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How Does Georgia, an Overwhelmingly Christian State, Justify Murdering Davis?

"Capital Punishment is state-sanctioned lynching. Capital punishment is the exact opposite of civilization." —Father Rob Wright, Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Shame on Georgia.

Today the state of Georgia, an overwhelmingly Christian state, will murder Troy Davis.

Where does Jesus authorize this practice? Where is the outcry from the Christian politicians who visit our churches, mosques and temples each election season to remind us of their commitment to keeping God's word? Where is the prophetic voice of those religious leaders who have the ear of thousands each week?

Capital Punishment is state sanctioned lynching. Capital punishment is the exact opposite of civilization. Capital Punishment is the admission of our immature and barbarous tendencies as a society. While Capital Punishment may be the law in Georgia, it is not justice in Jesus' eyes. We can sincerely grieve with the family of the slain police officer, abhor violence against those who serve and protect us, and at the same time agree that an 'eye for an eye' leaves no one better off.

Vengeance is a false remedy for pain and loss and we know it is no real deterrent for violent crime. With the murder of Troy Davis, Georgia has admitted that Jesus' will and ways are of secondary concern. Shame on Georgia.

May God have mercy on us.

—Rev. Robert Wright, Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Tonya Renee Neal September 21, 2011 at 02:47 PM
The Parole Board knows in their hearts that this man has innocence behind him but it a politcal move with them. Because if the change the decision of the previous decision it will change the next time they are voted into the seats that they now carry. Not only that they would have to admitt publicaly that they made a mistake and the system is wrong. I do hate that a man lost his life but what about them no taking a life to pasify their egos. My question to them what if it was one of their family members on both sides would you knowingly want someone to kill your family member when all new evidence is pointing to the wrong person. Ask the family what if it was the other way around.
Yolande M. Minor September 21, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Rev. Wright and Ms. Neal, I agree with the both of you, totally. How can a family say, "It's justice?" I understand the family members of Mark MacPhail are angry. Also, I believe our God is a Just God. It is not up to man to make a judgement of death upon another man. Furthermore, how can anyone sit and watch someone die for vengence? This is pure hate. This is very disturbing to me and kept me awake most of the night.
Jim September 21, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Do not forget that this is the same state that crucified Max Cleland in order to elect a republican elected. Someday this state will fall into the bowels of hell and no one will miss it.
Bob Adams September 21, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Rev. Wright, I urge you to consider the fact that cherry-picking biblical lessons is standard practice in modern Christianity. It is as easy for people to occasionally ignore the practice of 'turning the other cheek' as it is for them to ignore Deuteronomy 21:20-21: And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Given the bible's history of similarly violent edicts, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that modern christians are fine with killing people who might be criminals, even in the face of enormous doubt.
minister ron richardson September 21, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Rev. Wright is mistaken, for God ordained three offices to represent him on the earth, the family, the church and govt. He gave the govt the right to put to death sentences that break certain laws such as taking another person life. The bible also states to have two or more witnesses, before judgement is passed, but when their is doubt, none can be passed. People say God is one of love which true, but God must judge sin, you can not claim one and deny the other. So in a case of much doubt such as this it is in the best interest of all parties including the officers family that the right person comes to justice, when that is done, then proceed.We have broken the laws of God to many times and we have those who should be but to death for violent crimes against society and making excuses for why they did it. God forgives and excepts repentance, but the sin must be judge. Minister Ron Richardson
Preachers kid September 21, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Man don't know his place. The Most High God is the giver of life not man. God is taker of life. When the death penalty is in play and the life is taken by man and they find out the person was innocent. Man can't resurrect the dead only GOD. To God be the Glory
Yolande M. Minor September 21, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Preacher's Kid, I agree with you totally !!! How old are you? You seem to reflect "infinite" wisdom. Definition: in·fi·nite adjective 1. immeasurably great: an infinite capacity for forgiveness. 2. indefinitely or exceedingly great: infinite sums of money. 3. unlimited or unmeasurable in extent of space, duration of time, etc.: the infinite nature of outer space. 4. unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless: God's infinite mercy. Mathematics . an infinite quantity or magnitude. 5. the boundless regions of space. 6. the Infinite (Being), God. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infinite
