Victim’s Rights

Posted on April 4, 2020

Written by Gary North

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Jacksonville, Texas: A man robs a Holiday Inn. He is sentenced to fifty years in prison.

Boston, Massachusetts: A man is convicted of first degree murder. If he serves Massachusetts’ median average jail term for this crime, he will be paroled in about two and a half years.

Something is wrong – radically wrong – with the criminal justice system in the United States. Crime has been on the rise since the mid-1960’s. The courts are clogged. The jails are overflowing, yet convicted criminals return to lives of crime upon release. The public is increasingly contemptuous of the criminal justice system. What is the problem?

The problem is this: there is today no agreed-upon public standard of justice. The courts are too liberal to suit the public, yet voters do not seem to know what the right sentence ought to be in any given case. The public is politically paralyzed because no one agrees on what constitutes justice. The entire criminal justice system reflects this paralysis. Sentences swing from the appallingly stiff to little more than a wrist slap.

Charles Colson, convicted Watergate felon, author of Born Again, and founders of the Prison Fellowship ministry, has identified the biblical solution:
Recently I addressed the Texas legislature. . . . I told them that the only answer to the crime problem is to take nonviolent criminals out of our prisons and make them pay back their victims with restitution. This is how we can solve the prison crowding problem.

The amazing thing was that afterwards they came up to me one after another and said things like, “That’s a tremendous idea. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that?” I had the privilege of saying to them, “Read Exodus 22. It is only what God said to Moses on Mount Sinai thousands of years ago.”

Victim’s Rights is a detailed study of Exodus 21 and 22: the case laws. It identifies the fundamental principle of biblical civil justice: the obligation of the civil government to defend the interest of the victims of crime, and the obligation of the criminal, not the State, to pay restitution. The criminal does not owe a “debt to society.” He owes a debt to his victim.

Because modern Christians have neglected or rejected the case laws of Exodus, they are now in judicial bondage to humanists, who see criminals as the victims and the law-abiding public as the aggressor. “Society” is said to be at fault. This the philosophy of environmental determinism. Result: injustice on a wide scale. What is needed is exactly what Colson recommends: a return to the case laws of the Bible. Victim’s Rights shows what judicial changes this would require and how such a system could work today.


Lone Gunners for Jesus

Posted on June 26, 2020

Written by Gary North

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A biblical response to anti-abortionsists who claim that the individual has the God given right to kill abortionists in God’s name or in the name of natural law (“common sense”). These letters to convicted murderer Paul J. Hill were written before he was convicted. They respond to his printed defense of the use of violence against abortionists as well as to his personal letters to the author.

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The Hebrew Roots of Classical Culture and Law

The Hebrew Roots of Classical Culture and Law

Posted on July 4, 2017

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But meanwhile, as Eusebius pointed out, the pagan world was learning spiritual principles from Moses, through the fame of Solomon. The pagans themselves knew very well where their civilization came from. Julius Caesar read the Septuagint and freed the Jews in his empire from any taxes. The temple in Jerusalem was a place where many Greeks and Romans and other nations came to worship. Wise men from the east came to worship the King of the Jews, and Titus specifically instructed his legions to spare the Temple of God. Proselytes – even from the house of Caesar – joined the Jewish communities and became part of the nation of Israel, later of the nation of the Church. When the covenantal status of ethnic Israel was removed, then the burden of defining and directing history through a confession of faith fell to the Church. But the Church didn’t act in a vacuum. It had material to work on: a civilization which in the course of centuries, slowly and painfully, was shaped and influenced by the Hebrew worldview to become more civilized, seeking God, and thus more open to accept His Gospel. In the final account, even the ancient world was driven by a profession of faith; and history was simply the perfection of that faith.

Assigned Reading:
America BC, Barry Fell