When will religions stop advocating violence?

Christian minister David Bayly seems to give tacit support of killing in the name of religion in the following sermon on the heels of the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller (who was killed at his church).

Bayly said:

* Violence is not always wrong. Killing is not always forbidden. Opposition to abortion does not obligate us to oppose all forms of killing. In saying this I make a biblically defensible statement. God has given the power of the sword to the state so that it may judge and execute judgment. This is true internationally and locally. Condemnation of the vile sin of abortion, the murder of an infant, an innocent, in its mother’s womb is not the same as the death penalty, properly applied.

* Nor do I believe that Dr. Tiller’s killer necessarily acted inappropriately as self-appointed judge, jury and executioner. Like the couple who boldly went into the tent before the congregation at Peor and were immediately killed by Phinehas, Dr. Tiller’s bold practice of the indefensible, his brazen boasting of his practice rendered judge and jury superfluous. He was self-accused and self-convicted.”

During a time when any person dedicated to peace and kindness should have naturally condemned Tiller’s murder, this supposed follower of Jesus Christ chose to say “Well, maybe Tiller got what he deserved.” What a violation of the trust that should be implicit in the relationship between a religious leader and his congregation. So much for “Love thy neighbor.” Replace that with “Feeling lucky, Punk?”

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