The recent story of a Texas jury who consulted the Bible before sentencing a man to death got me thinking.
DISCLAIMER: I AM COMPLETELY FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
I agree when people complain about the 10 commandments in the courtroom and when they demand ‘in god we trust’ be removed from our money or ‘under god’ be removed from the pledge of allegiance. All of that stuff creates a direct tie between our government and a specific religion which I don’t agree with, regardless of my political or religious beliefs. I just don’t think a country founded mostly due to religious discrimination has any right to associate itself with a specific religion when it claims it’s open to all people regardless of belief. That’s like saying “Sure come on in, but we’re better than you.” It just doesn’t jive.
Religion is a moral guidance tool. People lean on it when something happens they don’t understand or if they don’t know what to do about a situation. Whether it’s the Christian Bible or the Muslim Qur’an, It defines right and wrong and the consequences for those who believe its lessons.
To me, this Jury story is different. The people in the JURY consulted the bible, not the JUDGE. They were looking for moral guidance. I don’t have a problem with this. A jury should be made up of your peers. It’s pretty safe to assume that a certain percentage of your peers are going to be Christians or have at least grown up in a Christian household.
The Jury would be leaning on its’ teachings whether they actual read a passage during deliberation or not.