Dated 19th October 2008 14.00 hrs
The life sentence handed down to Anthony Morley, who killed his homosexual lover, then cooked and ate parts of him, has led to a call for the reintroduction of the death penalty for those cases where verdicts are reached on the basis of overwhelming evidence.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:
'Many people might have little regard for Morley's victim, Damian Oldfield. They would point to the violence endemic in the homosexual network, the desire amongst some homosexuals for 'rough trade', and they will say that such a thing was bound to happen. And in truth, this is not the first murder from a homosexual pick-up, and it won't be the last.
'Yet Damian Oldfield, despite the psychological flaws which drove him to seek casual sexual encounters, was a man made in the image of God. That makes the abuse he wreaked on himself worse, but it does not negate the sanctity of his life. The Bible says 'a life for a life' because only the life of the murderer can restore the wrong that has been done when innocent blood is shed.
'Morley openly confessed to his crime, and the evidence of it was overwhelming as well. This was not a run-of-the-mill "beyond reasonable doubt" conviction. In such a case, the need for justice and the requirements of compassion for a victim and his family cry out for Morley to be executed.
'In the Christian understanding, upon which our laws are or should be based, the death penalty was given to mankind for perpetuity under God's covenant with Noah. That covenant was sealed with the sign of the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-13).
'I don't like the idea of putting a man to death any more than the worst humanistically-minded liberal. But the other day I saw a glorious rainbow and it reminded me that God's institution of the nation state and of true justice is still in force. We need to remember that putting a properly-convicted murderer to death is a righteous act, not something to be ashamed of.
'The Bible verse says: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6, AV) and it goes on to explain why: "for in the image of God made He man."
'In the sixties, with the abolition of the death penalty in 1965 and the Abortion Act 1967, Parliament took the death penalty away from the guilty, by the state, where it belongs, and imposed it upon the innocent, in the family, where it does not. Both measures were against public opinion and in opposition to the laws of God.
'Banning abortion coupled with the reintroduction of the death penalty for murderers convicted on overwhelming evidence would send out a signal of the true worth of innocent human life. It would rebound in a more compassionate society, and that is a blessing we need urgently today.'