It All Comes Back To The Simpsons

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

"Take It Outside, Godboy."

When I first read the story about the Colorado Supreme Court upholding the throwing out of the death penalty for Robert Harlan because the jurors in his case had consulted the Bible, I thought, so what, why can't they? They should feel free to consult the Bible all they wanted to if they were Christians. Just like a Jew should be able to consult the Torah, or a Muslim, the Q'aran. I also wondered if the irony that you can't consult a Bible in the jury room, but you have to get sworn in on the Bible before you testify was lost on the Justices.

Then I thought about it. I suppose that's the step where many idealouges choose to stop, but I trudged bravely on. I had assumed that the jurors would be seeking wisdom or moral guidance from religious texts. At the worst, I thought, they already knew what verdict they wanted to deliver, and were just looking for a passage to justify their feelings.

However being aware, as I am, of the state that religion has slumped to in America, I began to realize my initial reaction was wrong. Most people in our society, it seems, aren't so much interested in deep introspection with difficult moral issues, as they are being told what the rules are and how they should act and think. It's so sad that the nearly universal lure of a search for meaning/purpose has been usurped by a fear of nonconformity...kind of reminds me of the role religion played in other times...you know...witch hunts...inquisitions...stuff like that.

So, after thinking about it, I come down on the side of the majority of the Justices. The way I see it, if you're a Christian and you're old enough to get jury duty, you should have had enough time to read the Bible and reflect upon core issues such as life and death, justice and punishment. And the fact is, using religion to interpret or enforce the law is called fundamentalism. I think we can all agree that there's a little too much of that these days.

Oh, and did they miss that "Thou Shalt Not Kill" part? I guess that's the great thing about the Bible; if you don't agree with something it says, keep reading, you'll find a contadiction somewhere in there.
P.S. Fuck you, nytimes.com. Burn in hell, eternally damned to try to link you site to another webpage, you bastards!