One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Michael Gerson wishes death upon people

And I thought that was, you know, not the most Christian thing to do.

Aragorn...dispenser of justice in Northern Uganda

Aragorn...dispenser of justice in Northern Uganda

There is a natural and appropriate hesitance to wish death for any man. “Many that live deserve death,” warned J.R.R. Tolkien. “And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice.” It is a wise saying — with some notable exceptions. And one of those exceptions is Joseph Kony, who has dealt out death to so many.

Well, he did cite J.R.R. Tolkien — who may have been talking about orcs, for all we know — so I guess he’s going on credible authority here. Look, I think Kony is a despicable fellow.  The most despicable of the despicable, in fact.  But I don’t think he is deserving of a summary judgment for execution — nor, as a pundit, do I even presume to have the authority to wade into that moral territory.  I’m not a Christian.  But I don’t believe in the death penalty — as a principle, and least of all as a cute way to end an op-ed.

(image from flickr user under a Creative Commons license)

January 9, 2009 - Posted by | Africa, Conservatives | , , ,


  1. For more on Kony and the LRA, please see my new book on him, First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army available at Amazon, or at my site, and more about the issue at

    Comment by Peter Eichstaedt | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. Not to be the politically lightweight nerd reader, but Tolkein put those words in Gandalf’s mouth, talking about Gollum.

    Comment by Caleb | January 15, 2009 | Reply

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