Her Blood Cries Out: Casey Anthony, Caylee, and the Justice of God

“Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

– Genesis 4:10


She was, when she died, almost precisely the same age as my daughter is today.  Two years and ten months.  Children at that age are miraculous creatures.  They’re boundlessly energetic and inquisitive, wellsprings of laughter and affection, young enough to want nothing more than your attention and your approval and old enough to run into your arms and squeeze your neck and surprise you with their insights, their creativity, and their expressions of uncomplicated love.  That’s why the pictures of the sweetly-smiling little girl named Caylee still hit me like a punch in the gut.

“Not guilty.”  The words sank like millstones.  That precious little girl whose pictures I had seen on the television, whose body was found decomposing in a swamp six months after her mother refused to report that she was gone — where was her justice?  It did feel, in that moment, as though her blood cried out from the ground.  There was something primal about it.  The dagger of her death twisted a little further into our viscera.  It felt as though this woman who had concealed the truth and deceived her family, who had celebrated and posed so joyfully and so infuriatingly while dancing and flirting and posing for sophomoric photos with strangers in the days and weeks after her daughter’s death, was going to get away with it.  She misled the investigators long enough that by the time they found that painfully small skeleton it was too far decomposed to determine the cause of death.

Caylee Anthony

Humanly speaking, no living person except Casey Anthony herself knows exactly how her daughter Caylee died.  I have my suspicions.  We all do.  But I can’t say that I know for certain.  It’s hard to imagine that a mother would murder her own daughter and dispose of the body so callously.  But’s also hard to imagine that a mother would frolic at parties mere days after her daughter has died, and yet it happened.

What is certain is that Casey partied like an off-the-wagon Hollywood starlet before Caylee was long gone, and that she lied completely and pathologically to her family, police and the investigators.  What seems certain is that Casey duct-taped her daughter’s mouth and eyes, threw her body in a bag and dumped it in a swamp before the partying started.  These things alone were enough to convict Casey in the eyes of most.  How could anyone but a monster do these things?  Yet what is not certain is how precisely Caylee died, and whether her death was intentional or accidental.  Did Casey – who looked up “neck breaking” and “how to make chloroform” on her computer around the time of Caylee’s death – take her life?  Or did Casey find her little girl drowned in a pool, panic, dump the body, throw herself into a snowballing series of lies and deceptions, and anesthetize herself with drunken carousing?

I think Casey is probably guilty, but probably isn’t enough to condemn a woman to death for the murder of her daughter.  All of the other information in the case pointed to a fundamentally selfish and dishonest woman, unstable and morally adrift, 120 pounds of narcissism with hair.  But the only really essential question — whether the death was accidental or intentional — was exactly the question that could not be answered.  We just don’t know.

But God knows.  And God is not mocked.

One little-known fact about the Bible, outside scholarly circles, is that the oldest biblical texts scarcely ever mention what happens to the human person after death.  When the earliest references appear, they are to a pit, Sheol, a gloomy half-existence where the souls of the dead wander about, unremembering, undifferentiated, seemingly unable to act or remember or give witness to God.  This was not eternal life, but merely an afterlife, not the resurrection of the whole person in body and soul, but the persistence of some semblance of consciousness.  It was only gradually that the ancient Hebrews began to understand the implications of the vision of God they had received.

The problem of evil, as we presently understand it (if God is all-good and all-powerful, why is there evil?), is not really the problem addressed in the Old Testament.  They had a ready explanation for evil in the story of the Fall.  They also had a ready explanation for the suffering of the wicked.  The wicked simply deserved it.  The central theodical problem in the Hebrew scriptures, rather, is this: Why do the righteous suffer and the evil prosper?  This question is repeated in manifold ways throughout the Old Testament.

In fact, in some ways, even the suffering of the righteous was not terribly difficult to understand.  The righteous are tested and refined in the furnace of affliction, or so that their suffering could serve God’s redemptive purposes, and even when they could see the reasons why God permits their suffering they should be humble in the face of God’s might and wisdom.  Rather, the really hard thing to explain was why the wicked prosper.

We wrestle a lot with: Why does God let bad things happen to good people?  The ancients – who rarely saw people as truly good, in any case, but who saw plenty of instances of extraordinary wickedness – wrestled a lot with: Why does God let good things happen to bad people?  We don’t seem to feel the pinch of this question today — except perhaps in moments like this, when the blood of the innocent cries out for justice.

The richly variegated vision of an eternal afterlife, in which the righteous go to be with God and the wicked to suffer apart from God, did not emerge until the Jews were taken into exile and realized that they would not see the reward for their righteousness, and the wicked would not see the punishment for their wickedness, in this world and this life.  It was then that they received the promise of eternal justice.  If the God who had revealed himself to them was truly a God of perfect Love and Justice, as they believed he was, then he could not let the righteous perish without the reward for their righteousness and he could not let the wicked perish without the punishment for their wickedness.  There must be an eternal reckoning.  This was the vision that prevailed in the later prophets and the intertestamental period.

