Friday, August 24, 2007

Does "faith" trump justice?

Listening to the news last night two stories caused me to lapse into a fit of Tourette's and swear out loud at the TV, it wasn't dignified. Who knows, perhaps its my age, perhaps I should drink less caffeine or maybe I should just stop giving a damn and switch over to big brother and let rigor mortis of the brain set in and be done with it.

Let me share what outraged me so much, first there was the Jehovah's Witness paedophile who was convicted of 13 offences against children over a period of several years the youngest of whom was only 18 months old, this is bad enough right, but not what triggered my outburst. In a "surprising" turn of events this man walked free from the court with only a 3 year community sentence, again pretty outrageous, but not what sparked my rage. No, the thing that triggered me off were the reasons that the judge gave for being so lenient, there were three reasons given, I only remember the first 2 as the second one insulted my intelligence so severely that I stopped listening. So, first reason, he pleaded guilty, oh, ok, so that’s nice (apparently he gave himself up only when one of his victims threatened to turn him in), second reason, he is a man of FAITH.

At this point I need to scream, so this criminal doesn’t go to jail because he “believes things without evidence” and has an invisible friend in the sky. This totally stinks, I wonder if the Judge is a Christian of some flavour, and I bet no one will dare to call him out on it, because we just don’t criticize faith do we. This man should go to jail, for a long, long time, his so called “church” should be prosecuted for public safety offences and be ordered to fully and generously compensate all the victims from their no doubt ample funds, and this Judge should be fired without a second thought.

Then, as if to rub salt into my intellectual wounds, we had the story concerning the shooting of an 11 year old boy in Liverpool, again, pretty bad, but who should the ITV news team decide to talk too in a filmed “walk about” through the streets where he lived? Perhaps the police chief, maybe a social worker, criminologist, witnesses, no, the FUCKING Bishop of Liverpool that’s who, just what the hell would this man have to professionally contribute to this debate I thought? When asked what he thought should happen, his first comment was that we should all “get on our knees and pray for the victim”.

I had to retire to bed at that point, before I threw something and regretted it, as Christopher Hitchens so succinctly and simply states in his recent book (a great read BTW)

…religion poisons everything.

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