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Weekly Roundup

Here are a few stories from this week that deserve notice:

* The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) this week announced the creation of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Turkey. It is exciting to see the small Baptist community in Turkey taking this step, and the timing is good since the BWA will hold its Annual Gathering this summer in Turkey.

* On Tuesday, Oklahoma decided to execute two inmates to give the nation its first double-execution since Texas in 2000 (sadly treating executions like a two-for-one shopping deal). The planned executions were already controversial due to secrecy surrounding Oklahoma's untested lethal injection drugs (for background see earlier post). Governor Mary Fallin was so bent on executions that she ignored a state Supreme Court ruling. The double execution, however, did not occur since the first execution, of Clayton Lockett, was botched. When the drugs did not work correctly, Lockett's execution was called off (although he later died) and the second one was postponed. Adding lying to the moral failures, Fallin contradicted actual witnesses by claiming Lockett was unconscious during the cruel punishment. Adam Leathers, co-chair of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, summed up the tragic situation well:
Tonight, our state government has acted in sin and violated God's law. ... We will pray for their souls.
Perhaps the botched execution will awaken the moral conscious of more Americans.

* Martin Accad, Director of the Institute of Middle East Studies at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a good piece on "Your Actions Affect Someone Else Somewhere." It is worth reading and reflecting on as we consider more carefully how to live out our faith.

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