- June 14, 2017
Americans and the death penalty
One of the best-known stories in the Old Testament can be found in 2 Samuel 11-12. It is the story of King David's “affair” with Bathsheba, murder of her husband and the prophet Nathan's confrontation with David. It's amazing how many lessons we could learn and apply to our religious-political environment today.
Could you imagine an "evangelical" figure today confronting the president as Nathan did? It would have been simple for David to order Nathan to be executed. How many other prophets knew of David's sin and remained silent?
Unlike many of today's political figures, David still had a shred of a moral compass as he was outraged at the parable of the rich man taking everything from the poor man. When Nathan told David that famous line, "Thou art the man," David could have said it was only "locker room talk" or "it was the fault of the media or my political opponents.” Instead, he took the full blame—in of the first versions of "The buck stops here."
A lot of people try to use the Bible to justify the death penalty. I can think of few people in the Bible who deserved the death penalty more than King David. This would have been an ideal time for God to endorse capital punishment, yet God spared David's life.
Do Americans know more than God about keeping the death penalty, even after 120 civilized nations have abolished it?
June is known in many places around the world as "gay pride month." I find it interesting that people will celebrate homosexuality when you consider the fact other sins like adultery, lying, stealing, wife-beating and murder don't have its "pride parades."
I mean, if you're going to celebrate sin, you might as well celebrate all sin. Or better yet, don't celebrate sin at all.
Boggle the mind
In review of your May 24 editorial, “Christians, it’s time to knit safety nets,” on Trump's budget, which would reduce assistance by $1 trillion over a 10-year span, and the church's responsibility to provide assistance, I agree with your suggestion that the church needs to step up to be the hands and feet of our Lord.
That said, the magnitude of real poverty colliding with a $21 trillion deficit should boggle the mind. Church budgets are a mere drop in a thimble in its ability to evangelize, cool and heat church buildings, pay off or pay down debt, pay the ministers and their families, and provide to the Cooperative Program the necessities of supporting missionaries and growing of churches in the denomination.
However, if we agree God is in control, and he directs the course of our nation, then as Christians, let us pray to serve him and be an influence for good. I do still believe we are a nation by the people and for the people. Churches are salt and light to those hurting, and provide great things to help people in need.
But as citizens, our influence on the government shouldn't be vacated to the loudest voice in the room. If you don't agree with a cut, then find a way to help fix the problem.
Actions produce consequences
Regarding “CBF leaders defend pastor/judge who protested death penalty,” there seems to be some confusion.
Judge/Pastor Wendell Griffen has the right to voice his opposition to the death penalty and to join protests against it, just as prosecutors have the right to ask for the removal of that judge in ruling on the death penalty.
How many pro-choice advocates and their attorneys would not protest a judge hearing their abortion case when that judge was a known to be anti-abortion and had joined anti-abortion protests?
Griffen had to be removed and will, properly, appear before a judicial disciplinary commission.
People have free speech to say almost anything, which does not mean there are no consequences. You can say at the annual company dinner that you hate your boss and find her husband to be the ugliest person on earth. A judge can say he thinks rapists should always go free. Rest assured, there will be consequences.
Judges have considerable responsibility for how they act and what they say in circumstances that may pertain to cases that may or do end up before them.
Not only should we demand that judges be impartial with their opinions, but also judges, at the very least, should make sure that they do not show clear, obvious bias in matters that may and do appear before that judge.
To this, a rational Judge Griffen should say, “This is how democracy works.”
I hope he and his supporters understand that.