John Ostrander is great writer. He used to write The Spectre, a comic book owned by DC Comics. The Spectre is about a fallen angel who didn't defend God in their cosmic battle against Lucifer and his minions, he was neutral and did not take the part of this, I cannot remember the origins. I hope I got it right.
However, when God and his angels defeated Lucifer and his fallen angels and threw him to Hell, Spectre came to ask God for forgiveness. But God does not allow him to come in Heaven -- so his punishment is to wander as the Wrath of Vengeance on Earth. He has to find a human soul whose rejected God out of anger and merge with him in order to judge the mortals from time to time. He must judge and kill the mortals in the same manner that they murdered someone else. Stuff like that is his job. Sometimes Spectre was not sure, he went to Heaven to sought for guidance. Anyway, in The Spectre #45 which my friend, Dylan urged me to read and I did. I was impressed with John's thoughts. Here is what happened ...
Spectre happened to be in the area where the group of men attacked two gay men with baseball bats. One died. The group of men told Spectre that he cannot judge them because God abhorred homosexuals, so says the Good Book! Spectre's human host, Jim Corrigan was homophobic and unsure what to do -- they committed the murder. They must be judged. Because of Jim's homophobic thoughts, the group was spared. Later, Spectre talked with his mentor who is Catholic priest. The priest said, "What if I'm homosexual? I'm not saying that I am, because I took the vow of celibacy but if I am one, does that gives you the right to view me any less than others?" Spectre did not answer. He simply vanished.
Outside of everything, Spectre appeared before the huge, massive Angel who guarded the Gates of Heaven. The Gates of Heaven and Angel Michael were so huge that Spectre seems to be dwarfed.
Spectre acknowledged, "Michael!"
Michael spoke, "Spectre. What brings you to the Gates of Heaven? You know I cannot allow you inside."
Spectre asked, "You have to tell me something. Are there homoseuxals in Heaven?"
Michael said, "The question is irrelevant. Sexuality is a matter for the body and thus is confined to the mortal sphere. It has no place here."
Spectre then wondered, "Are there souls in Heaven who have committed unnatural acts on Earth?"
Michael responded, "There are souls in Heaven that have committed every act conceivable. What soul enters Heaven without some stain of sin upon it? It is not the individual acts that bring or bar a soul here but the balance of one's life. I should warn you -- it is not what Humanity considers good or evil. Humanity should not presume to judge for God. They invariably get it wrong."
Spectre got the message and returned to Earth and resumed his duties in judging the gay bashers.
John Ostrander nailed on this, did he? He won my respect when I read the first time. He is also the one that changed my views on death penalty. I came from Virginia where there is heavy support for death penalty, so I initially supported the death penalty.
In an issue, where Spectre goes berserk and he decided to judge and punish people. He went to the Death Row and since he is the spirit, he walked through the walls and passed through condemned persons. Each time, many condemned persons died in the same manner, which meant that they did commit the murders.
Spectre then was approached by the cops who attempted to stop him from killing these condemned persons -- some cops also perished, it turned out that they were the murderers as well. When Spectre was done with it, he heard a voice. "Mister?"
He saw the condemned person inside the cell, Spectre was stunned. "But you are condemned."
The black man said, "I am innocent. I did not do it."
Spectre touched him, he did not perish. He was stunned. He turned to face the warden that he is innocent! The warden said that he has nothing to do with it, it's up to the courts. He went to the governor of the state who said that his hands are tied and he cannot do anything to stop the state from executing the inmate that was convicted by the jury.
Unsure what to do, Spectre went back to Heaven to seek a guidance from Angel Michael. Michael warned him that Spectre is not a super-hero, he is not out to save lives. He is only to judge people of their crimes. If the innocent died, that is where his duty will begin.
Spectre understood. He went back to the Death Row and told the inmate that he cannot save his life. But he shall avenge his death. Spectre warned the governor that since the state is responsible for his execution, the judgment shall fall on the taxpayers. So essentially, everyone else who lives in the state shall die because they supported the government in killing an innocent victim. Needless to say, the governor spared his life.
But that was the moment I realized that as a taxpayer, I may be responsible for the wrongful executions. From that point, I stopped supporting and turned against it. Today, I was watching a movie called "Monster's Ball", I was thinking of John Ostrander's The Spectre.