Morbid though it may seem to those of us who live in ease, the thought that justice should be delivered to their oppressors gave great comfort and hope to the ancient Hebrews.  I can understand that a little bit better on a day like today.  Whatever our own imperfect justice system determines, whatever the judges and the juries get right or wrong, God will sort it out in the end.  Justice will prevail.

And yet, from the Christian perspective, even this was not the final word.  The knot that remained in the fabric was what we noted: that no one really is good, no one really is holy, and so no one deserves God.  Jesus speaks of the resurrection to judgment, of living eternally with or apart from God, and yet the hope of salvation is ultimately by faith in the mercy of God and in the gracious provision that God in his love has made for us.

If Casey is not guilty of murder, then may God sustain her — for whatever else she might have done, she does not deserve, on top of the grief of Caylee’s loss (however deeply buried that grief might have been), to be universally scorned as the murderer of her own daughter.

If she is guilty of murder, then may God have mercy on her soul.  And I mean that literally.  Jonah did not want the people of Ninevah to repent and be saved (Jonah 4), and he was rebuked for it.  I am a Christian, and as such I should always hope for repentance, for mercy, for redemption and reconciliation with God.  God does not will that any should perish — not even a mother who murders her own daughter.  God can save Caylee.  God has saved Caylee, and she is peacefully and joyfully present with him.  Yet God wishes to save Casey too.  God will see that the righteous are rewarded, but in the end the only one righteous is Christ.  God would see that the wicked are saved (and by the wicked I mean all of us), and God went to extraordinary lengths to make redemption possible for those who would receive it.

Some have walked further down the road to perdition; they’ll have further to walk back along the path (sanctification) after their repentance.  But repentance is not walking down the path.  Repentance is simply turning around.  Whether we’ve taken ten steps down the road, or ten thousand, it’s in the turning around (justification) that we’re saved.  In absolute terms, Casey’s sins may be worse than my own.  But she doesn’t need to live down her sins — to be sanctified — in order to be saved.  She just has to take refuge in the grace of God in Christ.  And in some ways, those who’ve walked further down the path have it easier; they won’t be tempted to believe they can walk back on their own.  The grace of God does not have to overcome our sinfulness.  It has to overcome our pride.

So this may sound like a pious exaggeration, but theologically I sincerely believe it’s true: if the grace of God were not this radical, then neither Casey Anthony nor I would have any hope.  That is, I’d better hope that the grace of God is powerful enough to reach a mother who murders her child, lest it be too weak to reach me.  May God have mercy on us all.

About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
 
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • B. Masters

    God allows whirlpools of evil in a river of good.
    The prime example is the murder of sinless Jesus as expiation for you, me and all those who will accept Him.

    • King

      None of this is terribly complicated. If you are living in the Spirit, earthly miscarriages of justice — if indeed the Anthony verdict is one of them — do not particularly faze you. The whipped-up media outrage is a substitute for faith. People who do not have an abiding knowledge that The Lord of Justice prevails find it difficult to live in a world where man-made justice ostensibly fails. Those of us who strive to the last to persevere in the Spirit have made our peace with the fact of sin and man’s imperfect and often ugly ways, knowing them to be as persistent as gravity, to be fought at every turn. We understand that the victory has already been won and justice served and all that remains for us is to proclaim it.

      This was not the time for Dalrymple to stir the cauldron of earthly surreality, to stoke the false promise of justice in this world, to play on our unreliable emotions in the face of abject sin. It is a time for sobriety and humility.

      “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9, what immediately precedes the first reading in today’s mass.)

      When we attempt to imitate God’s judgment here on earth, our failure is certain, imperfection built into the very project. And yet for the sake of peace we must play out our pathetic mimicry in little kabuki courts. But do not underestimate the shoddiness of our efforts and the incompleteness of artificial methods! There is no justice for the little girl unless she be raised from the dead. (Or even then.) Can the State of Florida do that? What purpose then are our petty pinpricks born of vengeful lust, whether they be in our laws or our hearts, except to propitiate noisy demons?

      But here’s the Good News. Sure as her Savior did, Caylee will rise from the dead on the last day and transcend the sins perpetrated upon her. It is promised. Our wickedness has no purchase on her eternal destiny. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Is 1:18) Compared to Mercy like this, our paltry sins altogether comprise a single, dry, autumn leaf cast into the furnace of the sun. Compared to luminous Justice like this, our pale shadow of “Guilty” and “Not Guilty” evaporates to nothing in the coruscating, world-renewing, beatific resplendence.

