be legal and it is a stain on our culture. There is no right to vice and no private individual should have the right to kill except in self-defense. Pity those taught by dubious educators with shoddy metaphysics that their child has no right to life. Shame on abortion providers who profit by our bad laws.
Good people of both parties are united in working to peacefully end this decades old barbarism in the law that mocks our commitment to the a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
There is an obvious moral distinction between the taking of the life of a criminal and killing the innocent. One could support the death penalty for criminals as a necessity while supporting the right to life for the unborn and be morally consistent.
Such a politicians should remember, however, that taking guilty life is regrettable and should be avoided when possible while protecting innocent life is essential. The right to life is fundamental, while the right to take life is provisional and should be hedged about with many protections for the individual.
What of those guilty of shedding innocent human blood?
Poor cultures cannot protect themselves from murderers without taking the life of a killer. The death penalty, administered by the state after due process of law, was a Christian solution to this problem. It never was a perfect solution and many Christian nations, such as the Orthodox East, imposed more limits on it over time.
As a society rich enough to imprison wrong-doers the death penalty should be rare in the United States. The Lord Jesus Himself called us to love our enemies, so even in the cases where the state must execute justice no Christian would rejoice in the death of the wicked.
We pray for mercy on their souls as we hope for mercy.
This brings us to Governor Perry and the Texas death penalty.
Credible concerns exist about the death penalty and its application in Texas. Of particular concern are the number of minority executions compared to the rest of the population.
Of equal concern to Christians is the state of prisons in the United States. Whether in blue-state California or red-state Texas prisons are overcrowded and unsafe. A criminal remains a citizen and a human being created in God’s image and should be treated with dignity. The fact that governors of both parties preside over this debacle is an indictment of our political class.
An overreaction to indulgence in the 1960’s has led to a prison system unworthy of a free, let alone a Christian, nation. The care for prisoners is the plain duty of the state and when it does it badly it reflects on us.
The death penalty is, I think, justified in some circumstances, such as when prisoners kill in prison, but it always regrettable. When the audience bursts into applause at the mention of executions at a Republican debate, they had more common with the mob in the Roman arena, than with the martyrs in it.
Governor Perry gave a measured answer supporting the death penalty and since it is legal in his state his answer does not disqualify him from office. However, his answer was emotionally tone deaf to the concerns of many Americans about the use of the death penalty in his state. He should also have expressed horror at a crowd that rejoiced in the taking of blood, even guilty blood.
Governor Perry is a Christian and, I am told, a gentleman. On both counts, he should do better if confronted with this situation next time.
John Mark Reynolds | Sep 13, 2011 9:40 AM