June 17, 2007

Twisted Justice

"Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful."
- C.S. Lewis

Several weeks ago, I was standing in the Senate Gallery of my State Capitol. Two Senators had just begun to filibuster a pro-life bill that would prevent Planned Parenthood from teaching in public schools and put more restrictions on abortion clinics. I was watching them closely when another Senator slipped in behind me and began speaking to another woman in the gallery.

"I am so excited!"*, the Senator bubbled, putting her hand over her heart and smiling. "I just got an email with the most exciting news! There's a man who was given the death penalty and has been sitting in prison since 1996, but I just received word that he has been granted a retrial. Hopefully we'll be able to get the poor fellow a much lighter sentence. I'm going to try to get him out on probation as soon as possible!"

The other woman expressed her delight, and they began to speak softly of the possibilities for the felon's release. When they had finished, the Senator tossed her head and stepped toward the door. "I'd better get back down there", she declared with chagrin. "After something wonderful like this, I have to go down and worry about that." She motioned with disgust toward the Senate floor, where the abortion debate was still going strong. "See you later."

Her words brought to mind Isaiah 1:16,17: "...Seek justice, reprove the ruthless; defend the orphan..." In our society, these priorities are often twisted - the ruthless are defended and the vulnerable are oppressed!

Isaiah further states:

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20)
Since when did the guilty merit more compassion than the innocent?

*dialogue to the best of my remembrance

1 comment:

Jesse Caldwell said...

Whats really bad is that all those people out on probation are just going to commit a few more crimes. In Britin (BTW, that's where they've outlawed not only guns, but knives also), over 10000 crimes are committed by criminals on probation every month.