Janita Poe September 21, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Thank you all for sharing your views! I love our wonderful community (and visitors/friends) because we all bring our views to the table and share. Here's my 2 cents: Re Bob Adams' comment that "cherry-picking Biblical lessons is standard practice in modern Christianity..." well, I agree. Therefore, as Christians, shouldn't we study the entire Bible and look at the overall message that Jesus brought to this earth? What I've learned from my studies and lessons in church is that Jesus loves all humans and—even in the most egregious cases, he forgave, over and over and over again and then showed us the way to live. Look back at Father Wright's letter. With all due respect to you and Minister Richardson, Father Wright is clearly relating the true message of Christianity.
Tom September 21, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Father Bob apparently hasn't studied the Bible very closely. God has instituted capital punishment in His Word; therefore, it would be presumptuous of us to think that we could institute a higher standard. God has the highest standard of any being; He is perfect. This standard applies not only to us but to Himself. Therefore, He loves to an infinite degree, and He has mercy to an infinite degree. We also see that He has wrath to an infinite degree, and it is all maintained in a perfect balance. God has given government the authority to determine when capital punishment is due (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7). It is unbiblical to claim that God opposes the death penalty in all instances. Christians should never rejoice when the death penalty is employed, but at the same time, Christians should not fight against the government’s right to execute the perpetrators of the most evil of crimes.
Janita Poe September 21, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Tom, were you there?
Todd Duncan September 22, 2011 at 02:00 AM
I really do not know if he is innocent or not. But, god has no place in this no more than Buddha, Thor or Zeus does. If you wanted to go by the bible then he could be executed or he could be granted mercy. The bible is the biggest written contradictory fiction ever written. It has no basis to tell us how to live our lives no more than the Twilight books have to tell us how to live. Here is an idea, think for a little bit. If there is a insurmountable amount of evidence proving his innocence then we as people NEED to make sure he is freed and not killed. But, the same need to be said if the evidence proves he committed the crime. That is why we have courts so WE can judge. We don't gather people in a court and then ask god to speak. If we did that then we would be waiting forever. You people with your religion sicken me. Put the fantasy down and join the rational people that are worried about some fantasy.
james September 22, 2011 at 03:00 AM
I just find it interesting and ironic that a lot of pepole are against this execution on "Christian" grounds but there was little to no hype over the execution on Wednesday of a race based killer in Texas. (and yes I know that Mr. Davis says he is innocent...but so have all the other inmates I have ever met) And there was even elation over the killing of Osama (who reportedly was unarmed and thus his killing could be seen as an execution, a deserving one I may add.) I am not passing judgement in any of these cases or others like it but if it is "wrong" in one case then it is in all cases. There has to be an absolute somewhere or there will be chaos.
stephanie gale September 22, 2011 at 02:04 PM
The difference between Troy Davis and Mr. Brewer is that there was actual DNA evidence linking Mr. Brewer and the other suspects to Mr. Byrd's murder. It is from my research in this case that there was no such evidence linking Mr. Davis to the murder. The fact that new evidence--such as Mr. Davis being willing to submit a polygraph test- was not even admissible, shows that this "Christian" state clearly is anything but. As far as Bin Laden goes, I don't think anyone can fairly compare him with either one of these cases as it is like comparing apples to oranges. I'm weary of trying to distinguish between racial double standards and just regular situational double standards--since we are supposedly "post-racial". I'm not buying it at all. Some believe justice was served and others believe that it was a severe miscarriage of justice. It's like saying the glass is half empty or half full...
David Faulhaber September 22, 2011 at 03:39 PM
As a Christian, I believe that capital punishment is not an evil in and of itself, nor does it violate the "sanctity of life" that we hold to. When we put a person in prison, we take away one of humanities most prized possessions: freedom. The degree of punishment applied to a prisoner is generally metered out in time: 30 days, 10 years, life (with or wihout hope for parole). To me, capital punsihment is a statement that at some point, a person's crimes merit what we see as the ultimate punishment: death. I believe in America as a whole (each State approaches this a bit differently), we are moving away from making executions a public spectacle (protesters and media circuses notwithstanding). We do not condone torturous executions, but seek to carry out the sentance in the most "humane" way possible ( I recognize the irony many readers will find in that word). As for the 'Biblical" position on the subject, I believe there are good arguments for both sides. I do believe that using the term "murder" for the execution of a convicted criminal is an insult to the victims and their families. That is not to say a person excuted for a crime they did not commit is not a travesty of justice. But to me the bottom line is this: there are crimes that are worthy of the ultimate penalty. Under what circumstances we apply that standard of justice is ultimately what we as a society decide.
