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:It takes all kinds to make a world.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.
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.
By Grim on Friday, April 03, 2015