Gaddafi goes to meet Allah
Earlier this year His Grace expounded why we must send Gaddafi the way of Saddam. Not all agreed, of course. There remains a certain disquiet among Christians on the matter of capital punishment, for our God is one of love and forgiveness, and life is a sacred gift. There are those today who object to this apparent 'summary execution', bemoaning the lack of justice and a fair trial. Doubtless Gaddafi would have been found guilty, and enlightened Christians would then have demanded his incarceration for a very long time. A few Scots would eventually have granted parole on compassionate grounds. He does look a bit ill, after all.
To those who object to Gaddafi's execution or the manner of it, His Grace urges you to save us your sanctimony. There are those who say there should be no rejoicing in the death of any man. Well, put yourselves in the shoes of those who have lived under the brutal dictatorships of the modern era - Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Ceausescu, Saddam - and ask by what moral standard you judge the oppressed and persecuted? As you read your newspapers over coffee and lounge in the comfort of your cosy armchairs, reflect on the undeniable fact that some people are just evil. And when the sum total of the suffering they inflict reaches beyond endurance, those who have suffered will feel wholly justified in taking up the sword. Of course, they might themselves then die by the sword, but that is their choice. When the state ceases to bear the sword and justice is no longer seen to be done, judgement will fall somehow from the anarchic baseness of human nature.
We are told time and again that ‘the British Government does not support the use of the death penalty'. But when it comes to tyrannical Muslims, HM Government seems to care a little less. Every public opinion survey suggests that a significant majority of the electorate does favour capital punishment, particularly for certain types of murder. And especially if they're in a foreign land. David Cameron hailed Gaddafi's death as a step towards a 'strong and democratic future' for the people of Libya. Speaking in Downing Street, he said he was proud of the role Britain had played in Nato airstrikes to protect Libyan civilians after the uprising against Gaddafi's rule began in February. And the Prime Minister is on the record as saying:
[I]f someone murdered one of my children then emotionally, obviously I would want to kill them. How could you not? But there have been too many cases of things going wrong, of the wrong people being executed, of evidence coming to light after the execution, and sometimes there is just too much of an element of doubt. And I just don't honestly think that in a civilised society like ours that you can have the death penalty any more.His opening sentence is interesting, for it is concerned with that very heated passion which caused Jesus to tell Simon Peter to put away his sword. It is not for David Cameron to kill anyone: it is for a court of law to weigh the evidence dispassionately, determine guilt or innocence, and dispense justice. But what happens when the courts are corrupt and passions abound?
To God, our three-score-years-and-ten are but a blink of the eye: He deals with eternity. Yes, life is sacred, but it is not inviolable, for that is idolatry. The man who murders that which is made in the image of God has violated that which is sanctified, and there is a just penalty for that violation. Yes, of course things go wrong in the administration of justice, but that is not an argument for ceasing to administer justly: it is an argument for improving and constantly reforming our evidence-gathering processes in order that justice may be better administered. And God is the ultimate judge: vengeance and vindication are His.
Today, Muammar Gaddafi stands before his Maker. He will have discovered by now that Allah isn't quite what he believed him to be, and that divine justice is inescapable. Those who waved their guns and rejoiced with cries of 'Allahu Akbar' ushered their former leader into the presence not of Allah the most merciful, but before the Throne of Judgement of the One True God. There will be no lakes of wine; no endless stream of virgins; no pat on the back from his inspirational prophet; no utterance from Allah of ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (in Arabic, of course). No, the wages of sin is death. And because Gaddafi has committed one or two sins of some considerable magnitude, was quite unrepentant, and did not accept Christ as his Lord and Saviour, His Grace suspects that things might be a little warm for Muammar today. His lake of wine will be a lake of fire: his tongue will burn and his thirst will never be quenched. The only virgins he’ll meet will be the worm variety, for the pit of Hell is a place of decomposition and destruction; of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Muammar Gaddafi has gone to the place prepared for the devil and his angels, where the beast and the false prophet will be, to be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
And to those who do not agree with His Grace’s rather literalist understanding of the afterlife, he does not care: he feels better for having conveyed a sense of what it must be to fall into the hands of the living God, without the hope of the salvation of Christ. There is no obituary to write for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi other than 'good riddance’. He has reaped simply what he sowed. Justice has been done. The world is all the better for his passing.