Many Catholics and others against capital punishment have often suggested life in prison without parole as an alternative for dangerous criminals such as murderers. Some, however, have noted that life without parole is problematic as well. I have had "lifers" write to me about how they are merely warehoused, without any sense of hope or meaning or purpose.
Another incident of police use of deadly force has grabbed national (and international) attention. It happened just outside Saint Louis, the city where my family and I live. To say it’s been a bad week for Ferguson, Missouri, residents is an understatement. Michael Brown is dead, a young man gone before he could start college and begin life as an adult.
Once when I was playing darts with some locals in a tavern, I scored a bull’s-eye, and another player shouted, “Tobias, you’re pure evil!” Immediately tapping my inner Augustine, I responded, “Does evil really exist or is it the absence of good?”
"For God and country,” said the SEAL team commander. But if the God that Augustine had in mind were to shape how we think about war, there wouldn’t be much room to celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Karl Barth once asked a poignant question about capital punishment: “Now that Jesus Christ has been nailed to the cross for the sins of the world, how can we still use the thought of expiation to establish the death penalty?” With that in mind, I eagerly anticipated reading this book by Mark Osler, a professo