"Vengeance is mine," saith Arnold
Last night, in the most secretive part of the nighttime, Stanley "Tookie" Williams was put to death in California. He was the cofounder of the Crips street gang and was convicted of murdering four people. Since then he had become a leading advocate against gang violence. He had written books advocating for kids to steer clear of gangs and had been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace prize. But that is all over now. He was put to death last night.
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/World/2005/12/13/1351396.html (The pope does something right, finally).
I guess I am curious of thoughts in the midwest (or elsewhere) on the death penalty. Is this justice? Can Christians participate in the killing of criminals?
I guess I am surprised that more Christians didn't stand up to the state in this case, a man who was working out his redemption by trying to right some past wrongs. Is there no room for reform in our system? The man was an advocate against gang violence, and yet this seemed to be ignored--especially by "the Terminator." What I am not surprised at is that once again our governmental system showed its true colors. We do not live in a democracy when the opinion of one Arnold S. overrides a petition of over 50,000 signatures and many more voices. THAT does not surprise me. But the fact that the church was silent once again, especially in a case of killing a man who was working on redemption, does. Maybe I just need to lower my expectations.
Can Christians support the death penalty? Is this our sense of justice or is a just punishment something else for us? Where does redemption fit into this schema for the church? Does the church always hold out hope for a transformed life, and thus abstain from putting anyone to death? Just some food for thought.
"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you executed me..."