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Settling In At Last: On Capital Punishment

28 March 2009

Once the process begins – rethinking one’s long-held convictions in light of an evolving understanding of Scripture, and of “God” – one cannot wander forever, passing the buck to others.  Eventually one must regain ownership of one’s convictions, settling in, even if it is an incremental process.  Accordingly, there are some convictions that find a new equilibrium before others; these are the easier ones, relatively speaking, or at least the ones in which clarity is most rapidly achieved.  Those more intractable concerns can wait – not forever, mind you – for the dust to settle around the easier ones, for one’s world view to be recalibrated through the new fixed pionts.


It will not win favor among my fellow arch-conservatives for qb to say so – I trust that recent posts have established my conservative bona fides with adequate force – but I have no choice: The death penalty has no place in a civilized society.  There, now qb is on record.


Perhaps it is unfair to state it without some idea of my reasoning.  There is little use in rehearsing all that has been said on the subject; there is nothing new under the sun.  But there is a trump card here, most pithily articulated by Bishop Wright:  

The death penalty is always a partial denial at least of God’s restorative justice.

Yes, unarguably.


One Comment leave one →
  1. 28 March 2009 11:01 pm


    As a reformed archconservative, I commend your wrestling with the Spirit. The death penalty, like abortion, cuts short the future and puts a tear in the human fabric. As John Donne put it, “every man’s death diminishes me.”

    The five years I taught in a maximum security prison taught me that in spades. Solshynitsyn’s “bless you prison” applies to me.

    And now, stay warm and blessings to you!

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