Michael73501 September 22, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Let's explore the facts... The jury of 7 blacks and 5 whites after a 2 week trial only needed TWO hours to determine Davis' guilt! 34 witnesses were called (not just 9 as irresponsibly repported by so many lib media outlets) to give EYE-witness testimony! Only 2 recanted anything of value. Many that testified were acquaintances of Davis - they knew him! Three witnesses were Air Force servicemen that happened to be there in that Burger King parking lot. And.... ALL of the witnesses were African-Americans !!! After 22 years nothing new has been discovered. Davis, after being chased by Officer MacPhail, turned and shot MacPhail. Davis then walked over to MacPhail, and while standing over him, smiled and shot him to death! Capital Punishment will keep Davis from killing again! This IS justice! Thank you Georgia !!!
Michael73501 September 22, 2011 at 07:21 PM
An open remark to all Christians that haven't harmonized capital punishment with their religion. The basic question is how is capital punishment (CP) justified via the Bible. Whether you approve or disapprove of CP, the following is my Biblical perspective. CP was authorized and used in the Old Testament for a number of sins – including murder. Unless you were of Jewish descent or a proselyte, you never were (and could not be) subject to the authority and laws of the Old Testament – even today. In the New Testament, established through Jesus Christ, CP is written about and authorized through the apostle of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Tim. 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1) known as Paul. In Romans 13:1-7, Paul sets forth some precepts about civil government. Among many things, in verse 4, Paul clearly states that those who do evil should be afraid. Why? Because the government “bears the sword”, and not in vain – meaning for good reason! CP is authorized in the New Testament! All of these people running around and running their mouths that claim CP is not a “Christian” principle are either ignorant of Bible teaching and/or have no conviction for Bible principles! As far as their “Christianity” is concerned, these types need to grow-up or get out! For our society to be a JUST society, we must stand ready to exact the equal penalty from those among us that transgress our laws ! Government has been authorized and established by God to do such!
Janita Poe September 22, 2011 at 08:27 PM
This is the message retweeted all over Twitter today: "Dear Georgia: We don't know if Troy Davis killed a man. Neither do you. But we know you killed Troy Davis."
Leighton September 22, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Georgia is a Perfect kind illustration because All People are made good through the blood of Jesus Christ. Indness and works don't matter. So Melissa Huckabee, Dennis Raider, Brian Randone, Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz and Troy Davis whether or not he is guity doesn't matter are all made good to the Evangleical Inquisition. The Evangelical Inquistion is Reicht. Don't agree with them you go to Hell. Just the way it is. God rewards all Evangelicals with Grace. God sends many evildoers who do go things to Hell. These people have been saved by John 3:16 I look forward to meeting these people and I like the last thing Dennis Raider and Melissa Huckabee said. "I don't expect you to forgive me but I know God will. Jesus Christ is kind As long as you are an Evangleical. Doesn't matter what you do. Just the way it is.
Dianne Jarreau September 22, 2011 at 09:48 PM
1) "ALL of the witnesses were African-Americans !!!" 2) "In Romans 13:1-7, Paul sets forth some precepts about civil government. Michael also mentions there were 34 witnesses. Thus of 34 African-Americans witnesses there at the time, someone or more really had it in for Troy Davis. One of these was mentioned last night in the waiting by numerous journalists and politicians, some of the cloth, who were utterly shocked by the outcome of having awaited for the Supreme Court decision. That one coincides with the necessity of a woman who has had to flee the area because she knows the identity of the killer of MacPhail; a killer who contacted her and threatened her life. At this point, the likelihood of a witness protection program, possibly going beyond the state statutes,may be a probability. This of course doesn't do a thing for Troy Davis. Now let us get back to Paul writing to the Romans. He was at this point relating like a politician for control of the early Christian church, to counter the beloved disciple, John. Both of these men had differing ideas one from the other as to the intention of "the Christ", and particularly so about the numerous women in their congregation who were without support because the Emperor subduing these "Christians" left orphans and widows...
