Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bible bending goes to court

"Jurors with Bibles have created an ongoing controversy over the death sentence of a Waco man convicted of killing an East Texas farmer during a home burglary nearly a decade ago."

I almost fell off my chair when I read this sentence as I perused the first morning newspaper of the year 2008. Juror's with Bibles are causing a stir? in a nation where everyone from presidents to congress persons (with a notable exception) to state witnesses swear on the Bible? Could this be true?

Thankfully, it is.

The lawyers for Khristian Oliver, the only assailant of the three who received the death penalty, are arguing that the jury members improperly consulted the Bible, specifically Numbers 35:16, when determining the appropriate punishment for Oliver's crimes.

"This is headed toward a showdown on a very fundamental question on the use of the Bible," said Winston Cochran, Mr. Oliver's lawyer.

In other words, this is a case about Bible bending--deciding how we as a nation are going to address the way we use and understand the Bible. Wow. Happy New Year.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Woman kicked off the bus for reading the Bible to her children aloud

Here is one of those stories that becomes a story because it has to do with the Bible. It is also exactly the kind of story that Matt Drudge loves.

Here is what happened:
A woman was reading the Bible to her two children. The bus driver found her loud and inappropriate and told her to stop. The woman refused. She was kicked off the bus.

First of all, the bus driver was in the right. Every bus driver has the right to enforce company policies (in the case, a policy of no loud or abusive behavior) and to refuse service to those who violate the policy after due warning.

So what is the journalist's excuse (or in the case, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth news)? How is this a story? Take out the "Bible" and it is a story of a woman who refused to comply with the city bus policy of conduct. Had the woman been reading Harry Potter too loudly and been asked to stop, this would not be a story.