Thanks to Why Evolution Is True for this post about a man who stole a heap of money and whose lawyers are asking for leniency because he’s a devout Christian:
The Importance of Being Christian
by Grania Spingies
Even the guiltiest of criminals has a right to a robust defence, and a good lawyer will do their best to ensure that their client is represented fairly, a practice that helps ensure that justice will be done. Too often lawyers to whose lot is to defend the indefensible must take ignorant abuse from people who seem to think that criminals deserve nothing and to represent an accused person is to show a lack of morality.
On the other hand, in the 21st century I naively thought that “He’s a God-fearing man, Yeronner” was an anachronism. Surely no lawyer would try that one anymore? Surely no judge would fall for that these days? And the police, hardened cynics that they are, wouldn’t buy that either. Amirite?
No. I am wrong.
So, this guy steals €2.8 million euros, gambles on the stock market and loses it. But his lawyer avows that his client is a devout Christian, and even the Detective Sergeant agrees he is “driven by Christian values”. We don’t know yet if the judge is convinced yet, for sentencing will only happen later this month.
The last time I checked, one of the things that both liberal and fundamentalist Christians agreed on—and God knows, agreements are few and far between—was that robbing your clients blind was not endorsed by the Ten Commandments. It’s not even in the Sermon on the Mount. Nor is being sorry after you get caught a trait unique to the devout Christian.
Tugs at your heart-strings, it does.
Being a “devout Christian” is not shorthand for being a moral or good person. If it was, our penitent sinner would not be standing in the docks in the first place. It’s both lame and lazy to use the phrase as some sort of Monopoly Get Out Of Jail card.
Should I be glad that for once the goodness of Christianity is not being used to deny women’s human rights? Has the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College decisions left me picking over such stale crumbs of comfort?