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Of God and Man 

Oregon's decision to nix the death penalty.

I am always amazed by the audacity of a self-proclaimed Christian speaking for God.

You started out on the right track, sir. One of God's Ten Commandments is "Thou Shalt Not Kill." Four words that are difficult to misinterpret. It was not:: "Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless as Punishment for a Capital Crime."

Your statement: "Those committing capital crimes generally committed murder thus justifying relinquishing their own lives" is based on society's laws, not God's. Playing word games with the Bible is a dangerous business in the public square. In myriad ways the Bible informs us that God is the ultimate judge. It also warns against misrepresenting the Scripture to support one's personal interpretations.

Gary Haugen committed monstrous crimes so society must be and will surely be protected from him. Consider this, Winston, it's understandable that Haugen would rather die now than spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement. He will live in a small box. No one to talk to. No comforts. Nothing but same and same again, year after year. That is a far greater punishment, don't you think? And, eventually he will die as the result of God's will, not man's.

And who knows, maybe to pass the time, he'll pick up that one Book and discover a loving God whose capacity for forgiveness knows no bounds. You wouldn't want to get in God's way, would you?

As for Governor Kitzhaber, it seems to me he is being guided by a conscious that, intentionally or not, is in sync with the teachings of Jesus. I consider Oregon to be very fortunate to be led by a man who does not consider killing to be the answer to killing.

- Mac Simon, Bend

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