      Do not indulge the false idolatry of the pagan courts and their media shamans. Their ambit, while necessary to the orderly function of a polity, must be severely circumscribed. Through this glass darkly we are conditioned to see the conditional loss of Caylee rather than the unconditional glory of her untarnished eternal life. That she died to this world is a tragedy in this world; that she lived at all, and one day shall be transfigured, is the mystery that “surpasseth all understanding.” Those chains have been broken once and forever. Let’s not allow our profane imaginations get the better of us and permit a single atom of despair taint the wonder of the Lord. For we who live Anno Domini, we who have heard what unfathomable bequest has been achieved on our behalf, we live in that mystery. It is not our lot to condemn Casey Anthony, it is beyond our ken to grant her the forgiveness she needs or the justice the Lord requires. But we can point the way. We can pray the prodigal daughter finds her way into the heart of that mystery where she will understand her sinfulness and reconcile herself, and we persuade first and most effectively by our example, by our own humility and unworthiness, by our own acknowledgement of sin. You think you are a better, more justified person than Casey Anthony? Woe unto you! Pride — against the One Who fashioned you out of nothing into glorious existence through love — is worse, worse than murder.

      “And I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” St. Paul, First Epistle to Timothy, first chapter.

      • Timothy Dalrymple

        Great citation from 1 Timothy.
        -Tim

      • Catherine Austin

        You’ve got it right. Spread the WORD. A true Christian knows that death is just a comma, not a period. I have had more peace since I began to believe in Him and knowing that the best life is yet to come, than I could ever find from the “fixes” of this earthly life we live. I have to admit sometimes I am envious of those who have left this world. May God rest her (Caylee’s) soul.

  • A Criminal Defense Lawyer/Gospel Coalition Attender

    1) She would have been found not guilty in a death penalty trial in Israel as well – Numbers 35:30. Apparently, God doesn’t want people put to death on the the direct testimony of only one witness, let alone completely circumstantial evidence.

    2) My problem with this whole thing is that the only reason people are interested and have emotional stock is because the media picked it up. This type of thing happens every day – where is the outcry for all the other victims of injustice?

    • David Waugh

      the media circus served to divert/subvert public’s interest in the outcry of countless thousands who are victims. we focus on the one to numb ourselves of the quilt from our own “partying” while the innocent dead are buried with eyes and mouths taped shut around the globe. we are at the least silent witnesses to these things if not the actual victimizers of those who threaten our intoxication with self absorbed lives.

      • Chris Tavica

        It would seem the media attention / social pressure was what lead the prosecutors to seek a murder 1 charge, which they simply couldn’t prove. The defense lawyer admitted that a lesser charge would have been a lot harder to defend, and Anthony would be behind bars for a long a time now. This is human error.

    • C

      Not only that, but none of us know Casey Anthony or her family and least of all what happened to Caylee. Obviously everyone’s forgotten that.

      Also, it’s interesting that THIS topic is #1 in the news when there are so many more important things all of us should be focusing on. What about the national debt? What about our guys still in Iraq?

  • http://semperjase.com Jason

    “Some have walked further down the road to perdition; they’ll have further to walk back along the path (sanctification) after their repentance. But repentance is not walking down the path. Repentance is simply turning around.”

    Amen.

    • http://alexspeaks.com Alex Humphrey

      Amen, and amen.

  • Karen Toman

    Excellent. My observation is most people don’t believe in eternal judgement because they don’t believe in a Holy Righreous God. The humanists have persuaded many God is only just a little higher than man, not the creator God with all power. They can’t believe there is someone with the power to pronounce eternal judgement over them.
    Thank you for your article, perhaps it will prick the hearts of the compacent

  • http://www.onegearonly.blogspot.com rich

    Very interesting post…it’s true we are all sinners and all need God’s grace and forgiveness. Whether or not she’s guilty is for God only to decide. It’s easier to point to a case such as this and pass judgement, yet the bible tells us all sin is equal so none of us have any right to judge…

    • http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/David-French.html David French

      The bible does not say that all sin is equal.

    • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

      The Scriptures beg to differ, friend. 1 John 5:17, “All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.”

      Judgment of the soul is still God’s alone.

      • Timothy Dalrymple

        I hope no one misunderstood what I said. A commenter said something along the lines that all sins are equal. This is not really true. All sins are sin, and it’s not so much that a sin makes a person sinful as that a sin indicates that we have already failed to trust in God and are “in sin” (we have broken fellowship with God). By the time any of us are conscious of ourselves, we are already thoroughly in sin and in need of the grace of God. But that’s not the same as saying that all sins are equal.
        -Tim

  • Old Fan

    A nice offering, yet why just merely focus on the murder charge? The treatment of this poor Child as a piece of garbage, (even after her death), is a clear form of abuse.

