On April 18 Steve Stephens killed himself after a brief car chase in Pennsylvania. Steve had quickly become known as “the Facebook Killer” for his notorious act of murdering Robert Godwin in Cleveland that he live-streamed on his Facebook page.
A collective sigh of relief that the calamity was over was breathed, then the usual suspects who claim to be Christian jumped in, proclaiming how wonderful it was that he was dead, as it saved taxpayers money and endless years of litigation.
One example I found particularly nauseous was Elbert Guillory’s Facebook rant. I call it a rant because it was irresponsible and counter to the values that Elbert espouses – Love and Christian tenacity in the face of an immoral society:
Apparently, unlike Jesus’, Elbert’s Christianity and Love have a limit?
A Christian is not a Christian if they have limits to their Love.
God does not limit His Love. And He says to love others as He loves us.
God does not have a hierarchy of Love. He does not love some people more than others.
God loves Steve as much as He loves Elbert.
Could we safely convict Steve, by his own words and video, of the crime of murder? Most probably.
Was he insane? I don’t know? If he was, that would have made his conviction a bit more dicey and certainly his execution an improbability, if not legally inconceivable.
God knows our hearts and minds. When a friend of mine killed himself nearly two years ago, I couldn’t fathom the state of mind one has to have to put a shotgun to his own head, let alone someone else’s. Steve killed a man and himself.
What goes on in a man’s heart when he does those things? I hope to never know.
But God knows his heart.
God strictly forbids us from murder in the Fifth Commandment. Whether it is by the hand of a man or the state, it is forbidden. To be a Christian is to follow God’s Laws. Thou shall not murder is one of them. And God forbids us to judge another man’s heart, as well.
Yet Guillory, and countless “Christians” like him, were grateful for Steve murdering himself because it would save time and money, and alleviate them of the guilt of killing him later.
The State killed Jesus, and we are justifiably anguished about that. The state killed a thief right next to Jesus, and Jesus made him a saint, even though the thief knew he was guilty a deserving of the punishment. We Catholics call him Saint Dismas.
Steve knew he was guilty, and punished himself. That is not his prerogative, and I am pretty sure he’s answering for that death as much as the murder he committed a few days earlier. That does not give us the right to judge his heart and, as Elbert does, condemn him to the hottest parts of Hell.
The absolute irony of all of this is that Guillory ends his tirade and flowery “I’m right” soliloquy about the justice of the violence of capital punishment by hypocritically stating that we must outlaw portrayals of violence in the media.
While in the same breath he advocates the state must commit the ultimate act of violence, using media to make his case..
Let us pray for Robert, Steve, Elbert and all the victims of violence. And let’s pray for the perpetrators and government officials. And since, as the Catholic Church teaches in regards to capital punishment, there is no hindrance to permanently incarcerating criminals who would otherwise be a danger to American society, let us pray that mercy and justice meet at the point of sanity and Christian Love, and that no crime shall be answered with another crime but instead adjudicated per the action by men,and the actor by God. Just as abortion does not erase a rape from having occurred, neither does murder erase a murder.
They only bookend and contribute to Elbert’s rightly named Culture of Violence – of which he is evidently a promoter and purveyor.
We are not the Author of Life. It is not ours to take away.