Similarly, I remember being shocked that then-Texas Governor George W Bush smirkingly denied clemency for a woman convicted of murder and sitting on death row, who had turned her life around into service and faith. No, "justice must be served" by killing her,rather than recognizing the potential of redemption.
It's a revengeful, elemental view of right and wrong that is willing to put the cross on another's back rather than lift it and share the burden.
An article in Sojourners puts this same divide between those who seek revenge versus reconciliation, and puts it as "bad theology".
For 500 years we have focused our understanding of God and God’s justice as the need for punishment instead of the need for reconciliation, and this has led to a broken framework in our country in regards to justice. When we allow this broken framework to influence the application of justice (as we have) we see criminal acts in terms of “need to punish as justice” instead of “need to restore as justice” (a poor theological understanding that I also feel has led to an evangelical culture of spanking). Yes, there are many criminal acts that require a person to be removed from society for their protection and for ours, but this theological framework has caused us to view “justice served” when a person receives what we feel is an appropriate sentence instead of seeing “justice served” when both the offender and the offended (even if that’s just society in general) have had their lives reconciled (perhaps not with each other, but in a general sense).
Justice becomes punishment, not healing and restoration.
And so, our prisons are overflowing. Why? Because our theological framework has told us that justice can only be satisfied when someone has been properly and fully punished, instead of telling us that justice is most fully satisfied when a life has been restored . The justice we seek in society today all gets traced back to how we view the justice of the cross.WHat do you think?