    The Jury could have absolutely decided, and should have, the Mother was indeed guilty of abuse. Manslaughter is difficult, but at the very least, the abuse charge was truly called for. The Jury showed utter negligence, and now Our society will suffer for it.

    Lawyers will lie boldly like the Defense who slandered all in this case, Jurors will ignore simple logic further, etc. More will suffer in the future.

    The one larger aspect of this Case, if this were the Grandfather on trial, replacing the Mother, he probably would have been found guilty. Sexism exists, a young Mother who lies so vividly, who has gotten away with so much throughout her existence, is further enabled again.

    A sincere tragedy.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/joinmefortea joinmefortea

    Wow. This post really touched me.. and it is so true. Praying for the mercy of Christ to overtake Casey.

  • Claire

    This is the best explanation of God’s mercy and how we should be praying/acting right now. God Bless you and thank you!!! Oh, and I will share this blog post.

  • paul

    Thank you for your Holy Spirit inspired insight and your honesty. I pray that Gods grace and mercy finds this woman as it has found you and so many others like myself.

  • Linda Lee

    WOW! Beautiful! AND helpful in coming to grips with the anger surrounding this trial. Thank you.

  • G

    Thank you for this beautiful article. I could not sleep for days about this case as I am also a mother of a young daughter. What I have learned from this case is a further appreciation of life, and the blessing of having children. I love my daughter very much but I love her even more now. I always include Caylee in my prayers.

  • http://www.SpiritualKlutz.com Spiritual Klutz

    Thank you for taking the time to write this, for taking something awful and using it to gently preach the Gospel.

  • http://www.ebcjane.org J.D. Arnold

    Great article. “The grace of God does not have to overcome our sinfulness. It has to overcome our pride.” I totally agree. Everyone without Christ is as bad off as they can be. It is not a matter of conduct (how good or bad someone is) it is a matter of condition (totally depraved and separated from God. Praise God for His grace and mercy!!

  • karenzach

    After spending years working on a similar story, I have come to very different conclusions. I do think there are points of no return in the matter of grace and murdering a child in such a callous measure — whoever did the murdering — would seem to me to be at that point.

    • Isaac Ojo

      There is no sin that cannot be forgiven except that which limits the Power of God (Holy Spirit) to save.

      With God, all things are possible and this means even the sin of baby-killing can be forgiven if the transgressor accepts the grace of God (and turn back).

      Very insightful and comforting article from Timothy Dalrymple. In the face of all that is going on in the human society, we all need to be comforted and assured that God saves.

  • Dave

    Practically speaking, we need to be careful not to assume God saves anyone who has not professed faith in Jesus Christ. I know the death of children tugs at our heartstrings, I know it does mine, but we must be careful about saying dogmatically that Caylee is with Him now. We have no idea, but we hope!

    • GC

      Another way to phrase your comment might be that we trust that God is more just and more loving than we are, and trust in the resolution of that all loving and perfectly just God to the apparent problem of innocent babes and original sin.

    • EB

      So are you saying that Caylee could be in Hell? An innocent little child under 3 years old? Am I missing something here?

    • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

      I know of one stillborn baby that is definitely in heaven with her Lord, Saviour and Master. My nineteen year old, unmarried, prodigal daughter became pregnant, and almost went through with a scheduled abortion to end the life of her vulnerable, defenseless baby. Thankfully, seeing clearly through the cloud of her evil narcissism, she decided to carry her daughter, my first granddarling, Lily forty weeks and two days. My daughter who had lived a set-apart life for Jesus drifted away from her first love, but her unborn daughter brought her back to Him. In choosing to save the valuable life of her unborn daughter, at the same time, her unborn daughter saved her mother’s life by leading her back to Jesus. James 5:19 and 20 proclaims, “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” Lily Katherine did this for her mother without ever taking one breath or speaking one word.

  • http://justathought8.blogspot.com D Roamer

    I am moved by this today. The mother certainly will get her’s someday sometime in her life. God have mercy on this sinner.

  • johnmorrissey

    I hope Dr D is right,and yet I recall( perhaps inexactly)”better to be cast into a pond with a millstone around their necks than to have harmed one of these little ones”

  • Sylvia Peterman

    Thank you for this well-written and thought out piece about the love of God for all. Redemption for this young woman if she is guilty is always available. Let’s hope we all keep praying. I will share this.

  • Erin

    God sees Casey Anthony as his child, just as he sees all of us.

    • Randy G

      Actually, Jesus said that God sees the unregenerate as children of their father, the devil. We are all God’s CREATION, but we are not all His children. We are all sinners, but there are two types of people: Adam’s race, and the race of the redeemed.

