Yet one influential religious leader appears to have been unphased by the global uproar over Davis’ death and critical examinations of the death penalty. Mohler argued in a Sept. 22 podcast that the death penalty is actually pro-life in a way, because it is intended to “affirm the value [and] sanctity of every single human life“:
A Southern Baptist seminary president says that according to the Bible, capital punishment is pro-life. “The death penalty is not about retribution,” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a podcast Sept. 22. “It is first of all about underlining the importance of every single human life.”
Mohler, who has a Ph.D. in theology, said in Genesis 9, where capital punishment is mandated for murder, “it is precisely because the taking of one human life by another means that the murderer has effectively, morally and theologically, forfeited his own right to live.” “The death penalty is intended to affirm the value [and] sanctity of every single human life, and thus by the extremity of the penalty to make that visible and apparent to all,” Mohler said.
Mohler is an influential figure in Baptist circles in the United State. As he notes on his website, he is president of the “flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world” and is a board member of the right-wing Focus on the Family. His position on the death penalty stands in stark contrast to that of many other Christian leaders. For example, the Catholic Church, which represents the largest Christian denomination in America, has been generally opposed to the practice since Pope John Paul II declared so in 1995.