Complaint Against Christian Judge Reminds Us Religious Freedom Is Under Attack
In a new attack against religious freedom, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint against the Judge who gave Amber Guyger her Bible.
In an expected but infuriating move, the Freedom From Religion organization filed a complaint against the Texas judge who left the bench to give police offer Amber Guyger her personal Bible. It’s just the latest example of how non-religious zealots seek to drive Christianity, and all religions, out of society and our culture. Friends, our religious freedom is actively under attack.
Amber Guyger Sentencing
The complaint comes after Brandt Jean, the brother of accountant Botham Jean, spoke at the sentencing of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. Guyger was sentenced to 10 years this week for the murder of Botham. She mistakenly entered his apartment last year and shot and killed him.
During the sentencing hearing, when families get to give victim impact statements, Brandt Jean’s words and actions went viral.
Botham Jean's brother to Amber Guyger: "I forgive you."
In a stunning moment, Brandt Jean asked the judge to allow him to hug the former Dallas police officer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing his sibling. https://t.co/Pw4gBchCC1 pic.twitter.com/OPNbZrlmxi
— ABC News (@ABC) October 3, 2019
In an emotional courtroom, Brandt Jean told Amber Guyger he forgives her and hopes she gives her life to Christ.
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“I forgive you. I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you,” Brandt Jean said in court. “I love you just like anyone else. I am not going to say I hope you die just like my brother did… I personally want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail… because that’s exactly what Botham would want to. Again I love you, as a person.”
But that wasn’t the end.
Judge Kemp offers Guyger her Bible
Lastly, Jean pleaded with Judge Tammy Kemp to allow him to give Guyger a hug.
It was a Christlike example that had everyone — the devout and non-religious alike — tearing up.
Everyone except for the zealous contingent who were offended when Judge Kemp left the bench and offered Guyger her personal Bible that she says is “the one I use every day.”
Thankfully, Judge Kemp has fellow judges ready and willing to defend her.
“If anyone complained, I would do everything I could to support the appropriateness of it, Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot said. “I can’t tell you I’ve done the same exact thing, but I have spoken to defendants, have I given them a hug, perhaps. Not given a bible, that’s not me, but I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate about what she did, and I would support that, if anyone tried to file a complaint, I would do my best to intercede and protect her.”
Religious freedom under attack
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) made its name by filing lawsuits against any government entity accommodating religions of any kind. But, particularly Christianity.
And the FFRF and other organizations have been successful, filing complaints and lawsuits against cash-strapped municipalities that can’t afford legal battles. Nativities no longer stand on public property where they once did. And the Ten Commandments no longer appear in justice centers across America.
Even private companies, like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, are constantly under attack for adhering to their Christian convictions. Thankfully, these companies continue to do well despite being under constant scrutiny by irreligious and intolerant groups.
However, that isn’t always the case.
Small businesses, most notably bakeries, sports stars, and actresses are under constant assault. And the message seems to be clear: If you’re religious and hold to your beliefs, your rights and livelihood are fair game to attack.
“Thoughts and prayers” under attack
And in the last couple of years, the attacks extended beyond religious freedom. Even the simple offering of one’s thoughts and heartfelt prayers during a tragedy is lambasted.
When the high school massacre in Parkland, Fla. happened on Valentine’s Day in 2018, the anti-religious left mocked and dismissed the “thoughts and prayers” sentiment. Because if prayer means nothing to me, it must mean nothing to anyone else.
Anyone who says prayers from the faithful are meaningless simply show their ignorance. As does the dismissal of prayer as not “doing something,” when it’s the most powerful act in existence to those who believe in God.
The fact is, offering thoughts and prayers is the most and best people of faith have to offer. Brandt Jean, Judge Kemp and those like them know this. Amber Guyger will spend the next 10 years in prison for murdering Botham Jean. But it’s a temporal punishment without meaningful forgiveness or salvation. Amber Guyger’s future life being a success won’t be meted out by simply serving her time.
It’s encouraging that there are still individuals out there willing to stand by and share their faith in public. Especially, in the face of anti-religious pop culture and groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Standing up for your faith and our collective religious freedom takes courage and conviction. Judge Kemp should hold her head high.