Most evangelical Christians will usually shy away from discussing hell as a destination for those they think have rejected their beliefs -- or even for those who have embraced what they consider an immoral lifestyle -- lest they be labeled unloving, or worse, fanatical.
But as one of those unapologetic Jesus freaks, I don't think it bothers too many people, other than the infidel-haters, to state that Zacarias Moussaoui can't be cast into the fiery pit fast enough.
Jurors heard closing arguments yesterday in the sentencing phase of the trial of the convicted conspirator in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. The sooner they send him off to a weeping fate of eternally gnashing his teeth, the better.
During testimony this month in his death-penalty trial, Moussaoui emphasized the pride he took from his role in the murder of thousands of Americans that day four-and-a-half years ago.
"Moussaoui calmly and matter-of-factly said that the sobbing Sept. 11 survivors and family members who testified against him were 'disgusting,' that the testimony of one man who crawled out of his burning Pentagon office was 'pathetic' and that executed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was 'the greatest American," the Washington Post reported April 14.
Other exchanges between Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Spencer and Moussaoui:
- Spencer: "You wake up every day to destroy the United States, don't you?" Moussaoui: "To the best of my ability."
- Spencer: "It was your choice to accept a suicide mission from Osama bin Laden." Moussaoui: "It was my pleasure."
- Spencer asked, any regrets? Moussaoui: "There is no regret for justice."
- Spencer asked about the testimony of an Army official who fled his burning Pentagon office. Moussaoui: "It was pathetic. I was regretful that he didn't die."
- Spencer: "You would do it again tomorrow if you could, wouldn't you?" Moussaoui: "Today."
A jury had already found Moussaoui guilty for causing at least one death on Sept. 11, because he lied to federal investigators the month prior when he was arrested for breaking immigration laws. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, an orchestrator of the attacks, testified that Moussaoui was to participate in a second wave of terror afterwards. Moussaoui himself denied involvement in the attacks for years until March 27, when he changed his testimony and said that he and shoe-bombing Richard Reid were supposed to take control of a 5th airplane.
Defense lawyers and prosecutors agreed that there is no evidence to support that Reid was involved in a plot with Moussaoui to also attack that day, but that's about as good as his attorneys could do for him. In yesterday's closing arguments, defense lawyer Gerald Zerkin argued for jurors not to give Moussaoui the satisfaction of getting what he wants -- that is, martyrdom through execution.
"He came to America to die in jihad and you are his last chance," Zerkin told the jury. Instead, he said, they should "confine him to a miserable existence until he dies and give him not the death of a jihadist...but the long slow death of a common criminal."
Zerkin didn't have much else to work with either, saying Moussaoui shouldn't be executed because of his incompetence -- "the only al Qaeda operative inept enough to be captured before 9/11." More capable murderers like Saddam Hussein might have been easier to represent.
Actually, Moussaoui's public defender makes a compelling argument for satisfying everybody directly involved in the case, except for a few pacifist family victims. The convict says he wants to die, and prosecutors want him to die. Let's hope the jury grants them both their wishes.
Sound unbecoming and unloving for a self-described born again Christian? It shouldn't, for God's justice brings Him just as much glory as the bestowal of His mercy:
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:9-10)
The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals, fire and brimstone and a burning wind; This shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness, His countenance beholds the upright. (Psalm 11:5-7)
Some -- even many of my fellow Christians -- might say this fellow deserves a chance at rehabilitation and the mercy that God has offered every man. Well, I love a prison conversion story as much as the next repentant sinner, but in my non-divine judgment, Moussaoui should get no more than his (I hope short) time on death row to come to Jesus. His present temperament tells me that is not likely.
Then strap him in the chair, and off to hell he goes. The defiant bastard has earned it.
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