Thursday, 22 September 2011

The “Christian" Killing of Troy Davis

At 11:08PM (03:08 GMT), Troy Davis was pronounced dead following his execution by the state of Georgia for the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail.

Despite claims from Amnesty that there “was serious doubts about his guilt", the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency.


The current members of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles that approved the killing of Troy Davis by lethal injection are listed here. The board members biographies include the following quotes:

“He is involved in a local Baptist Church and takes part in many community events and activities.”

“He is an avid supporter of his church and community activities, and serves as a member of several government and civic boards.”
In fact the Hinterland Gazette state that all 5 members of the board are Christians “Who hold the word of God true and close at Heart”.

I would hope that if any UK government agencies where staffed solely with members of a particular religious persuasion, then a few flags of bias concern would be raised. However, I suspect that in the state of Georgia, the fact that the State Board of Pardons and Paroles is exclusively representative of one specific religious viewpoint is no more surprising than the fact that the Georgia Right to Life, anti abortion organisation is also dominated by Christian dogmas.

To a non Christian it may seem rather paradoxical that Christian ideology is both the driving force behind anti abortion and euthanasia organisations as well as common trait in those that appear to support a barbaric death penalty willing to take the life of a fellow human being.

However any perceived paradox is merely a misunderstanding of Christian ideology. Where there is unquestioning faith in an all powerful supernatural being with the ultimate power and divine right to both grant, and ruthlessly take away life, it is inevitable that there will be mortal accomplices willing to assist.





POSTSCRIPT:

In answer to Michael Grayer's excellent comment below the fold...

I have indeed mined the two quotes from the biographies of the 2 board members that include a statement of their Christian faith on their official State Board biographies.  The other three board members do not include a statement of faith in their biographies. There seems however little doubt that all 5 members are practicing Christians as can bee seen from the following links that I apologise for not including in the original post.

L Gale Buckner is "an ctive member of the Holy Creek Baptist Church"

Robert E. Keller is a "Sunday School teacher, choir member and administrative board member of the Jonesboro First United Methodist Church"

and (not quite so conclusive I admit) Albert Murray's background includes the use of faith based programmes for at-risk youths.

I think my original point stands, the killing of Troy Davis was sanctioned by 5 Christians. Of course I would expect most moderate Christians to oppose the death penalty, hence my supposed paradox, however there remains an uncanny correlation (not necessarily a causation) between right wing christian views and the support of the death penalty. I was therefore simply musing that the worshipping of a deity who frequently demonstrates scant regard for human life my influence similar thinking in his followers.



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