The Des Moines Register
Thursday, January 22, 1998, Page 10A

An exemption for Christians?

        Regarding Cal Thomas' column ("Death Penalty Validates Value of Life ..." Jan. 19): I'm always amazed at people like Thomas who think that cold-blooded, premeditated murder (when sanctioned by the state) validates the value of life.
        If there's one message the dealth penalty sends to the public, it's the message that it's OK to take a human life.  Executions do not bring victims back to life; they simply add another tragedy to an already tragic situation.
        Certainly, Thomas has a valid opinion in pointing out the inconsistency of sparing only those who profess to be "born again" Christians.  Having courts and other public officials decide who is religious and who is not is extremely repugnant to me personally, if not an outright violation of the First Amendment to the Constition.
        However, for Thomas to suggest that we should allow capital punishment as long as we allow abortions is to say that two wrongs somehow make a right.  Thomas should be ashamed of using such low level arguments.

-- Carl E. Olsen,
1116 E. Seneca Ave., Des Moines.