As I work on this week's sermon about truth and labor, I'm listening to this story on npr.org about Moussaoui's trial. The prosecutors have brought Rudy Guiliani and many other families and witnesses of the 9/11 attacks. The purpose behind these powerful testimonies is to convince the jury that Moussaoui deserves the death penalty for his actions. Biblically, I believe, the answer is "yep."
But two things are bounding around in my head: first, that there has to be such a long, drawn-out trial (beyond establishing guilt) to decide if someone deserves the death penalty, shows that we've got capital punishment all fouled up. These days, to get the death penalty in a federal trial, the crime has to have one or more "aggravations", technical points which make it somehow worse. As if plotting and executing the death of thousands weren't enough.
Second is how poorly npr reported this story. While being quite subtle about it, the flow and phrasing of their reporting clearly favors releasing Moussaoui from the death penalty. Merely judging by the amount of time they give to predicting the defense's options (most likely they'll paint Moussaoui as a victim of bad parents and Islamic extremism), it's clear that their humanism knows no bounds. Now I realize that when I listen to npr, I'm wading into the lion's den as far as truth goes, but this one really took me by surprise. So, here's my word to npr: "Whoever says to the wicked, 'You are in the right,' will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them." (Pro. 24:24,25) Those who report the news take upon themselves a great responsibility to the God of truth, whether or not they acknowledge it.
On a far, far happier note: PBS is airing a 13 week series on the Legends of Jazz, with performances by 13 top jazz folks. Here's an interview with Pat Metheny by USNews.com, partly in reference to the city. Too bad we don't get any television (anybody wanna tape it for me?).