June 18, 2014

COMMENTARY: A pastor’s solitary march to end an injustice

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The Rev. Jeff Hood is a self-described "committed activist, visionary writer and radical prophetic voice to a closed society." He's walking across Texas in support of ending the death penalty.

RNS photo by Shane Claiborne

The Rev. Jeff Hood is a self-described "committed activist, visionary writer and radical prophetic voice to a closed society." He's walking across Texas in support of ending the death penalty.

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(RNS) It’s not just liberals anymore, but all sorts of reasonable people (including conservative faith leaders), who are convinced that we can do better than this as a country -- and we must.

  • Anonymous

    Stories from his former church members can be found here: http://www.safespaces.squarespace.com

  • Anonymous

    He isn’t a Southern Baptist pastor. He does not have a congregation, but the one he did have fell apart because of his lack of boundaries, manipulation, and lies. Be careful who you’re giving a platform to.

  • Atheist Max

    I want to be supportive of anyone who wants to stop the death penalty. I don’t care what their argument is: Christian, Jewish, Islam, OR HUMANITARIAN (which is far better).

    But for the record:
    Jesus has NO INTEREST stopping executions:

    “For Hood, opposition to the death penalty is rooted in his faith.
    ‘The death penalty makes us both killers and victims,’ he said.’Only love can heal us.’ ”

    It is time to stop this nonsense of claiming that Jesus has anything to do with this attitude.

    Jesus fully endorsed the death penalty:
    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

    Religion is not a reason to avoid killing people. It is an excuse to do so.
    And it doesn’t help that Christian kids grow up thinking there will be some sort of forgiveness when they do evil actions. There is no forgiveness from a ‘god’ and it only creates irresponsible behavior to think there is!

  • Doc Anthony

    Tell Rev. Hood that I’m fully prepared to call for a moratorium on my state’s official Death Penalty, just as soon as the Murderers, Rapists, and Domestic Abusers Guild (Local No. 2384734), passes a proposed moratorium on THEIR official Death Penalty against helpless women and girls.

    Fair and square, wouldn’t you say?

  • Atheist Max

    @DOC,

    “Fair and square, wouldn’t you say?”

    What happened to “JESUS IS LORD”?
    What happened to your claim that Jesus is our source of morality?
    What happened to your claim that God is real?
    What happened to your claim that Jesus is perfect?
    What happened to you?

    “Forgive not only 7 times but 7 times 70” – Jesus

    Of course Jesus is immoral to demand all that forgiveness! It is nonsense!
    Of course you are correct that these criminals should be either executed or, EVEN BETTER, left in prison for LIFE without ANY parole.

    ADMIT YOU ARE AN ATHEIST.
    You don’t believe in Jesus and YOU KNOW IT!

  • Pitbull friend

    Sadly there have been many people murdered by execution who were innocent of their conviction. There has also been many people convicted of multiple murders who do not receive the death penalty. Finally if you believe in redemption that a man has the God given ability to be redeemed we should as Christians give him that opportunity. It may mean ending the death penalty.

  • Atheist Max

    I like it. Keep them in prison but do not execute.
    Seems like a very humanitarian solution.

    But bringing Jesus into it only destroys the humanity of what you are suggesting.
    Jesus would forgive the killer and let him out of prison.
    That is immoral, disgusting and would only encourage more killing.

    Jesus is the useless part of your argument.

  • It would soothe my heart to end the death penalty, and perhaps, its end would also sooth our nation’s heart, which has been so trammeled by violence.

  • Steven

    Hello Max. You seem to me to have some unusual ideas about Jesus. How have you come to them?

  • Atheist Max

    @Steven,

    The Bible is my source for Jesus. The New Testament and the so called prophecies of the Old Testament.
    The entire enterprise is a blunder.

    Jesus’ inhuman cruelty has no equal.

  • Atheist Max

    “Execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

  • Atheist Max

    @Steven,

    10 Questions Every Christian MUST answer.
    Read it.

    http://godisimaginary.com/video10.htm

  • Jennifer

    Friends, Luke 19:27 is being quoted entirely out of context. These words, “Bring to me those enemies .. execute them …,” are the words of a nobleman, not Jesus, who had hoped to impose his power on a foreign people but was rebuffed. The full NSRV quote is,”‘But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them — bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.'”

  • Atheist Max

    @Jennifer,

    You are incorrect. The Nobleman IS JESUS.

    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    EVERY INTERPRETATION OF LUKE 19
    SAYS THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS.

    Catholic Christ Notes – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS:
    http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=42&c=19

    BIBLE GATEWAY – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS:
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Controversy-Jerusalem

    BIBLE STUDY TOOLS – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/luke/luke-19.html

    MATTHEW HENRY’S COMPLETE COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
    http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/view.cgi?book=lu&chapter=019

    CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
    http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/06/09/what-does-the-parable-of-the-minas-mean/

    CATHOLIC BIBLE HUB – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/19-27.htm

    THE MOST IMPORTANT INTERPRETATION IS THE ONE PROMINENT CHRISTIANS GAVE IT!!!

    Hitler:
    OUR Lord Jesus is A Soldier for God

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”
    -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922

    ANY defense of this disgraceful, immoral
    and pathetic JESUS is 2000 years too late!

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  • Rob

    That line is a story from a parable that is not in any way addressing the death penalty. Your use of that as a way to say Jesus was in favor of killing is like picking the most obscure line from a poem and saying that’s what the poem is about.

    Jesus spoke very clearly about retaliation and violence, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.”

    He also said that anyone who fed someone who was hungry or clothed someone who was naked or visited someone in prison was as good as doing all these things to HIM. (Matthew 25)

    The way you have used the Luke 19 quote is disingenuous at best. Please feel free to reject Jesus and Christianity. But try to reject what’s actually there.