Daily links, Fri., Sept. 30: Death penalty = bad, Al-Awlaki murder = against the law, hipster Christian = cool

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On this weekly commemoration of the crucifixion (in traditional Catholic piety), the state-imposed death penalty (of which Christ was a victim), is still in the news. David Gibson over at dotCommonweal asks if Justice Scalia should indeed resign after a Roman theologian clarified for the umpteenth time that capital punishment is contrary to Catholic teaching. (No word from Scalia.)

And speaking of death, the assassination/extra-judicial killing of American citizen and radical Muslim cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki gets a challenging rebuff from Mark Gordon at Vox Nova: ""Unless an American citizen is a direct, immediate, and lethal threat to the United States or its citizens, it is manifestly illegal--and certainly immoral--for that citizen to be assassinated by the federal government." Al-Awlaki's murder is a chilling sign of how comfortable we've gotten with breaking the law for the sake of the war on terror. As Gordon points out, Al-Awlaki's crime was giving sermons to encourage people to take up arms against the U.S. If he was preaching in the U.S. his speech may have been protected.

In the land of hipster Christians, Rob Bell is reportedly going to develop a TV series with the creator of Lost with some spiritual dimension; much more interestingly, if you don't know what a hipster Christian is, you can watch this video.