  • MSmith

    WOW! This was so healing! I too was reminded of the scripture in Genesis regarding Cain and Abel where God said “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” But I wanted swift justice for Casey right then and there! You really put it in perspective for me and the fact that baby Caley is with the Lord is truly comforting to me. I pray she didn’t suffer. Thank you for this beautiful article of mercy, grace and redemption.

  • Dave, a judge and lawyer

    Our justice system worked exactly as it should… a partying, lying narcissist does not establish that Casey was a murderer. Nor apparently, in the jurors minds, did the rest of the evidence with any legally, acceptable degree of certainty. Likewise, a “not guilty” verdict does not mean she did not commit murder.
    We all know there is a margin of error in most everything in life (because of the curse of the fall). Our founding fathers got it right. Particularly in the context of those in positions of power prosecuting private individuals, the benefit of the doubt must be given to the accused. Christians of all people should recognize the critical need for the constitutional protections we enjoy in the USA.
    The applicable legal principal is called the “burden of proof” and as an earlier post points out, the old testament burden of proof (a conviction would require two eye witnesses of the murder) is much higher (more difficult to meet) than our current one – beyond a reasonable doubt.
    As to “old Fans” suggestion that abuse was proven… mistreatment of a dead body does not constitute abuse. It is a separate crime which the prosecutors could have pursued but they obviously chose not to do so. The jury did not have that option and they therefore could not be faulted on that matter.

    • rose-ellen

      Beyond a reasonable doubt -like just about everything else in the constitution it can mean anything to anyone. To me it is reasonable to believe that if a mother does not report her dead or missing child then she is involved in the death.At a minimum an accidental death and since not reported i could reason it was negligent.[she was there when it happened].The duct tape on the body could indicate making an accident look like murder so the lie that she was kidnapped has traction-till she admits to the accident].Connecting dots is reasonable .This was jury nullification and unfortunately we are not allowed to criticise a jury or we are seen as unamerican.This jury was corrupt[one member said she could not judge and should have not been allowed to serve.] that this was all over the media is strange.i believe it is part of an anti-death penalty propaganda campaign-forcing this down our throats then when we are appalled at the jury aquital of any culpability in the death, we are told not to disparage the jury, the system is great and the death penalty should be abolished.The first thing the defense laywer said.Collusion of media,anti-death penalty propoments .it made no sense to have this trial all over every media outlet ceaselessly as the pundits first told us she should be convicted then retracted every position and argument they made.We’re being manipulated.And yes,the jury system sucks.

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    God’s grace is sufficient to redeem any sin. David was a murderer. However, David repented, and was a man after God’s own heart. Casey Anthony not only failed to repent, but also willfully threw her supportive family under the bus.

    To which, I’m not sure we can quite so easily delineate between the moral and legal issues here. I’ve read no end of assuring messages about how the system worked and how it’s not about innocence, but about reasonable doubt.

    The system didn’t work. A child has died without anyone being brought to justice. The system failed.

    As far as reasonable doubt, on what basis can you reasonably doubt Casey Anthony murdered her child? The best defense her lawyers could offer was that she died in a swimming pool. None of the evidence corroborates the defense’s best explanation. There is no reasonable doubt as to her guilt, but rather doubt as to the specific circumstances of death. To argue otherwise is obtuse.

    God’s grace is sufficient, true, but his wrath is mighty. When our society sanctions the slaughter of innocent babies (as it does explicitly w/r/t abortion, implicitly here), we see his wrath. I fully expect more women to follow Casey Anthony’s example. Her work is a blueprint for catharsis viz. murder, and children will die because of this verdict.

    I hope the jurors consider that when they cash their royalty checks for their books. God certainly will.

    • http://n/a lyn

      There is always karma … the whole thing was horrendous for everyone .. the jury can’t be held responsible for the legal system itself – their role was to convict on the evidence before them and they did so.

      We are each responsible for our own actions without reference to any other so called authority. We don’t know whether Casey Anthony did know her daughter was dead when she went out partying.. those events were put together after the event. There is a great predisposition to convict people by public opinion which is so very dangerous. Why the US doesn’t prevent media commentary while a matter is sub judice is astounding. It leads to “hang em up” public outcry when the facts are not even known. Even when the facts are known everyone is trying to blame someone for the result. If it’s not the defendant it’s the defence team, if it’s not the defendant it’s her father or her parents and so on.

      You all make me sick … come to think of it … thinking the worse of everyone and pointing fingers ..

      • Burgo Fitzgerald

        *handing lyn some Pepto Bismal, Tums, and Gravol* Hope that makes you feel better. Self-righteousness can really burn on its way out no matter what produces it.

