Jimmy Carter: Follow Christ’s Teaching, End The Death Penalty
Last Friday, the former President again called for an end to the death penalty in an editorial for the Associated Baptist Press.
Deploring the United States’ “fascination with the death penalty,” Carter listed out what he called “the overwhelming ethical, financial, and religious reasons to abolish the death penalty.” Carter noted that the death penalty has been unsuccessful in deterring violent crime, decimated states’ budgets and been applied unjustly across racial lines.
Chief among Carter’s concerns, however, is how the death penalty violates the teachings of Jesus Christ. He wrote:
Some devout Christians are among the most fervent advocates of the death penalty, contradicting Jesus Christ and misinterpreting Holy Scriptures and numerous examples of mercy. We remember God’s forgiveness of Cain, who killed Abel, and the adulterer King David, who had Bathsheba’s husband killed. Jesus forgave an adulterous woman sentenced to be stoned to death and explained away the “eye for an eye” scripture.
Sadly, Carter stands in a league of his own. He is the only American President in modern history to advocate for the repeal of the death penalty.