Asking where religious communities stand on capital punishment is not a simple question.
But in the wake of the death sentence handed down Friday for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, give the Boston Globe credit for recognizing the news value in that question.
The Globe's compelling lede captures the emotional nature of the faithful's reactions:
They are torn.
The congregation at St. Ann Church where the family of Martin Richard attends Mass is struggling with a federal jury’s decision Friday to sentence Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.
“You don’t want to see another life gone, but when you know the family, you’re sad,” said Kathy Costello, 54, a member of the Dorchester church and a teacher at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, where Martin went to school.
The video showed he placed the bomb very close to the Richard family, she noted. “We’re torn.”
A similar sentiment was expressed in Greater Boston’s churches, mosques, and temples Sunday as religious leaders and congregants largely condemned the sentence.
Keep reading, and the Globe quotes a half-dozen other sources, including more Catholics, Muslim leaders, a Jewish rabbi and Protestant pastors.
While I applaud the Boston newspaper pursuing this timely angle and reflecting a diversity of sources, the story itself presents a rather shallow view of this complicated subject.