      • emmy

        no lyn, we DO know that she knew her daughter was dead–remember? according to her own defense, she knew prior to her partying that caylee had drowned in the pool. and she lied without a conscience in jail during her conversations with her parents and her brother. lied about where caylee was, lied about her ‘gut’ feeling that she was still alive, lied about everything except her desire to get out of jail. the jury apparently did not take her words or actions into account in putting together their verdict. they deliberated a shorter time on that trial than on many trials that are much less dire. the jury does have to answer in their hearts for what they did–delivering a verdict in the interest of time, tired of wasting their summer and in the case of one juror, not wanting to miss a vacation she had had planned for a long time. there is divine justice, and there is civil justice. one may have been egregiously disregarded, but the other one surely will not.
        (and kudos to you, mr. fitzgerald–nice response.)

  • http://www.doesgodloveme.com Jeff Logue

    Our natural inclination even as a believer can be to desire that people are punished for such acts without any offering of mercy. Yet you offer a healthy reminder that without His grace there was no possibility for me to ever enter God’s presence now or in eternity. His grace is really big and hard to fathom. I trust that He is good and there are plans outside my realm of understanding. Jesus came to offer healing to the sick, lost and hurting.

  • John

    That was a thoughtful piece, and one written in accordance with the teachings of Christ. As repulsive as the verdicts were, it can’t be gainsaid that all of us are, have been, or will be in some way or another arrant sinners, though hopefully not murderers, and that it is unseemly, at least, to hope for mercy for ourselves while wanting it denied to others. Still, it is a hard thing to see justice defeated and perverted as it was in this case, just at it was in the Simpson case. The feeling about it is perhaps similar to what the prodigal’s brother felt, when he saw part of that which was to be his inheritance given to his spendthift fool of a brother upon that brother’s return. No doubt it is a similar feeling to what the workers in the vineyard felt when they discovered that the ones who worked the least got paid the same as those who worked the longest. And of course the same as the sense of injustice arising from the story of Cain and Able.

    Whatever God’s justice might be, there is something about it that is alien to ours. In fact, it seems at times to be outrageously unjust. But there again, probably most of us are like those workers who showed up late for the work in the vineyard, doing the work of God; and some of us are largely unfit for the work of God when we do show up due to the consequences of how we have lived much of our lives, hungover as it were. Maybe gratitude for the fact that mercy exists for us is the antidote. There is something of humility in that realization, which is not a bad thing.

  • Carol

    What is so much worse then anything is the life this woman now has to live. Everyone knows who she is, what they presume she has done and it will follow her forever. There is no escape from your conscious. While I feel that she should be ordered a hysterectomy it is not for me to judge or condemn, I have my own demons.
    God knows the truth and he will be the ultimate jury.
    I pray for her soul, her family and her lost child.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.littlepage Andrea L

    ****READ THIS AND GO TO CHANGE.ORG****
    The U.S Supreme Court: Try Casey Anthony in Federal Court
    If this case is brought before the Federal court it will be an exception to double jeopardy and from the moment Casey Anthony lied to the FBI she was in violation of The Martha Stewart law. This is a federal offense and comes with a 5 year sentence for each count. First Degree Murder is also a federal offense! Please we must not let this crime go unpunished. An injustice was committed on July 15th. Sign this petition and give Caylee the justice she deserves.
    Find this petition @ change.org/petitions/the-us-supreme-court-try-casey-anthony-in-federal-court
    Caylee’s Law should reach 1 million signatures by the end of the weekend and with your help taking Casey Anthony to Federal Court will be possible!!!
    And if you have not yet signed the petition for Caylee’s law, please do!! @ change.org/petitions/create-caylees-law#

  • http://thedaysman.com Wally Metts

    Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, explains why the system worked in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Worth reading. I summarized (and extended) his argument on my own blog (thedaysman.com). Innocent until proven guilty is important. But the law is about evidence and proof “beyond reasonable doubt”, a concept rooted in Hebraic history.

    • DPS

      What “reasonable doubt” did not include Casey Anthony? Criminal cases can be won based on circumstantial evidence. Think of the Scott Peterson case. If the jurors really understood the law, they would have had to find her guilty.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/philosophicalfragments/2011/07/07/her-blood-cries-out-casey-anthony-caylee-and-the-justice-of-god/ Rachel Burket

    Caylee’s life was short but she had a BEAUTIFUL LIFE.
    You can tell by all the pictures how much she was loved
    by her mom and her grandparents.

    When a grief counselor spoke during the trial that sometimes
    when young adults lose a loved one, they go into denial and
    act just like Casey with drinking, having sex and going out.

    When the expert said this, it made Casey cry.

