Yesterday, The Washington Post published a Reuters story about how Texas is about to "hit the grim total of 400 executions this month," which puts it far, far ahead of other states that reinstituted the death penalty after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on capital punishment 31 years ago. But the way the story was written -- with an emphasis on how much religion has to do with Texas' love affair with the death penalty -- has troubled at least one writer at Christianity Today.
Among those quoted in the Reuters story is Matthew Wilson, a political science prof at SMU, who says, "A lot of evangelical Protestants not only believe that capital punishment is permissible but that it is demanded by God. And they see sanction for that in the Old Testament especially." Not so much, insists David Neff:
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"Evangelicals who support capital punishment do not use the Old Testament as their primary source of justification. If you ask almost any evangelical in the pew if they think that Sabbath-breaking or homosexuality should be a capital crime, they would shudder in horror at the thought."