POSTED: 8:08 a.m. EST, November 18, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas (AP) — A teenager described as a white supremacist was sentenced Friday to life in prison for savagely beating and sodomizing a Hispanic boy at a drug-fueled party…
…Defense attorney Chuck Hinton appealed to the jury’s religious faith, saying that Jesus would show Tuck mercy.
“I know that justice has to be done. I know a terrible thing happened. Justice needs to be done, but with mercy,” Hinton said.
He also said Tuck had an abusive, absent father and was raised by a single working mother. His only role model, Hinton said, was his older brother, a skinhead who is in jail.
Read the rest here.
What do I think this situation says?
1)Hatred has consequences, and our thoughts and actions have an effect on others…this boy’s brother dropped the ball. When I was in high school and my sister saw me living two lives: one image I gave my parents and church folks, and the other image I gave to my peers…I dropped the ball too. I regret that. This boy’s brother should too…his decisions almost killed someone by proxy.
2)This boy is not inherently evil or any different than you or me. He’s a kid caught in the web of the system…evil has twisted him, but he is NOT beyond redemption. Somewhere deep inside this boy is the spark God placed in him at creation…who in this town of Houston will choose to love him and invest their life in him?
3) That defense attorney has no shame…using Jesus as a emotional ploy for this kid’s defense. Shameless and dead wrong. I try to avoid stereotypes, but this proves to me ever more that a “successful” defense attorney cannot be a follower of Jesus. You simply cannot. You will either defend those along the way you know are guilty and will numb your conscience, or you will refuse to defend those who are guilty and will never get a case because firms can’t depend on you to be a “company man or woman” when it comes to getting things done.
Looking beyond the face of this evil, I read a Donald Miller quote today that is simply amazing.
I was raised to believe that the quality of a man’s life would greatly increase, not with the gain of status or success, not by his heart’s knowing romance or by prosperity in industry or schooling, but by his nearness to God. It confuses me that Christian living is not simpler. The gospel…is simple, but this is the gate, the trailhead. Ironing out faithless creases is toilsome labor.
God bestows three blessings on man: to feed him like birds, dress him like flowers, and befriend him as a confidant. Too many take the first two and neglect the last. Sooner or later we figure out, if we’re seeking, that life is constructed specifically and brilliantly to squeeze us into association with the Owner of Heaven. It is a struggle, with labor pains and thorny landscape, bloody hands and a sweaty brow, our head in our hands, moments of severe loneliness and questioning, moments of ache and desire. All this should lead us to God.
Life is a dance toward God, I begin to think. And the dance is not so graceful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practiced sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a difficult dance to learn, because its steps are foreign…the first few lessons leave us feeling clunky and awkward, but soon they give way to a kind of graceful sway…
– Donald Miller “Through Painted Deserts: 90-91
Implied in that quote from Don (beyond the scattered metaphors at times here) is the necessary truth that in order to dance the way we have created to dance, we must display a constant commitment to dancing in midst of joyous times (when the dance seems to flow in perfect rhythm) and when we think we will never get it…or the practice required is too hard andthe dance too foreign. We cannot justify our self-centered approach by claiming we know better than God. We commit to dance His way because we were created to. We find that God’s screwed up way of dancing is really right-side up…we realize we’re the ones looking like a white country boy dancing at a hip-hop bar…so to speak. 🙂