The Aftermath (A Slippery Slope)

This past Thursday the State of Tennessee did something it had not done in over nine years. They executed an inmate. What’s strange is that this inmate, along with others on death row, have a lawsuit that is waiting for a ruling from the SCOTUS. The lawsuit is about the “cocktail” of drugs used to end his life. It’s quite possible that he will win the lawsuit posthumously.

On Friday, after the execution, I visited the rest of the guys on death row. We prayed together and talked about what might happen next. Another execution is scheduled for October, and the guy scheduled to die is a good friend of mine. His name is on the lawsuit as well. We are praying for a stay of his execution. 

I know there are differing opinions on the death penalty, but should we not always side on the side of life? More violence will never cure the violence in our society. All more violence does (even state-sponsored violence) is feed our lust for more violence. I am more convinced now then ever that most people who support the death penalty do so more out of vengeance and revenge then they do out of a desire for true justice.

It’s interesting to me (and troubling) that the majority of people who support the death penalty identify themselves as “evangelical Christians” (73% in favor). I wonder why so many don’t use the “slippery slope” argument when it comes to capital punishment. Here is what I mean: When it comes to…

  • …abortions. If you allow abortions for rape or incest that opens the door to allow abortions for down-syndrome babies or babies with other deformities. It’s a slippery slope.
  • …same sex marriages. If you allow marriages between people of the same sex that will open the door for adults to marry children…or animals…or more than one person. It’s a slippery slope.
  • …legalizing marijuana. If you allow marijuana to be legal, what’s next? Cocaine? Heroin? It’s a slippery slope.

You get the idea!

Well, if you allow capital punishment for people who have committed murder, what’s to say you want allow capital punishment for other things? It’s a slippery slope.

You say, “Kevin, you are being unreasonable.”

Oh really!

You do know our country also allows capital punishment for treason as well as murder, don’t you?

In our history we have allowed capital punishment for…

  • …rape (especially if the victim was white and the perpetrator was black).
  • …horse stealing.
  • …being a witch.

And I am sure there were other reasons.

Other countries allow capital punishment for…

  • …adultery.
  • …stealing.
  • …homosexuality.
  • …converting to Christianity.
  • …proselytizing.
  • …speaking out against the government.
  • …being Jewish.

Who’s to say that sometime in the future, a future President (or United States government) will not allow capital punishment to go beyond murder or treason.

You say, “Kevin, that will never happen!”

Have you ever watched an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale?

It’s a fictional story about the United States at some point in the future, but it has some eery similarities to what is going on today, right now.

Or, and this is not a work of fiction, our current President has thrown out the idea of executing drug dealers.

It’s a slipper slope.

About Pastor Kevin

I am a husband, father, pastor, teacher, scuba diver, reader, bike rider, that order.
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