It’s been getting lots of buzz today that last night, in a Republican presidential debate (that I did not watch), Rick Perry invoked the crowd to an ovation for…execution! Live blogging the debate, Andrew Sullivan wrote,
9.48 pm. A spontaneous round of applause for executing people! And Perry shows no remorse, not even a tiny smidgen of reflection, especially when we know for certain that he signed the death warrant for an innocent man. Here’s why I find it impossible to be a Republican: any crowd that instantly cheers the execution of 234 individuals is a crowd I want to flee, not join. This is the crowd that believes in torture and executions. Can you imagine the torture that Perry would authorize? Thank God he’s doing so poorly tonight. (via Live-Blogging The Third GOP Debate – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.)
One question that keeps swirling around in my head is, “What about those who burst into applause and also profess a Christian faith?” I can’t speak for other faith traditions, but I would be hard pressed to see where Jesus creates a gray area for this one. Even towards our deepest enemies, we are to show love. In fact, it is in the very act of being different than those who would commit evil in the world that we express the purest form of our faith and our understanding of community.
Like Bruce, I am vehemently anti-death penalty. I also think that our prison system is one of the most broken aspects of our society. But I’m a bit at a loss about what to do about it.