Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tucker Carlson on Michael Vick

Commentator Tucker Carlson, on Michael Vick:

"I'm a Christian. I've made mistakes myself. I believe firmly in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did it in a heartless and cruel way. And I think personally he should have been executed, but he wasn't."

Wow. Where can I start with how many things are wrong with this statement?

I'm a Christian.
So clearly, whatever is to follow is based upon his understanding of the Christian worldview, that is, of grace.

I've made mistakes myself.
Good start.

I believe firmly in second chances. But...
Obviously not that firmly, since he immediately says "but", to reveal a situation in which he does not agree with second chances.

Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did it in a heartless and cruel way.
Okay. And that is what cancels your 'firmness' of second chances? Carlson is demonstrating the all-too-common "Christian" version of the Law...Judaism 2.0. It is the belief that some sins just need some cleaning ("Hey, I've made mistakes too!") and others are heinous and deserving of greater punishment.

If Vick's cruel killing of dogs does not deserve a second chance--if it deserves execution--then what should we do with Moses, who killed an Egyptian? What should we do with David, who impregnated another man's wife and sent him to his death in battle? What should we do with Paul, who cruelly saw to it that Christians were hunted, imprisoned, and stoned to death? Presumably Carlson would have condemned them all to execution, no? Instead, God chose to make these three men arguably the most influential representatives of Him in the history of mankind.

I think that the Jesus had some things of interest to say here. Things which would imply that, in fact, Vick did not lose his second chances when he did cruel things. See, for example, here.

And I think personally that he should have been executed, but he wasn't.
That is a wholly ungospelic comment. Please see my former post on capital punishment in the New Testament, which was a part of my Christian Ethic for Life series.

In short, the Christian cannot support the death penalty for anything other than murder of another human - and even then, it is with the strict restrictions that he cannot be involved in the process (judge/jury/accuser/executioner/attorney) at all.

And finally, what worldview does Carlson have, which would say that any act of animal cruelty--no matter how heartless--deserves the death of a human? In what possible Christian sense can a man's life and soul be comparable to even a million animals? He flirts with PETA-type territory here.

I don't know much about Carlson, and hope that this is just a slip of the tongue. Had he not invoked our faith, I would not be commenting at all. But the fact that he implies that Christianity somehow supports such a stance deserves at least a little discussion.

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