I am writing to express my opinion on Kathleen Parker’s Sunday column, “Desire for justice doesn’t justify state’s power to kill.” And Monday’s page 1C story, “Fewer juries choose death penalty” by Atlanta Journal Constitution writers Bill Torpy and Bill Rankin.
As for Parker’s distorted concept that the desire for justice does not justify a state’s power to kill, she is deceived big time. She states, “I’m no wimp when it comes to justice and spent the first few decades of my life backstroking in the Old Testament. An eye-for-an-eye was fine by me.”
She goes on to say, “But I have matured and these days wear glibness — and righteousness — like a hair shirt. Satisfaction can never come from the termination of a human life except to protect one’s own and that of one’s own dependants.”
The article does not clue her religious persuasion but from all indications she slept through Old Testament 101. Else how could a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post ignore ancient Hebrew writ contained in Genesis 9:4-6 regarding capital punishment?
What about the reality of a designated person called “revenger of blood” as described in Numbers 35, whose God ordained purpose was to hunt down and put to death the manslayer of a near kin?
Six cities of refuge were designated for those who had taken a life. The avenger or revenger of blood was to hunt and kill the intentional or accidental manslayer if found outside the confines of a refuge city. The governing bodies of these refuge cities were to determine if the persons seeking protection from a revenger was guilty of murder or not.
The intentional or premeditated murderer was to be handed over to the revenger of blood and duly executed by same. The accidental manslayer was not to be released for execution but was protected while within the confines of the refuge city.
Acts 28 contains information that seems to indicate that knowledge of Genesis 9, exacting justice through capital punishment, was universal. Else how could barbarians have known that murderers were not allowed to live?
The Monday AJC article appears to indicate that people are really trying to be civilized and compassionate. This is not true. Opposition to the death penalty or other God given decrees by religious or nonreligious folk is a positive manifestation of a natural man’s hatred for God.
For you Christian people who may or may not agree that the state has power to kill in the name of justice, check out Romans chapter 13. The powers that be are ordained of God. Just to express one’s personal viewpoint on the death penalty is quite different from speaking the truth as revealed in Scripture.
William P. Clark