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Atheist Group Slams Judge Over Gift to Murderer

A story that elicited horror, outrage, and them awe at an incredible act of grace took a bizarre turn when an atheist group filed an official complaint against a judge for doing something that most people found to be a great example of justice tempered with mercy. The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed an official complaint against a judge in a famous murder case who prayed with a defendant whom she had sentenced to ten years in prison and then gifted her with her bible.

According to the Washington Examiner, the story began one night when a tired Dallas police officer named Amber Guyger entered what she thought was her apartment. She saw a man seated on a couch eating ice cream. Guyger drew her weapon and, when the man did not comply with her instructions to show her his hands, she shot him dead.

The horrible twist in the story is that Guyger, according to her account, had somehow entered the wrong apartment and had shot its residence, Botham Jean, by accident. Guyger was, in short order, suspended and then fired by the DPD. She was then tried and convicted of murder in a Dallas courtroom and sentenced to ten years in prison, far short of the maximin 99 years. That Guyger is white and Jean black caused the usual racial element to take place.

The next twist in the story took place when, during the victim’s family statements, Jean’s 18-year-old brother Brandt Jean publicly forgave Guyger, as his Christian faith admonishes him to. Then, with the permission of the presiding judge, he hugged the woman who had killed his brother. They stood thus in the courtroom, weeping.

Judge Tammy Kemp, moved to tears as well, left the courtroom and returned with a bible. She prayed with Guyger, the woman she had just sent away for ten years and pointed out several verses that might prove of comfort in her ordeal to come. Then she gifted the convicted murderer with the bible.

While social media being what it is, the episode received a share of snark and cynicism, most people who saw the video of the incident were moved by the rare display of grace and forgiveness, a light in the darkness, one might say, in these contentious times.

However, the Freedom from Religion Foundation was singularly unimpressed. The atheist organization filed an ethics complaint against Judge Kemp with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The letter stated, in part, “Even were Guyger an avowed devout Christian, the gesture would still have been inappropriate and unconstitutional because Judge Kemp was acting in her official governmental capacity.”

The complaint went on to state, “Delivering bibles and personally witnessing as a judge is an egregious abuse of power.” It suggested that the act of mercy and kindness be thoroughly investigated, and steps made to make sure it never happens again.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation shows up in court often, whether they are suing a state government for giving funds to a faith-based drug program to demanding that religious images such as a nativity scene be barred from the public square. The organization has a weekly radio program, has educational and outreach programs, and has an annual convention.

The article in Hot Air about the Amber Guyger trial noted that the Freedom From Religion Foundation states as part of its credo, “The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.”

The statement could be seen as debatable, to say the least. From the tireless efforts of medieval monks to preserve the literature of Greco-Roman civilization to the wealth of art and architecture inspired by Christianity, it could be argued that people who are not free from religion have contributed to social and moral progress. One could also argue that scant progress of any sort, save in death and depredation, was ever achieved by officially atheistic Soviet Russia or Red China.

As for the complaint at hand, Hot Air opined:

“All of this is out of the ordinary, to be sure. There is no indication that this is standard procedure in this judge’s courtroom. I don’t imagine we will see this again. Let her be reprimanded by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct if the commission sees fit but then just let it go. Our country was founded on Christian-Judeo principles. I think the country will survive this just fine.”

Comments (22)

  1. This group needs to get a life, if they even have on, the same bible they hate says they are spiritually dead and blinded by their hate. This groups hatred goes deeper than what the judge did, I believe they hate everything about love and compassion.

  2. Maybe if more people would read the Bible their would be less crime.

  3. Apparently this atheist group has no knowledge of one of the mandates of the penal system which is rehabilitation. Seems to me that the judge had just taken the first step in that regard. Education in all its forms, especially that , that teaches and reforms the soul, can be the most important in the process of rehabilitating a defendant. I believe in this case, the atheists are wrong on all planes of thought and existence.

  4. Atheist we DON’T care what you think
    The judge can do what she wants. You
    don’t care about this country or God
    Get lost. You are just trying to cause
    trouble. GOD BLESS AMERICA

  5. Those who are free from religion are the ones telling our youth they can be any sex they want to be regardless of the facts!!! They are the ones that want insanity to be normal!!! They are the ones living in delusion!!!

  6. It’s a shame that some group takes an act of kindness and makes it a point of shame. How dare these people. I’m for the person with the kind heart. This group can take their nonsense to a communist country or just out of the US…there is no.place here for them.

  7. I dont care how much they protest or complain dont dare give into this group of ignorant non believing athiest. If you dont believe in God you dont have enough intelligence to protest anything. Go crawl back in ur hole where you belong. You will CERTAINLY have to face God one day.

  8. Atheists are only jealous because they have nothing to comfort people with. They have (per their theology) no future to look forward to after this life, no hope beyond the grave, believe they came from some green slime out of the ocean formed by a big bang of which they still don’t know the first cause. I feel sorry for atheists. They want everyone else to have a hopeless future that they are counting on. Just die, go to the grave, let the bugs eat their remains and no hope to ever see their loved ones again or a future eternal life. They want everyone else to condemned to that future. They really are a very hopeless group. If I turn out to be wrong, which I do not believe I am, I have nothing to lose. On the other hand, they have everything to lose for dismissing a creator God who will not be kind to them for their unbelief when there is so much proof that this universe had some kind of creator – something could not come from nothing unless…. the creator did it.

  9. Atheists are left wing so they hate the truth and they don’t want anyone else to have the truth either.

  10. The “Freedom from Religion Foundation” is a cast of dubious characters. Who are they, where does its funding come from, is it a legitimate entity or a couple of cranks with a Xerox? The first amendment they cite is one of their fetid imagination, not of the Constitution.

  11. Are you sure this is the right because you won’t print anything against this atheist group. Dont send me anymore emails if you cant print my comments!

  12. I don’t get it. I always thought that Americans were given freedom of Religion not freedom from Religion. If you don’t like something just ignore it and move on. It is sad that they try to enforce there own beliefs on everyone

  13. Maybe it WILL do some good for the convict.
    What’s wrong with that?
    Oh yeah, they are atheists.
    SILLY me

  14. Get a life. You may have the right to be free from religion but the rest of us have the right to practice our religion. Perhaps if you maniacs did the same there would be less violence in this world. Give us a break and stop dictating your perverse values to us.

  15. I am an Atheist. I know the things that are done against me as an equal citizen. This is not one of them.

  16. Tell these ffr’s to get a life. I want to be free from the ffr’s. When is that going to happen. They are offensive to me and they offend me, should I sue them?

  17. Dear Judge Kemp what a wonderful thing you and the Jean Family did every time they show what happened in your court brings tears to my eyes you all are what America and really good people are about st such a hard time. Thank You and God Bless

  18. I see no problem with a judge being human for a moment. The complaint is just hot air.

  19. who cares what they think!!They don’t like it to bad.Go cry in their beer and leave religious people alone…we don’t try to run their lives ,so leave christians alone!

  20. Give us all a break! The official part of the trial was over and the judge was acting as a private citizen. Our occupations do not deny us the right to be humane.

  21. yea fior the judge,

  22. Sorry atheist’s, the judge did the right thing. You have the right to believe what you but NOT to force what you believe on us. The day will come and you will get to rot.

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