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Jeff the Baptist, vol. 1, #6 Feedback & Comments

Bitter Tears


A little tidbit to follow up the last column. Anthony Parker was just freed from death row in Illinois after a Northwestern U professor and three students proved that he was not guilty of the crime he was to be sent to his death for. He spent sixteen years on death row.

It gets worse: the university Sherlock and his team of amateurs neither discovered any new evidence, nor brought in any new witnesses. All they did was work down the same list of witnesses that the prosecutor's office had had. They simply came up with an incredibly different verdict. Along the way, they learned the identity of the real killer who, when confronted, confessed.

Anthony makes the seventy-fifth person freed from death row since we reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Not that I'm counting or anything….

Also a nod to the reader who pointed out that a great source of a lot of violence in our culture may very well be the Bible itself. Very good point. What do we do with these passages? I mean, it's great to talk about the Exodus, but we should include Joshua's sweeping military strikes into the land of milk and honey, too. Makes a great story if you were one of the Israelites, but what if you were one of the Canaanites?

Well, more on this another time, but perhaps it is time to leave those passages aside. Oh, I know, we're talking about the Bible here. But, hey, it's just a book. Okay, it's more than that: it's a splendid record of the development of humankind's relationship with God. But, that development continues. The story doesn't end with the New Testament.

We have evolved as a species to the point where we now question the wisdom of using violence to resolve our differences; hopefully, someday we shall evolve to the point where we definitely reject it as an option. Along with that development, we shall have to set aside the old tools and develop new ones to take their place.

 

- Jeff the Baptist

 

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