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The Ashes of Rodney Reed

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  “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The words will be repeated over and over again across Texas tomorrow. Texan after Texan will be reminded of their own mortality. In addition to the introspection, I pray that God will add a little outerspection to Ash Wednesday here in Texas and […]

A Prayer from the Execution of Robert Ladd

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  God. Why? Why do I have to keep coming down here? Why was Robert Ladd born with intellectual disabilities? Why were people murdered? Why are we about to murder Robert Ladd? Why? Do you care? Are you here? Is there a reason why you don’t stop this? Are you addicted to death and suffering? […]

The Execution of Our Conscience

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When the time comes to consecrate communion, most celebrants approach the altar and read from a prepared liturgy. In the moment when Jesus is supposed to be closest to us, I have always felt like the consecration of communion is a time to explain what the incarnation means. Based on Jesus’ promise to inhabit the […]

Dangerous Theology in Houston: Who or what gives you the right to kill?

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* Excerpt from a conversation with a small group on my Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Houston Speaking Tour People often begin their arguments for the death penalty with one simple phrase, “That person committed a crime so heinous they deserve to die.” We must begin our reply with one simple question, “Who […]

Dangerous Theology in Houston: Excerptible Words from Speaking Tour on the Death Penalty

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– Excerpt from address to Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Houston Chapter on Speaking Tour:   Christians have blood on their hands. Here in Texas, our historical theology has made a way for the death penalty. We taught over and over that the wrath of God was not to be satisfied without the […]

A Lesbian is Murdered and Nobody Cares…

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  “Lesbian Murdered.”  What if that was all the news headlines said?  I have a feeling that most of the progressive community would be up in arms and ready to fight.  There would be petitions and rallies demanding action.  We would invoke the name of God and whatever else we could get a hold of […]

Claiming Justice and Killing Jesus: The Execution of Willie Trottie

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  “…I was in prison, and you visited me.”  Jesus doesn’t say, “I was not guilty in prison, and you came to me.”  Jesus binds his flesh with the flesh of those who have no hope.  Willie Trottie is left with little hope.  Tonight, the State of Texas will kill Trottie by lethal injection.  We […]

The Last Testament of Joseph Wood: The Prophet of a Botched Execution

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  “Why have you forsaken me?” is a proper description of what many of us might feel if someone was standing over us about to intentionally inject deadly chemicals into our body.  Joseph Wood spent time talking about his love for Jesus.  How are we to respond when a man who has been convicted of […]

Theology from Death Row Letter 3 / Texas Death Row Inmate Will Speer on The Meaning of Evil

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ARE WE EVIL? I have spent much of my time in prison considering this question.  Different answers seem to come at different times.  I really believe the answer is ultimately NO.  We are not evil people.  We are people who are sinners.  We are prone to do bad things.  Some of these bad things are […]

Don’t You Dare Turn Your Head: The Self-Immolation of The Rev. Charles Moore

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The fiery passion of 79-year-old retired United Methodist pastor The Rev. Charles Moore is raging in my soul right now.  On June 23 around 5:30pm, Moore exited his vehicle in Grand Saline, Texas, doused his body with gasoline and set himself on fire.  After rescue efforts by bystanders, Moore was taken by helicopter to Parkland […]

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