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.

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