Tuesday, September 01, 2009

WWJ-LoD? After wringing a little more outrage out of the Lockerbie bomber's release, Kathryn J. Lopez is reminded she's a Christian, maybe by a picture of a kitten, and regrets the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. "I'm opposed to the death penalty," she proclaims. National Review readers try to smack her back into compliance by noting Willingham's obscene gesture during execution. "These things, too, do not require the state to end his life," she bravely insists.

Eventually, inevitably, K-Lo does the walkback:
I should note that the debate over facts is not my moral argument against the whole execution business. I think the man shouldn't have been killed, period, with or without the New Yorker. Capital punishment isn't intrinsically evil, there are times when it may be necessary. But those strike me as rare -- if not inconceivable -- instances in the U.S. in 2009.
Not so inconceivable, apprently: She closes by linking an argument in favor of capital punishment from her brother in Christ Ramesh Ponnuru.

Earlier Lopez wrote about "Vigilance in the Defense of Life." She was at that time talking about fetuses. "For Catholics," she wrote, "while other matters are subject to prudential debates, innocent human lives are not."

I can understand the distinction between innocent and non-innocent human life. But it rather vitiates the power of the Jesus card when you start making distinctions based on the laws of Man, or at least the ones you favor.

I honestly don't get much atheistic pleasure out of tweaking the contradictions in the Christian conservative perspective -- excepting the bloodthirsty ravings of Rod Dreher and such like; that's always a treat. But I do think that if you can't go full metal Jesus, you should stop appealing to cardboard cutouts of him as an authority.

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