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Blame the Bible

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Robert Hanlan <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E53%257E1330876,00.html">was convicted</a> in June 1995 of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 25-year-old woman and of injuring another in his attack. Now, his defense lawyer is appealing the death sentence Harlan received for the murder because the jurors apparently used the Bible during their deliberations.

    Jurors did not deny that some people quoted from the Bible during deliberations. Passages quoted included one from the Old Testament book of Leviticus which states, "Life shall go for life. Eye for eye, tooth for a tooth..."

    Harlan's defense lawyer, Kathleen Lord, said that one of the jurors noted that the Bible does not suggest that life in prison is an appropriate penalty for murder (see Leviticus 24:21).

    For his part, the Adams County District Attorney, Bob Grant, said that quoting from the Bible was all right as long as the jurors did so from their own experience.

    "At best their evidence is that there were some Bible discussion but most of them had already made up their minds," said Grant, who prosecuted the case in 1995. "The Bible is part of people's lives. We can't prohibit them from saying 'an eye for eye' because it is the way they were brought up."

    Harlan's conviction and sentence for the murder have both been upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court, although his conviction for the assault that left the other victim paralyzed has been vacated.
  2. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    From what I remember of my religous education, God gave Moses the ten commandments. And one of them, I believe, said "Thou shalt not kill". Killing, done under any circumstances, still does not change the fact that it is wrong. If I was a religous man, I would say that the jurors and the executioner are all going to hell. However, since I am not religous, nor do I believe in hell, I can just look at it, as if these jurors have committed the ultimate act of irony. Using the bible, the symbol of hope, peace, and salvation for many around the world, as a tool to justify killing, in much the same way the terrorists are using the Koran to justify the killing of American people.
  3. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    But Techie, I can find references in the Bible that condones killing. The book is full of contradictions.
  4. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    True. It very much is. However, the ten commandments are the ten most important rules in the Catholic faith.
  5. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    Judeo-centric mythology, history, culture and the mass of writings purported to represent them as a whole or in part are notoriously rife with hypocricy, innuendo, double-entendre and obfuscation.

    In other words, when dealing with 'The Bible' and those who read it, represent it or discuss it - everything must be taken with a grain of salt the size of Mt. Everest.


  6. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Agreed. One of the reasons I became an atheist.
  7. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Seems to me the lawyer is trying to cover up his incompetency.

    During pre-trial selection in a capital case, it would have seemed an obvious question to ask prospective jurors:

    "Do you favor the death penalty?"
  8. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I am not a lawyer but believing in the death penalty is not automatic reason to be dismissed any more than the prosecution can dismiss solely for not believing in the death sentence. They can both use peremptory for this purpose but those are limited.
  9. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    The peremptory challenges is what I should have stated would be needed.
  10. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Normally when I hear something like this, I would cry foul. But, it really depends on <i>how</i> the jurors quoted the Bible. References could be made in a casual way such as to say, "My own personal faith has led me to believe that...[insert Bible reference]." However, making references to it as if your job was to use it to determine someone's guilt and/or punishment would be very wrong, in my opinion.

    This quote pretty much sums up my own feelings on this:
    The fact that two of them had Bibles with them during any part of this trial is very disturbing to me. What's even more disturbing is that references to Leviticus were made. Would these very same people want to kill me as sanctioned by Leviticus because I am gay? Or can you just pick and choose the parts of the Bible that you like and ingore the parts you don't? And if that's the case, then why use the book in the first place?

    I wonder, though, did the people who testified have to swear on a Bible to tell the truth? Why do we still do that??? And what happens if you say, "No?"
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Texas Resident Alien

    In the earliest known text of the Bible the literal translation is "Thou shalt not murder." There is a difference. The major problem with the Bible is that it is a collection of works that have been translated and re-translated many times throughout history. Some writings have been left completely out. There is nothing wrong with the commandments God gave to man, its what man has done to the commandments.
  12. Basilio

    Basilio Banned

  13. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The attitude that if you are not educated you cannot interpret the scriptures is what keeps shamans in business. That just cracks me up.
  14. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Run and hide, Shiny, you know it's the apocalypse when you and I agree on a religious issue! ;)
  15. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang.. Me thinks skiing just became a favorite sport in Hades!
  16. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The world pauses while SteveNT and Shineytop rethink their beliefs.;)
  17. Basilio

    Basilio Banned

    You can interpret them, all right, but how you interpret them is another issue. Anyone can interpret the way they want, but you are expected to have a historical background on the issues. For instance, it would help when understanding the New Testament to have a knowledge of Jewish history, the Roman Empire, certain Aramaic, and Greek terms and Greek philosophy.
    Otherwise, you may simply interpret texts literally and miss the point sometimes. This what I know about Christian exegesis or interpretation and it applies to Judaism as well. Also, Jesus speaks in parables, it helps to be somewhat educated to understand the subtleties.
    I also know that when wants to approach the Islamic theology for every chapter of the Quran, there is a reason behind every chapter which is important to understanding the meaning behind the chapter. Now, if you simply read the chapter literally, you could come away with a different meaning.

    Oh, oh, it is the end of the world, you two agree with each other on religion:) To think I want to see Jerusalem on a visit when it is not Armageddon season:) LOL
  18. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    And what do we base this so called education on? The interpretations of some scholar who might have gotten it all wrong to begin with? That's the whole problem with organized religion. It's all based on what someone "thinks" the book means.

    edit-bloody typos :mad:
  19. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I know I am nothing but an ignorant non-believer but it would seem to be if a supreme being actually wanted his people to follow rules and to read his world it would be understandable without layers of people telling them what it meant. But hey, that's just me.
  20. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    The varying interpretations of the Bible by learned scholars are what have led to the plethora of Christian denominations, Jewish "sects" (pardon my ignorance for not knowing the correct word), Islamic "sects" (apologies, again), and so on.

    Much of this can be attributed to deviations introduced through centuries of translations, transliterations, and "refinements". Most of, though, can be attributed to suddenly discovered nuances that strangely correspond to shifts in societal thinking.

    Funny how that works....

    In any event, whatever the causes, while the Bible is supposed to be the unalterable Word of God, it is clear that Man has not made it such. For all that, I'll rely upon my common sense and my own interpretations, thanks very much.

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