Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just One Eyewitness

Here in Illinois, we're getting ready to start what seems like an annual tradition. No, not welcoming an influx of crybaby legislators from neighboring states when their governors want to govern like actual adults - that's not quite a tradition yet. What I'm talking about is the upcoming trial, or re-trial, of one of our criminal former governors.

For those who've lost track of which Illinois politician is on trial when, this time it's Rod Blagojevich, back on trial for a couple dozen corruption charges. Honestly, I sort of miss having him as governor. His replacement is just as incompetent and ideologically absurd, but he's just plain boring. Blago had sort of a Jerry Springer appeal, where you were bound to pay attention to see what insanity would happen next. If you're going to be a lousy governor, at least be interesting, right?

Anyway, at the last trial, Blago was convicted on only one of twenty-some charges. What was the big problem with the prosecution's case that allowed him to avoid conviction on so many charges? Many observers pointed to the lack of a compelling eyewitness. There was plenty of evidence, but it was piecemeal and largely circumstantial, and in the end it failed to convince at least one holdout juror. There was no smoking gun, no single person who could explain "this is what they did and how they did it" from planning to consummation. It's fairly safe to say the prosecutors would have traded hundreds of hours of phone tap recordings for just one credible eyewitness who knew everything and could report what was done.

I can't help but think of how different attitudes are towards eyewitness testimony when it comes to the creation of the world.

Suppose you would like to know about the how the universe came to be. Wouldn't it be nice if there had been someone there to observe it - more than that, to actually do it - who was willing to share his completely trustworthy firsthand account? Oh, there is? Huh. Doesn't it seem odd, then, that so many despise his account of the event, particularly those who claim to be devoted to him? I'd like to make a crazy suggestion - since we have the clear testimony of the only possible witness, one who cannot lie, we might want to believe him.


Robert said...

But, but, but...I need a person to tell me. And it has to be somebody that I know is highly educated enough about these things. To prove that, he/she will have to have diplomas from accredited universities that everybody else says are great institutes of higher learning. And they have to have the blessing of all the preeminent scientists and such. Because they all affirm each other's work and surely I can trust them.

On a side note, I think my home state of Louisiana has much the same types of politicians. That being those who are constantly on trial for some sort of inpropriety or another.

DJP said...

Exactly. Amen.

Charlene said...

Amen and amen! Let God be true and every man a liar.