The moral depravity of politically motivated state killings comes jarringly into relief when we hear the true stories of mistreatment
against murder victims’ families who refuse to support executions. Yet, in some cases, the states’ politicians double-down on moral
bankruptcy by ordering the executions over the Christmas Season between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Make no mistake, this problem of inhumanity and moral bankruptcy is not with the prison staff, officers and administrators. They
have nothing more to do with the signing of a death warrant than you or I do. In fact, I have witnessed the tremendous compassion
and humanity shown by them for the families of the condemned, especially during the Christmas Season. I have witnessed their efforts
to do everything they are allowed to do to ensure that this horrible experience is not more traumatic than it has to be for the
families of the condemned.
It is too easy to make scapegoats of the people whose boots are on the ground. They have no control over the budgets for prison food,
over the budgets for the physical prison conditions or over the rapacious appetite of political ambitions riding the waves of vengeance
and retribution. This is not about them.
This is about our elected politicians who pander vengeance for votes. This is about our elected Christian politicians who skate on
the thin ice of blasphemy by mouthing Christmas platitudes about the Prince of Peace and then smear His remembrance by scheduling
state killings over the Christmas Season.
Several years ago, after too many late-November and early-December days in the death-house on death-watch, I tried to find out why we
schedule Christmas executions. No one in the halls of power would talk to me about it. Finally, one low level functionary in another
state explained that some people think of December executions as a Christmas present for the family of the murder victims.
I immediately brought up the horror for the family of the condemned, a family who has done nothing wrong themselves, and whose future
Christmases for years will be destroyed by the co-mingled memories of tinsel, carols, and Christmas lights with the trauma of the
death-house. The answer: Although that fact is very sad, the family of the murder victim has already had their Christmases ruined.
Really? Are we really extending our misuse of “eye for eye and life for life” to apply to the family of the condemned by destroying
Christmas for Christmas? Where is the alleged support for this in the Bible?
How can any Bible-believing Christian abide this?
And where are the voices of our Christian pastors on this issue?
We are all quite loud in our proclamations that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” And rightfully so.
But where are the equally vociferous objections to the state killings that desecrate the Season that Jesus is the Reason for?
I have a modest proposal for the New Year.
Ban Christmas executions.
Ban all executions between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
That still leaves plenty of days in the rest of year for Christian politicians to pander vengeance for votes.