My son, Kaleb, and I walked down to the park to play football last week one evening before dinner. As he took shots, I mentioned to Kaleb that John Terry had been cleared of racist abuse by the criminal court here in London. I briefly wrote about one aspect of this incident briefly here, and here’s CNN’s coverage of the story.
“That’s not right!”, Kaleb cried. “It’s against the law to be racist.” True and true.
“Should it be against the law to be racist or even say racist things?”, I asked. Kaleb responded “Yes, because it was public.” I agreed with him that the public nature of John Terry’s offense puts it in a different category.
I’d also added that I think a society must protect it’s citizen from racist abuse when it is tied to violence or the treat of violence. On the other hand, government cannot control what comes out of our mouths, let alone, monitor our racist thoughts. But when those words are public and bring fear to another individual – then the government has a right to step in.
But Terry’s words broke another law. The law of God on which the law of our government is based. Racism is a sin in that it contradicts God’s call for us to love our neighbors as ourselves which Jesus taught in Mark 12:31. John Terry may have been found innocent in Britain’s criminal court but I know he’ll face judgment again at a later date.
Did the court made the right decision in this case. Not sure that Terry broke the law of the land. But I am sure that John Terry broke the law.