    I think this was probably the first time it was explained
    to her why she (Casey) could have possibly acted that way.

  • Andy

    Out of idle curiosity why is there not the same hue and cry for the numerous other children who are killed – either by neglect, stray gunshots, and or their parents. If all it takes to rile people up is a highly charged media coverage of a crime and for these people to call for revenge then we are in trouble as a country. Lets look at the rest of the world where children die all of the time and we don’t really care – we even kill them as in Iraq. I also wonder why we accept the death penalty from a jury, but can’t accept a not guilty verdict.

    • rose-ellen

      Again reasonalble doubt is a mack truck.what’s reasonable to one is not to another. hence we’re quibbling over how many angels dance on a pin.And if you have a problem with the jury system you’re unamerican.Platitudes and cliches.the system works, reasonable doubt,innocent till proven guilty.The bottom line is they rejected what was presented at trial .They sided with the defense claim that whatever was presented could be refuteded therefore should be refuted and it was reasonable to refute all evidence and facts presented.Jury nullification pure and simple.The claim one juror made that becasuse they had no motive they had to aqquit is both legally false and non sensical[we're not mind readers nor are we called to be at trial].If the defense or the judge told them this then that is not true and theat jury was currupted by false instructiions given to them.if they surmised this on their own then yes they are not doing their jobs as jurors.The system is indeed corrupt and flawed if jurors can deliberate a verdict with this erroneous illigal view of what is entailed in delivberationg a verdict.a true miscarriage of justicewith this unfit jury.But it is politically incorrect to publicaly say so.So much for political freedom of expression here in the media.[a few have spoken out only to be labeled ignorant of the great principle of reasonable doubt which these vocal critics of the jury just don’t get.propaganda to prop up this unfit jury and this corrupt system.

  • Roan Suda

    Liberals and liberalism are not, of course, directly responsible for death of that lovely child, but they have contributed greatly to a society in which shamelessness and irresponsibility are condoned and even lauded. Sexual promiscuity, abortion, illegitimacy, me-first-Ism…I wonder how many trendy people privately think the mother was merely exercising a more advanced variant if “choice”…

    • emmy

      congratulations roan! you have just proven my belief that no matter what the issue or argument, sooner than later some bonehead is going to blame it on the politicians!! bravo! (i’m going to use this as an example in the next psychology seminar i do–dont worry, youll be one among many, and i dont use names.)

  • Gretchen

    the author of this needs to get a grip. Who made him judge and jury?
    do you feel more high and mighty judging this woman so harshly? Did you never read scriptural passage “Judge not lest ye be judged”?
    This case is a huge distraction for millions of Americans who will miss the pending cuts to medicare, social security, etc. That’s the real crime but all you can see is some poor victim of incest who is so troubled she did an evil thing. But that doesn’t make her evil incarnate.
    Gretchen

    • rose-ellen

      God judges us ultimately after we die.But as humans and as ethical beings we are obligated to judge.Another platitude and cliche about not judging.To not judge is to be complicit with evil in the world.Judging a person as morally culpable for a crime or a wrong is not the same as judging their eternal soul.As actors in the world, as ethical beings we have to dicern when evil deeds are done whether an accused is culpable both materially and ethically.That we exist in the world in relation to others compels us to make moral judgements about people.Human beings are ethical beings[with a conscience about right and wrong]It comes with the territory of being a human among humans[capable of either good or bad actions] this neeed to adjudicate actions and behaviours we perceive in others.[Of course when we have labeled a person or people as enemies i notice no one has qualms about judging them as evil then!]

  • Susan Mertha

    I can believe all you point out in your article, and also believe in the need for justice here on earth, where Jesus says, “the ruler is Satan.” Not even all followers of Jesus will be saved, it is ultimately each person’s choice whom they will serve. One of the twelve followers of Jesus was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. I believe Casey Anthony betrayed her daughter Caylee Anthony. There was enough evidence for the jury, all of the items with Caylee in the woods came from her home, and the cadaver dogs alerted in the backyard, and in her car, etc. Our justice system allows defense attorneys to lie, because they have no burden of proof. And Mr. Jose Baez presented many lies, and miss quoted the meaning of “reasonable doubt”, the jury chose to believe him, and not the evidence. Who is the father of all lies? That was not justice.

  • Margaret Smith

    Funny how when I was reading through the comments that I began to think the same thing as Roan Suda’s comment above. There are so many abortions being performed all over the world today, and very few care about this or even consider it to be murder, that the deliberate killing of a two year old isn’t really that much different, is it?

    • emmy

      what an idiotic statement that is.

