taking the words of Jesus seriously

The constitution of our nation specifically states that our governing bodies must not utilize religious tests in determining who can and who cannot serve in government posts. Unless, I am missing something, the courts in Texas ignored that principal when selecting a jury for the trial of Mr. Chris Young. A woman who was being considered as a juror was disqualified in this case, according to a petition filed by his attorneys with the U.S. Supreme Court, primarily because she was involved in outreach ministries of the Baptist Church where she holds her membership.


This is not a lengthy article because there is not much that has to be said about this obvious violation of the laws of the land. If those with religious convictions that run counter to what prosecuting attorneys deem acceptable are banned from participating in the legal processes of our courts, then those attorneys should be censored.


In this case, the jury was being asked to pass judgment on Mr. Chris Young, who was judged guilty of a capital crime. I join with many clergy persons who are upset with the religious discrimination that mark this case and call for a new trial.


I, along with thousands of other Christians, are part of a new movement called Red Letter Christians. The name of this movement is derived from the fact that the words of Jesus in many Bibles are highlighted with red letters. We are people who try to consider what Jesus would have us say and do in each and every one of life’s situations. Are all of us to be disqualified from serving on juries simply because we take seriously what Jesus said about justice and mercy? Is there no room for Jesus in the courts of Texas?

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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