mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The devil made me do it...

If "the devil made me do it" is not a valid excuse for comitting a crime, why do people tend to cite religion for why they couldn't have commited a crime?

This came to mind from this Baltimore Sun story about a guy named Michael Hughes who was captured after nearly 30 years. He's accused of killing a Baltimore City civilian employee who chased him after stealing a can of Spam from a basket of food for the poor.

His brother says Hughes as a Muslim, would not have stolen Spam because it's pork.


I've heard this same line of reasoning from Mumia supporters - that he couldn't have killed the cop because he's Muslim - and it makes no sense to me. Membership in a religion does not mean that one necessarily follows all the beliefs of that religion all the time, especially when there is evidence to the contrary. If calling yourself a member of a religion meant that you always followed it's tennants, than no Catholic would ever eat meat on a Friday during lent or have sex out of marriage. And that certainly isn't the case.

One can debate if being a member makes one a better person, but you can't assume that someone is perfect because they are a member of a certain religion. It makes more sense to judge a person by their actions - and Hughes' actions - he has multiple arrests, and was caught after cutting a guy on a bus in Boston with a pocketknife because he thought the guy was gay - make one think he wasn't a very nice guy. He might even be the kind of guy who would ignore religiouss dietary laws every now and then.


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