This week Nebraska's legislature overrode its governor's veto of a bill to end the death penalty in Nebraska. Nebraska is the nineteenth US state to ban the death penalty. The editorial board of The New York Times celebrated this decision writing, "But the death penalty has never been about protecting public safety, only exacting hollow vengeance….The Nebraska vote… is an acknowledgment by reasonable people of all political ideologies that capital punishment is an abhorrent and indefensible practice. If that realization can happen in the deep-red heart of America, it can happen anywhere." Mainline Protestant churches, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Orthodox Church in America, and many self-identified evangelicals oppose the death penalty.
Some Christians argue that the inherent dignity of the human person precludes the death penalty; others argue that Christians are called to forgiveness, not vengeance, and that the death penalty attempts to solve vengeance with vengeance. These claims can be easily dismissed by a cursory glance at relevant texts of Scripture and the logical distinction between Christian persons and the office of the magistrate. Indeed, God claims that vengeance is his and that it is the magistrate who he uses to enact that that vengeance upon wrongdoers. For murder, the penalty is unequivocally death (this pronouncement applies to all of creation and pre-dates the Mosaic law).
A more reasonable and conservative position in opposition to the death penalty is taken by Cardinal Dulles in an article in First Things. Dulles notes that both Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition (and indeed essentially all Catholic theologians until about the 1950s) do not oppose the death penalty. He notes that opposition to the death penalty "has gone hand in hand with a decline of faith in eternal life" and that early abolition of the death penalty was usually done over the protests of believers. more >>
A 57-year-old veteran children's entertainer in Princeton, Minnesota, known as "Friendly the Clown," has been accused of raping a mentally impaired woman while telling her that "he was praying for a little girl like her to come around."
Robert J. Jensen was arrested and jailed on May 8 and faces three counts of third-degree criminal sexual assault and three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is currently being held at the Mille Lacs County jail on $100,000 bail, reported the Star Tribune.
In a criminal complaint, the 20-year-old woman, who had moved in with Jensen and his wife last year while recovering from a traumatic brain injury, described him as someone who was "nice to her and gives her rides to her community service job and medical appointments." She claims Jensen assaulted her at least three times. more >>
Hunter Frederick, a Christian public relations expert once rumored to have been hired to help manage the fallout from the sexual abuse allegations surrounding Josh Duggar, star of "19 Kids and Counting," by the Duggar family, says the recent apology from the embattled Christian figure and his parents is not enough to sate the effects of the scandal that has engulfed the family.
"I have no reason to think their apology wasn't sincere, but an apology is one small thing that needs to happen in this very large problem," Frederick told The Christian Post on Thursday.
" The majority of people that are against the Duggars want some kind of legal punishment, which can't happen because of our country's statute of limitations law. That's why this whole thing is very sticky from a crisis management standpoint. He (Josh) has to pay his debt to society back in some form or fashion. Most of the time that's legal action, so how does that happen when he can't be prosecuted?" added Frederick, who is president of Frederick & Associates. more >>
A North Carolina pastor's newborn son died Monday after being delivered by emergency C-section following a car crash on the weekend which also left his 2-year-old son dead.
Pastor Gentry Eddings, wife Hadley and their son Dobbs were traveling home to Charlotte in a caravan on Saturday when the vehicle Hadley and Dobbs were riding in was hit by a truck in Wilmington, according to WCNC.
Hadley, who was 8-months pregnant at the time was rushed to a nearby hospital for an emergency C-Section. Dobbs died in the crash and the newborn only survived two days, according to Forest Hill Church, where Gentry serves as pastor. The couple named the child Reed. more >>
The Islamic State terror group recently released a propaganda article justifying the raping of girls, while boasting that they released some Yazidi women to their "ISIS husbands" after they converted to Islam.
In an ISIS propaganda article titled, "Slave-Girls or Prostitutes?, a woman who goes by the name Umm Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah was quoted as saying, "I swear by Allah, O you who feign to be knowledgeable and shout with falsehoods in every gathering, surely the slave markets will be established against the will of the politically correct.
"Some slave girls in our State are now pregnant," she added, "and some of them have even been set free for Allah's sake and got married in the courts of the Islamic State after becoming Muslims and practicing Islam well." more >>
Islamic State militants have allegedly burned a 20-year-old women alive because she refused to perform what a United Nations official deemed was an "extreme sex act." The same official also disclosed that ISIS is forcing some sex slaves to be prostitutes.
As The Christian Post previously reported, Zainab Bangura, the U.N.'s special representative on sexual crimes in war, recently conducted interviews with displaced ISIS victims in Iraq and Syria, as she toured through five Middle East countries compiling information on ISIS' sex crimes.
Bangura, who also visited Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, recently spoke with the Middle East Eye and provided more shocking details of the horrors that women and children face at the hands of ISIS' systemic sex trafficking operations. more >>