Monday, June 21, 2010

The Sixth Amendment from a Christian Viewpoint

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

In many countries, even to this day, a person accused of a crime can be detained indefinitely and locked away without any idea when a trial would take place. When Britain would try those they considered 'spies' or 'traitors', often the imprisonment dragged on and on. When the trial did occur, the jury was made up of mostly British subjects or loyalists, and it was a rare thing to have an attorney, or barrister, defending the accused.

The Founding Fathers wanted American citizens to have the right to a jury of their peers, not made up of a group of persons with an axe to grind against the accused. In a time when anonymous accusations could result in a man's execution, the Constitution grants us the right to face our accusers, to have a group of people with no connection to the case hear the testimony and decide the fate of the accused.

The simpleton Christian will also disregard this because in their line of reasoning, they never plan to commit a crime because they are saved and therefore would never commit a crime. But this isn't really about whether they did or did not commit a crime, this is about the fact that they might find themselves accused of a crime. I have been falsely accused of heinous acts that I would not and could not do. It was a possibility that I could have been charged with a crime.

I am very aware of what can happen to an 'innocent' who never commits a crime. I am grateful as both a Christian and an American to live in a country where I am presumed innocent until proven guilty. False accusations can happen to anyone. In Saudi Arabia, death is the punishment. The judge is a strict Shariah law enforcer, the prosecutors are strict Shariah law believers and you don't get a defense attorney.

For those progressives who would like to extend these rights to people who have illegally entered our country, or to those killing our soldiers on the battlefield, please understand that these Rights are for citizens of the United States, not for everyone in the world. That's why America is great, that's why people risk their lives to get here. You don't see too many people on a leaky raft trying to get to Cuba, unless of course, it's Michael Moore.

For those 'social justice' seeking christians, be thankful that you live here, because in many of those countries you seem to admire so much, the presence of a Bible on your person would get you imprisoned, or executed. Let's see how spiritual you are in a prison cell because you failed to fight for your rights as an American and as a Christian.

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