Charlie Starkweather: Depravity, Dystopia, And The Death Penalty In The Heart Of America

Charlie Starkweather: Depravity, Dystopia, And The Death Penalty In The Heart Of America

On this date in 1959 the state of Nebraska executed the death sentence upon Charles Starkweather, an admitted, notorious spree killer and mass murderer. Certainly, when “Charlie” (as he was known) was captured after a shootout in Douglas, Wyoming there was little doubt and by the end of his trial it was certain that he had committed a shocking and brutal series of murders in and around what was then a sleepy college town and state capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska. The only real question that remained through the trial, which persists to this day, is whether Caril Ann Fugate, whose family Charlie murdered, accompanied him willingly during his spree, whether she cooperated in or even committed some of the murders, or whether she was a hostage (as she later claimed) and suffered from Stockholm Syndrome.

On Samuel, Social Justice, And The Prophetic Office Of The Church (2)

On Samuel, Social Justice, And The Prophetic Office Of The Church (2)

In the first part of this two-part series, I sketched some of the background to explain how and why, in our late-modern period, it seems plausible to so many to regard the institutional church as an agent for social change. On the face of the New Testament, this would...
On Samuel, Social Justice, And The Prophetic Office Of The Church (1)

On Samuel, Social Justice, And The Prophetic Office Of The Church (1)

It is not difficult to find calls for the church to be “prophetic” especially toward the end of “social justice.” Of course we should favor social justice since nature and Scripture (e.g., Rom 13:1–7) both teach us that it is the function of the civil magistrate to...
The Blessedness Of The Margins

The Blessedness Of The Margins

The margins of a screen or a piece of notebook paper are the spaces between the very edge and the area where we are allowed to write. There are also social and cultural margins. Some institutions in society are right in the middle of things. The visible church used to...
So You Say You Want A Revolution?

So You Say You Want A Revolution?

Judging by what one sees in the media, Americans seem to be at war with one another. Political violence seems to be a rising problem. We are not yet witnessing the sorts of bombings and mass protests that marked