NT Wright on the death penalty

You can’t reconcile being pro-life on abortion and pro-death on the death penalty. Almost all the early Christian Fathers were opposed to the death penalty, even though it was of course standard practice across the ancient world. As far as they were concerned, their stance went along with the traditional ancient Jewish and Christian belief in life as a gift from God, which is why (for instance) they refused to follow the ubiquitous pagan practice of ‘exposing’ baby girls (i.e. leaving them out for the wolves or for slave-traders to pick up).

Mind you, there is in my view just as illogical a position on the part of those who solidly oppose the death penalty but are very keen on the ‘right’ of a woman (or couple) to kill their conceived but not yet born child…

From where many of us in the UK sit, American politics is hopelessly polarized. All kinds of issues get bundled up into two great heaps. The rest of the world, today and across the centuries, simply doesn’t see things in this horribly oversimplified way…

About kurtkjohnson

Husband to Abbey Johnson, proud father, irregular blogger and occasionally creative. View all posts by kurtkjohnson

One response to “NT Wright on the death penalty

  • Sherry

    Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:6).


    From my website:
    Twice this very week I have heard a challenge to me, a person in favor of the Death Penalty, tell me I must be pro-abortion if I am pro-Death Penalty. How clever. This is supposed to make me, and those of like mind, look like a hypocrit. It doesn’t, though. Instead it has made the liberal opinionators look the fool, and the hypocrits. I said to these two challengers that since they are pro-abortion then they must be pro-death penalty. It swings both ways when you want to use that kind of logic. Both results in the end of a life.

    I have been asked a few times before how it is that I can be pro-life yet be for the death penalty. Simple. One is the death of the most innocent and vulnerable human being whose only “crime” was that he or she was conceived in the womb of one who found him or her inconvenient or unwanted, while the other is just punishment for a guilty heinous murderer who could have cared less for his/her victim. One hasn’t had the chance to live his/her life yet, while the other found perverse pleasure in the taking of an innocent life in a horrific manner. One has had their rights denied having no choice in the matter, the other had a choice and made the wrong one.

    After some thought on this affront to common sense by these two pro-choicers I realized something. They actually admitted that abortion is the same as the carrying out of the Death Penalty. They call the DP murder then say that I should be for abortion rights if I’m for capital punishment. It doesn’t take much brain power to figure out that these liberals just called abortion “murder” by what they compared it to, the death penalty, according to their own definition of it, that it is murder.

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