Sharletta’s story of forgiveness and extensive work to offer the opportunity for restitution and restoration for offenders is awe-inspiring. It’s an example of what it looks like to no longer learn how to make war. It’s what we’re called to do when we choose to carry a plow instead of a gun.
We need a broader moral reckoning on capital punishment—in the Bible belt, in particular. In a recent forum, we zeroed in on the challenge of problematic theology, which in Shane’s words has turned the Bible Belt into a “Death Belt,” giving moral cover to a lethal human rights violation. Southern states where Christianity predominates are the ones holding fast to the death penalty and using it most often. Last month four executions were scheduled—two in Texas and one each in Tennessee in South Carolina—during a season where Christians everywhere celebrated resurrection.
We have work to do to continue to "break the silence." As our world is increasingly plagued by violence — not just in Ukraine but also in the streets of America — we must continue King’s legacy of nonviolence. We, too, must keep breaking the silence.
We are up against some fierce principalities and powers – the triplet evils of racism, materialism, and militarism are as alive and well as they were 55 years ago. But the love of God is the strongest force in the world. Nothing is more powerful than God’s love.
May these paintings open our hearts up to the profound depth of God's love, and may they stir in us a passion for extending that love and grace to others. It is our hope that contemplating the execution of Jesus does something to us, in us. We pray that as we reflect on the love of God, it transforms us into people who are merciful and who are committed to ending the death penalty.
Last month, we lost a giant in the movement for a better world – Steve Schapiro. Some of you may not know him because he was usually behind a camera, capturing some of the iconic images of social changes from the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-war movement of the 60s right up until last year.
On Thursday (Dec. 9), Oklahoma executed Bigler “Buddy” Stouffer, a 79-year-old deeply committed Christian who has maintained his innocence since being convicted of murder in 1985. It was the last execution sche...