We are having prayer services today during each theology class in our chapel praying for the repeal of the death penalty in New Hampshire. I know many students disagree with church teaching on this matter and have told me as such. But, I reminded them that Officer Briggs' police partner, John Breckenridge, who was with Briggs the night he was murdered in 2006, opposes the death penalty. I serve with him on the faith committee of the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. I also reminded them that last year Bob Curley, the father of a murder victim, spoke to us last year and how even he opposes the death penalty. This is not all to say that people like Addison should not be punished. On the contrary. But, as I said in my reflection, even God punished Cain of the murder of his brother Abel but also showed him mercy.
For our prayer, we prayed Psalm 85, listened to the gospel passage of the penitent thief, prayed some intentions, and a final prayer. I also offered the following reflection:
Have you ever counted the number of crosses in this school? There is one in every classroom, every office, in Alumni Hall, on our roof, and in the gym. There are over 15 crosses in this chapel alone. Perhaps it’s because there haven’t been widespread crucifixions in over 2,000 years but these are the equivalent of having mini gallows or electric chairs hanging on our walls - with lifeless bodies hanging or strapped in.