Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Eric Rudolph Connundrum

This started out as a comment I made in response to La Shawn Barber’s Corner � The Crimes of Eric Rudolph.
I have been pro-death penalty most of my life, however, I have re-examining that. I come from a state where prosecutors seem to think the measure of their worth is the number of death penalty convictions they get. The turning point for me was when the first person to plead "guilty but mentally ill" under a then-new law was sentenced to death. Even more disturbing is the prosecutorial egerness to try 12 year-olds as adults.
Having said that, Eric Rudolph is one of those cases where the death penalty needs to be vigorously persued. Eric Rudolph is no hero. He represents the worst of the excesses of the extremes of the pro-life movement and "Christianity". Why put " Christianity" in quotes? That is easy: there is absolutely nothing Christian about what Rudolph did. When weighed in the balance of scripture in general and the teachings of Christ in particular his actions come up wanting.
I share his distain for abortion on demand, but any agreement Rudolph and I have ends with that. The Christianity Rudolph demands all things to be done "in order", not going off like a loose cannon doing whatever appeals to one at a given time. To commit murder in order to bring about a "culture of life" is nothing more or less than trying to achieve one end by using a mutually exclusive means. An absurdist parody. All he has done is further entrench the current thanatocracy that exists not only here in the US, but the world over.
Furthermore, there are a lot of people in western North Carolina who need to go to prison for a long time for helping Rudolph elude capture. I hope you didn't think I was going to let them off the hook. These people are equally misguided and MORE cowardly (if such were possible) than Rudloph. He committed heinous acts, they applauded him and aided his flight because they regarded him as "one of us".
Having said that, are any of these people beyond redemption? That is not for you and I to say, but it is between them and God.
Does that mean their temporal punishment should be waived? Absolutely not.

No comments: