Good Friday: Crucifixion in the News

The National Review has a piece on the revival of crucifixion, which is apparently enjoying a rush of popularity in ISIS-controlled territory.
Father Robert A. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, based in Grad Rapids, Mich., offered me these reflections on this ghastly phenomenon:
Crucifixion is as barbaric now as it was when the Romans inflicted this form of capital punishment on Jesus. There are several rubs in this for the Christian: Because we hold to a reverence for human life, this must include even the lives of our persecutors. Their lives are also precious — so precious, in fact, that we are obliged to pray for their conversion. Additionally, while each of us is taught to expect such persecution, and even admonished by Christ to take up our own cross and follow him, we see the cross in many forms these days. Of course the most obvious and brutal form, that you identify here, but it also comes in more subtle and sophisticated forms like the Christophobia evident in the secular hostility to letting Christians practice their faith. Still, this reality does not exempt the Christian from seeing the dignity even in their persecutors nor in developing prudent and effective ways to combat the persecution.
Father Sirico takes the high road of forgiveness, as Catholic priests usually do. When ISIS members reach the Pearly Gates, they can beg for mercy. Civilization’s urgent challenge is to get them to stare up at Saint Peter at the earliest possible moment.
It takes all kinds to make a world.


MrSparkle said...

That was one of the most comically bad articles I have read in a long time written by an utter imbecile.

Isn't the National Review a respected paper?

Also props to Fr. Sanctimonious for likening state sanctioned murder to secularism.

Grim said...

I don't know that there is such a thing as a respected right-wing paper. Depending on where you're coming from, it's almost a contradiction in terms.

The National Review is nevertheless an important American conservative journal. It competes with the Weekly Standard for a kind of leadership role in press targeting the American center-right. It was William F. Buckley's journal.

I'm not sure I see what bothers you about this piece. Mostly it's a compilation of reporting on the resurrection of crucifixion (it's Easter week, after all). I'm not sure what you'd expect anyone to say in close to such a piece -- asking a priest for a comment seems as good a tactic as anything. The suggestion that we try to see dignity even in our enemies is a proposition I think quite wise.

E Hines said...

What is it, specifically, that you find objectionable in the article, MrSparkle?

Do you dispute the facts reported? Based on what?

Do you disagree with the opinions offered? We'd be interested in your differing opinion.

Is it that Christians both object to being murdered and are enjoined (and even try) to forgive their butchers? What's your belief?

In what way is the article "comical" or "bad?"

Eric Hines

MrSparkle said...

Yes I thought William F. Buckley was involved with it, I've seen a few interviews of his and he is was an endearing character.

Sorry for posting a throw away comment above, that was stupid of me.

I've no bones with the idea that crucifixion is an ugly thing to do another person, but as Deroy Murdock the author notes we've known about this happening for over a year.

He does not analyse why they do it.

He does not talk about the scale of the practice, explain their 'justice system' or what it is based upon. He largely neglects the alleged incidents themselves, or that they have crucified a number of their own, for instance,

>> Photographs posted on websites showed the body and bloodied head of a bearded man with a placard reading: “Guilty: Abu Adnan al-Anadali. Sentence: execution and three days of crucifixion. Motive: extorting money at checkpoints by accusing drivers of apostasy.”

Where he fails in analysis he makes up in God TV quality proclamation; they're "Islamofacist scum" stupid.

Fantastic insight mate. Why did Graeme Wood of the Atlantic bother writing that awfully long article, or Patrick Cockburn write a whole book! It's not a sectarian proxy war rife with identity politics, and sources of power and authority that are nearly unanimously predatory; there is no complicity of involved nation states, none of ISIL's leaders went through the detention programme at Camp Bucca country club, they are just bad guys, guys. We all need to just metaphorically boot up and kill them all, and their goats, with our flying robots. We'll even have our free enterprise padre shed a (tax deductible) tear for their souls.

He does quote Georgia State University Islamic scholar Abbas Barzegar though,

“It has become a standard feature of fringe Islamist groups to revive these outdated practices in an effort to bring back what they believe is authentic.”

Why would they do that? Nothing to do with our primary ally in the region Saudi Arabia, who also, totally incidentally, conducts the contemporary practices of mass beheadings, stonings, corporal punishment (on bloggers), and even execution for witchcraft and sorcery (I even think they beat ISIL in the Harry Potter category).

Talking about reviving outdated practices he goes on to call for an actual crusade to travel to the Levant and serve them up to God to sort out.

Eric, if we talk about the Christian idea of forgiveness we can use this priest as an example. 'Father Sirico takes the high road of forgiveness, as Catholic priests usually do', a comment meaninglessly unbound in time is this the Romans or the queer pizza miliants he is forgiving? Also how meaningless is it if it is done as some sort of instructed ideological liturgical process, it seems it gains more value the earlier and more masochistically you apply it, so try forgiving the guy hammering nails into your hand as he does it (he isn't repenting, what are you forgiving? It's a meaningless process) and you're on the fasttrack to sainthood. It's utterly perverse to me, the ending of that article revels in the unspoken idea that these heathen evil scum will be rejected entry into paradise and sent to hell to suffer just deserts - i.e. the opposite of forgiveness but torture and torment.

Also truth be told I read his autobiog. before the article and he didn't come across very well;

...Murdock was named the runner-up “Worst Person in the World” on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann after writing an article titled “Three Cheers for Waterboarding,” in which he called waterboarding “something of which every American should be proud.”