Despite the flimsy evidence that led to the death of Troy Davis earlier this week, Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wants everyone to know he still supports the death penalty. But how does he justify capital punishment with Biblical values?
“The death penalty is not about retribution,” [Mohler said] in a podcast Sept. 22. “It is first of all about underlining the importance of every single human life.”
Mohler, who has a Ph.D. in theology, said in Genesis 9, where capital punishment is mandated for murder, “it is precisely because the taking of one human life by another means that the murderer has effectively, morally and theologically, forfeited his own right to live.” “The death penalty is intended to affirm the value [and] sanctity of every single human life, and thus by the extremity of the penalty to make that visible and apparent to all,” Mohler said.
Right… so, in his logic, we punish only the worst criminals, the ones who take innocent life, so killing the killers is a way to show that we respect human life. Never mind the fact that the system is fucked up to begin with and the evidence against the criminals isn’t always as rock solid as some lawyers would have you believe.
Remember Mohler’s statement the next time a Christian says Old Testament laws no longer apply because of Jesus. (It’s not the first time Mohler’s made comments about this issue, either.)
Comment of the day goes to Desmond Ravenstone at Think Progress:
Update: After declaring that the death penalty “affirm[s] the value [and] sanctity of every single human life,” Southern Baptist theologian Albert Mohler piously explained how war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.
It’s amazing how these people can talk on and on about their belief in forgiveness and grace… while simultaneously supporting wars, guns, and death. We don’t need to resort to the death penalty to show how much we appreciate life. If the evidence is there, lock the criminal up for life with no possibility of parole. We don’t need to resort to barbaric punishments to make a point.
For what it’s worth, not all Christians support the death penalty, but let’s see them speaking out against it — I’m sure they can find ample support in their holy book to justify abolishing it.
(By the way, if you haven’t heard it yet, go listen to George Carlin’s “Back in Town” album.)