Tuesday, December 13, 2005

..cause I've seen the dark side too

In the furor surrounding Tookie William's execution, a specific hypocrisy, often manifested by right wingers, wasn't discussed. I have no fancy name for it, but I know it when I hear it. Perhaps we'll call it "It's someone else's problem."

The practitioners of this hypocrisy are often those who take strong and inflexible positions regarding law and order, and other social constructs. Here's one example:

My work in recording studios takes me to some unlikely places. For several years two of my major clients were evangelical Christian Mega-churches that had record labels and recording studios. One day during some major legal drama, perhaps OJ, one of the guys there was whining about "Damn liberal defense lawyers." You know, the typical crap. I asked him what he would do if his son/brother/wife etc. were arrested and charged with murder, who would he want as an attorney? After a few seconds he sheepishly said "Johnnie Cochran, I guess." It all changes when it's not someone else's problem.

I also guarantee that the same Conservative Christian Republican-voting guy would suddenly embrace the Innocence Project, the ACLU, Barry Scheck, CSI-style DNA testing, habeus corpus filing defense attorneys and the DNC if they thought it would save their loved one. It all changes when it's not someone else's problem.

When I asked the same guy about the Commandment: Thou shalt not kill, he responded that that was not the right translation. It should say 'murder'. When I pointed out that the Bible on the pulpit of his own church used the word 'kill', he quickly changed the subject.

During the Laguna Beach fires a while back, people who owned lavish homes suddenly became Federal welfare cases, hands held out greedily for help. Knowing how the OC typically votes, I'll bet many of them previously would have scolded Medicaid and food stamp recipients.

Perspective is a bitch. Suddenly things look very different when it happens to you. People who are so quick to judge and condemn would be wise to follow the counsel of the religion they claim to follow.

Most religions have some form or other of what is often referred to as the Golden Rule:
Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you
Christianity contains these, for example:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.
"...and don't do what you hate...", Gospel of Thomas 6. The Gospel of Thomas is one of about 40 gospels that were widely accepted among early Christians, but which never made it into the Christian Scriptures (New Testament).
And even 'Godless' Islam has this:
"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths."

Judgment passed on others is judgment passed on yourself. If abortion is murder, execution is, and no rhetorical gymnastics changes that.

Murder is murder.