Monthly Archives: September 2015

Decent people

I oppose the death penalty for a number of reasons. Andrew Stroehlein, European Media Director of Human Rights Watch, expressed one of the most important reasons in these terms:

You don’t reject the death penalty because the criminals are decent people. You reject the death penalty because you are decent people.

 

 

Our position on the death penalty says as much about us and our characters as it does about the person and the character of the person facing the death penalty.

Brian, the wife of my friend Bruce Reyes-Chow,  was murdered at his place of work in 2008. In the wake of the execution of Kelly Gissendaner and the four executions (Richard Glossip’s execution was stayed until Nov. 6 due to questions about the lethal injection drug that would have been used) scheduled between now and October 7, Bruce shares some “Thoughts on the Death Penalty and Remembering Brian.” He writes in part:

We are that family who has lost a loved one and we do not believe that the death penalty is right, just, or humane. Did the killer of Brian extend the same compassion, justice, or humanity, no. Are there times when rage and sadness manifest themselves into wanting revenge, certainly. But we also know that responding to evil with evil, hate with hate, and murder with murder pays no honor to the person that Brian was or to the world that he hoped we would become.

So for the very reason that so many scream. “Death! Justice! Vengeance!” in honor of the person who has been lost, even in the midst of our own rage, sadness, and our own yearning for retribution, we plead, “Life! Compassion! Dignity!” in honor of the person we lost.

Our position on the death penalty says as much about us and our characters as it does about the person and the character of the person facing the death penalty.

I am honored that Bruce and his family have chosen to be friends with me.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty, Friends

Embracing the Other: Podcast “Love in a Dangerous Time”

My friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim explores the themes of her book, Embracing the Other, in a podcast with Russ Jennings of “Love in a Dangerous Time“

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Kim_Embracing the Other_cov_9780802872999This is my new Podcast Interview about my new book, “Embracing the Other“. 

It is for Russ Jennings’ Podcast, “Love in a Dangerous Time“. Please listen to all the other interesting podcasts on Jennings’ site.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Friends

New Book: Embracing the Other

My friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim has a new book, Embracing the Other. I look forward to reading her reflections on how the Holy Spirit inspires and sustains us to work toward healing, reconciliation, and justice among all people, regardless of race or gender.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Kim_Embracing the Other_cov_9780802872999Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love will be released this Fall 2015 by Eerdmans.

 It is book for the Prophetic Christianity Series.  Co-editors Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Bruce Ellis Benson, Malinda Elizabeth Berry.

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Purple flowers – Morningside Gardens 10

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26 September 2015
Morningside Gardens
Manhattan, New York

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Purple flowers – guest collection #17

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Purple flowers for the International Day of Peace
21 September 2015
Thanks to Jeff Geary

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Purple flowers, U.S. Tennis Center 2

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6 September 2015
U.S. Tennis Center
Flushing, New York

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Purple flowers, U.S. Tennis Center 1

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6 September 2015
U.S. Tennis Center
Flushing, New York

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