The Execution of God is a disturbing book—and rightly so: any meaningful discussion of the death penalty should be profoundly unsettling. It should cause us to reassess our values and our ethics. It should press us to reevaluate our actions—or inactions—regarding what continues to be one of the most divisive and troubling issues in modern America. The Execution of God succeeds on all these counts, and its potent message lingers, disturbingly, long after the final page.
In The Execution of God, Baptist pastor, theologian, and activist Jeff Hood provides a deeply personal reflection on the death penalty. He recounts the pervasive acceptance (and even glorification) of capital punishment during his fundamentalist Christian upbringing:
Throughout my upbringing, I heard about the death penalty. My family lived in a state that had the death penalty. We went to a church that was for the death penalty. We didn’t really know anybody opposed to the death penalty. Though it might sound strange, I thought that following Jesus included being for the death penalty. Every so often, an upcoming execution would get attention and everybody would start talking about the case until the person was executed. Occasionally slipping in and out conversation, the death penalty was a way of life.
—The Execution of God, p28
Hood goes on to describe his questioning of that de facto dogma, and his eventual transition to undertaking… [Read more…] about The Execution of God