  • Kathy

    I have really been struggling with my feelings over this. I feel she is as guilty as a person can be and perhaps even demon possessed. I have had a myriad of feeling ranging from wanting to hurt her myself to praying for her to repent of what she did. I have asked God to forgive me for being no better than her and having a murderous spirit. With that said is it wrong to want justice? Not revenge just justice. I would like to hear from the attorney that posted previously….what about this issue Andrea brings up can she be tried in federal Court for lying to the FBI? Is it wrong to want justice. This verdict flies in the face of anything left in this world that is pure and right. I know Casey can be forgiven if she asks and I believe that would include confessing (to be truly repentant and especially since she cant be tried again) I still hold firm to the fact that she should be punished I just cant shake it am I trying to be her judge? I don’t know

  • Cosmo

    Sorry, I’m not buying all this philosophical garbage…
    The woman murdered her baby…End of story…Anyone who helped her get away with it…her mother who perjured herself,her lawywer who suborned perjury and put on a false
    defense, the jurors who were too lazy to use their brains,
    and the many talking heads who supported Casey–Hannity, Greta, Geraldo, etc. Blessings to all who rose up in righteous indignation…Nancy Grace, Bernie Goldberg, Bill O’Reilly, and others…Casey will pay for this murder.

    • emmy

      hear, hear cosmo! your first three utterances said it all!

  • Katie

    Thank you for this article. I wrestled with similar thoughts when I found out that Bin Laden was dead. Yes he deserved his punishment and yes, there’s a good chance that Casey deserves the death penalty, but that does not mean that they are beyond God’s reach. Jesus came to die for ALL men and women who believe in Him. There are differing consequences for sin, but every single sinner is completely forgiven and redeemed by God in the same way–through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord that He is both just AND merciful to us. In His justice, He paid the penalty for our sin, so that he could also extend mercy towards us.

    NO ONE is too sinful to be saved through faith in Jesus.

  • Mike J.

    blah, blah, blah. I agree with cosmo here. Look at the woman in this case – she is a psychopath/sociopath. There is no hope for this woman. She truly does not care. It may be a psycho-spiritual problem, but it’s the way she is wired. In her mind, part of her needed to die (Caylee) so the better part of her could live (Casey). Poverty of emotions. In her mind, she’s done nothing wrong. In her mind, she probably believes she can do no wrong. She can just explain it away. No, I’m sorry, there is no hope for someone like this – it’s they way she is wired. With God, certainly all things are possible, but unless she miraculously is given a conscience and empathy and true feelings and emotions, how can she truly repent? It showed in the trial – she doesn’t even care about the consequences of her actions: if I do X, then Y or Z might happened and I will be punished. In her mind she just shrugs here shoulders, who cares what happens? Anyway, doesn’t the bible say that God is the one who fashions hearts? It is God who saves – salvation belongs of the Lord. He made one person one way and another person the other way. I’ve come to the belief that there is a distinction between those who sin/sinners (all of us), grave sinners, and the wicked. I believe wicked is someone beyond redemption -another word for a psychopath, basically..

    • rose-ellen

      My take on her is that she is a pyschopath[she has no conscience].This does not mean she killed her baby though.I believe she may have loved the baby when alive, but after the baby died[accidentally due to an overdose,say] she felt no real remorse or guilt or anguish because she has no conscience. Time to move on if the baby’s dead accidentally and better to make it look like an abduction and homicide by someone else so she could not be found culpable of negligent homicide. That she could not report the accidental death,that she could make up lies, that she could sit in jail for 3 years and never break down-is symptomatic of someone with no conscience.Even susan smith who murdered her 2 children broke down eventually. She could sit in jail for three years silently because pychopaths have no consience hence they never break down.This means that she may have loved caylee when alive but once dead, was indifferent to her lose. out of sight out of mind because she has no conscience. But how strange a bizarre convergence of an accidental death and a true pyschopath[a person with no conscience] This is why this case was difficult because it could have been accidental[of course putting a child to sleep with clorophorm or anything shows lack of consciencefor the most part as does not reporting an accidental death].How strange an accident made to look like a murder yet from her pychopathic mind[no remorse,no guilt]it made sense for her since once the child is dead all that matters is moving on with her life without getting penalized for accidentally killing her child.A true lack of conscience yet perhaps not in fact a murderer. And perhaps she loved caylee as long as she was alive then in true pychopathic[no conscience]fashion moved on.

  • Benjamin

    Surely the point here is that there is horrible evil going on and apparently jesus has no interest in stopping it.
    Way to go jesus, hope you enjoyed watching that poor girl die.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      It’s a good thing we have people like Benjamin around to point out problems like these. There’s probably not been a single Christian in the history of Christian thought who has written about this. Perhaps we should call it “the problem of evil,” just to coin a term. We’ve never recognized this “problem of evil.” Someone should write something!
      -Tim


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