Dianne Jarreau September 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Part 2 ... without support. Many of the disciples hit the road wandering Asia Minor and Eastern Europe. Elaine Pagels of Princeton Seminary, who lost an infant, concentrated her attention writing about the apostle Timothy, every bit as interesting as Doubting Thomas; and then there were The Three Marys who set out from Goa, a Portuguese colony of Christians in India on the seacost by boat; perhaps to visit the retired governor Pontius Pilate at his home in his native Spain. They made it as far as Southern France in any case. re:Michael73501 Again: "Government has been authorized and established by God to do such!: What? capital punishment? Dubious about that. Authorized and established by God were two tablets given to Moses, containing the Ten Commandments and he let the people think about it for Forty years in the desert to give them something to think about. By which time, they even bemoaned having left Egypt. We have courts historically founded by monarchs who broke with the Christian church and were quite unhestitant to damand capital punishment for reasons of their own. Sounds to me that the Supreme Court's decision last night was categorically "reasons of their own". Troy Davis had become just a stand in for the culprit they really want whose legal opinions issue from the White House.
Gloria Poe September 27, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Some Christians believe that the Bible is the only source of revelation for Christians. Therefore, whatever is found in the Bible is to be understood as the eternal revelation and nothing can change. However, most of the mainline denominations also believe that there is something called "continuing revelation" , that God , through the Holy Spirit, continues to reveal his truth and to correct us in our errors of interpretation. Some of what we read in the Bible has been misinterpreted so that after 2,000 years, we have missed the boat on a lot of things. We must continually listen to the Holy Spirit to correct our misunderstanding. Such was the case of slavery. Slavery was mentioned in the Bible and for that reason was defended for centuries, but as the church began to listen to the Holy Spirit on this issue, there came a change in understanding. So it is with capital punishment. The Holy spirit is speaking to us that we have to end this practice, that it is not in keeping with God's plan for mankind. Please read John's gospel for a better understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in Christianity.
Gloria Poe September 27, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Some Christians believe that the Bible is the only source of revelation for Christians. Therefore, whatever is found in the Bible is to be understood as the eternal revelation and nothing can change. However, most of the mainline denominations also believe that there is something called "continuing revelation" , that God , through the Holy Spirit, continues to reveal his truth and to correct us in our errors of interpretation. Some of what we read in the Bible has been misinterpreted so that after 2,000 years, we have missed the boat on a lot of things. We must continually listen to the Holy Spirit to correct our misunderstanding. Such was the case of slavery. Slavery was mentioned in the Bible and for that reason was defended for centuries, but as the church began to listen to the Holy Spirit on this issue, there came a change in understanding. So it is with capital punishment. The Holy spirit is speaking to us that we have to end this practice, that it is not in keeping with God's plan for mankind. Please read John's gospel for a better understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in Christianity.
Gloria Poe September 27, 2011 at 01:31 AM
Please read my response to Minister Richardson.
ADRIAN HARRIS September 27, 2011 at 03:44 AM
HAIL!!!! ha - EL - O - HIM(THE GOD) MOST HIGH!!!! HAIL!! LOVING PEOPLE OF THE BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW SEPIA SPECTRUM!!---HOW DOES GEORGIA DO IT?---THE SAME WAY THIS { PURITAN CHRISTIAN MINISTER} SAID--"ABRAMS POSTERITIE[MUST] KEEP TO THEMSELVES. THEY MAY NOT GIVE IN MARRIAGE TO THE HEATHEN(BLACK PEOPLE), THAT ARE UNCIRCUMCISED....THE BREAKING OF THIS RULE, MAY BREAKE THE NECKE OF ALL SUCCESSE OF THIS VOYAGE, WHEREAS BY KEEPING THE FEARE OF GOD, THE PLANTERS IN SHORTE TIME, BY THE BLESSING OF GOD, MAY GROW INTO A NATION FORMIDABLE TO ALL THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST."----THE {WHITECHAPEL RULE} MADE BY THIS {WHITE CHRISTIAN MINISTER} IN {WHITECHAPEL, ENGLAND} IN {1609}. BEFORE THIS YEAR PEOPLE REFERRED TO EACH OTHER IN TERMS OF NATIONALITY, BY TRIBE, OR BY CULTURE, BUT NOT BY THIS [DEMON VOMIT]. BECAUSE THIS WAS THE {INVENTION} OF THE MORBID, FECALIS, VOMITIS, HELL SPAWN DEMON CALLED {RACISM}. NEVER BEFORE RECORDED ON PLANET EARTH BEFORE THIS DAY, INVENTED BY THIS SO-CALLED-CHRISTIAN MINISTER. NOW, EVEN WORSE, WE SUFFER FROM ITS GOD FOBBIDEN CHILD; {PIGMENT RACISM}. ALL ON PAGES 273-274 OF THE BOOK BEFORE THE MAYFLOWER: A HISTORY OF BLACK AMERICA BY LERONE BENNETT JR., ISBN-978-0-87485-0079. HIS STYLE WAS TO MIX HIS RACES AND HIS METAPHORS. FIGHT ON MY PEOPLE!!
Ceci Haydel October 02, 2011 at 01:11 PM
I am for capital punishment. The gun apparently that Mr. Davis used in an earlier shooting was used to kill the officer.
Yolande M. Minor October 02, 2011 at 03:05 PM
There was no gun found. No evidence. How can one justify killing an man with no evidence?

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