A story out of Honolulu, HI reports that 47 year-old Junior Stowers was jailed after shouting, “Thank You, Jesus”, in a courtroom after being acquitted of charges that he abused his son. Circuit Judge Patrick Border deemed that Junior was “in contempt of court for the outburst” and placed him in jail for six hours until releasing him and lowering the charge to a petty misdemeanor — a charge which could still land Junior in jail for 30 days.
Okay, couple of issues to deal with first. We don’t quite know how emphatically Junior yelled and perhaps whether he was screaming praise and after Judge Border hit his gavel, like, twenty times finally felt that he lost control and found Junior in contempt of court. I don’t want to present a one-sided story. There are elements of this that we just can’t tell from the linked Yahoo story (below).
However, one thought remains in many minds: “Would he have been found in contempt had he shouted ‘Thank you, Allah’ or perhaps even, ‘God Bless America!”? Was it the fact that the judge couldn’t gain control, or perhaps could it have been what Junior said that bothered the good judge? We probably won’t know the answers to these questions unless we see tape footage of the court trial.
The funny thing about this all is that my Bishop warned us in his message today (and has on several occasions before) about what the scripture says regarding the consequences that people will face for all of this rejection of God. Yes, I know about the separation of church and state. But I also know about the right that we have to express our religion freely. People have gone to court, approached the judge, sat to his right and refused to do something as simple as put their hand on the Holy Bible and say that they will tell the truth. Is that perhaps something that “disrupts the judicial process” and worthy of holding someone in contempt of court? I recall very vividly recall watching footage of Marlon Brando, during the trial of his son, denouncing the process of taking the oath and asking for an alternative, non-christian vow to declare that he would tell the truth.
I’m sure this will be somewhat controversial for many. (If you read my first post, I promised that I would post my passions. Praising God and thanking Him for Jesus is something that myself along with my brothers and sisters in Christ are very passionate about.) I do hope that this is a blown-up story over nothing. I pray that Junior won’t see any jail time and he was held in contempt because the judge was unable to control the courtroom atmosphere. But this story does trouble me deeply.
I think Firingsquad.com user ‘qmakowski’ said it best in a comment to the story:
“Put your hand on the bible. Do you swear to tell the truth?”
-Two hours later-
“Thank you Jesus!
“There will be none of that in my court house! You get 30 days… that’ll teach you to be religious and loud in my court room.”
Really makes your think, huh? Do you have your own thoughts on this story? There’s a section for comments. Just click on “Comments” under the story and share your own thoughts. But let’s keep it in a peaceful fashion. (I think there’s enough war going on right now.)