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Reaction to Zimmerman verdict
July 14th, 2013
12:18 AM ET

Twitter theme: Zimmerman will face a higher Judge

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - As news spread on social media of the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, a religious theme soon emerged: Sooner or later, a higher authority will judge George Zimmerman

Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, may have been the first to express a version of this theme:

Football star Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings echoed those words:

That view crossed racial lines. Christopher Epting, an Episcopal bishop in Chicago, simply said:

Joshua Dubois, the former director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Initiatives and a Pentecostal pastor, drew on the Bible for this tweet:

Author Shirley Strawberry cited the Bible as well.

Some, like singer Josiah Bell, seemed to take some solace in the idea of divine justice.

But others put a frustrated spin on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous phrase about morality.

Soul singer Betty Wright drew flak for saying that Zimmerman will end up in hell.

Finally, some Christians noted the irony of this Sunday's Bible reading for many liturgical churches: The story of the Good Samaritan:

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church • Courts • Ethics • United States

soundoff (942 Responses)
  1. social media profits

    Your knowledge is rather interesting.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  2. lol??

    Kommie Killer mommies are everywhere. She killed dad.

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    You can't defend yasef and skip out on payin' protection to da mob. How do ya expect the Gmen to make an honest livin'??

    July 14, 2013 at 5:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    The A&A's get their doctrines from Charlie Manson. Shape up, libby girlie men.

    July 14, 2013 at 5:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It's too early to tell if the Big Pope O gets the riots he's been prayin' for.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Thought crimes do happen. At least lol?? spews examples of crimes against thought.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • lol??

      You were trained up a Kommie from Bloom's Taxonomy he learned at the Frankfurt School. It's all you know.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  3. Jed Bartlett

    Wide nose having

    July 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  4. bostontola

    The protection of innocence principle is much older than Blackstone's ratio. An early example of the principle appears in the Bible (Genesis 18:23-32):
    Abraham drew near, and said, "Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? ...What if ten are found there?"

    He [The Lord] said, "I will not destroy it for the ten's sake."

    July 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  5. barbie

    This is what happens when you don't teach your children both math,English, and religion. These are the same people that feel if they study hard enough and have enough money they can be greater than someone else. This is why we all come and go the same way... from birth to dust, back to the earth. No science can change that truth. No money can keep you from that path. Only death holds the keys to equality. That is when the heart begins its journey to justice.

    July 14, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      "This is what happens when you don't teach your children both math,English, and religion."

      Hmmm......

      July 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We are not equal in death if I leave the results of significant work behind me and you do not. We can be equally dead, of course. That's not the beginning of a journey of any kind, barbie. Just no me, no you – nil.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      She probably meant "both Math and English, and too much religion." although I confess I don't know what she is going on about.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Athy

      Barbie, your comment is a real headscratcher.

      July 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  6. bostontola

    John Adams' defense of Blackstone's Ratio:
    “It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.
    But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”

    July 14, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  7. Ralph Lawrence

    The Gospel reading at today's Catholic mass was the story of the Good Samaritan that seeks to answer the question; "Who is my neighbor?". Would this include a black 17 year old in a hoodie? Why are we so quick to decide who belongs and who doesn't?
    On another front, the "marching season" has begun in Northern Ireland. Again we can ask; "Who is my neighbor?".

    July 14, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  8. Vic

    I don't have the slightest clue what's wrong with this:

    Vic
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I never followed this case, and I have no clue if the guy is innocent or not! I wonder if the incident was a total misunderstanding that led to the teenager's death, in which case would naturally be ruled as an accident! If that's the case, there is some consolation for the family of the deceased that they did not miss out on justice but suffered an accidental loss.

    I also wonder if Civil Law Suits will follow!

    July 14, 2013 at 9:44 am | Report abuse | Reply

    July 14, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Saraswati

      Nothing I can see. It isn't official moderation but a person or persons who hit the "report abuse" button. Easy to do by accident, but I assume it takes several hits from different IP addresses. Still, the more people who want to Reply the more likely slipped fingers are to hit the wrong link. Or someone's out to get you...it happens.

      July 14, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  9. Rodents for Romney

    Trayvon's parents already settled with the homeowners association for multimillions, and they will no doubt be suing Zimmerman personally for many more. All a "not guilty" verdict means is, is that "the state did not prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt", it does not mean Zimmerman is innocent. In many states, he would have been charged and easily convicted of man slaughter, (such as New York). This is more a statement of the insane nature of justice in some states, than anything else. In Florida, a nut-job can follow a kid going to the store, and shoot him, and get away with it. Not everywhere. Zimmerman was politically over-charged, and the laws in Florida are nuts.

    July 14, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Saraswati

      I doubt Zimmerman personally has any money. My question is whether he can emigrate to Peru, which may be his best bet at this point.

      July 14, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Says right here on my race card

      It's not clear to me why Florida hasn't caught up with the other states that allow a black man to repeatidly hit a hispanic in the face, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concreate for the shear enjoyment of it. Florida is one of the backwards states in letting this go to trial without hanging him first.

      July 14, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • barbie

      Amen to that R R. What does this say about Florida laws! But then again, they did put Jed B. In office

      July 14, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • the AnViL™

      it does not mean Zimmerman is innocent.

      actually – it does mean he's innocent. the underhanded unscrupulous prosecutors were unable to prove otherwise.

      deal with it.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @AnViL, Do you really not understand the legal distinction or are you trying to make some sort of point?

      July 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Says right here on my race card,
      You do know that Zimmerman was armed and Martin not. Zimmerman decided that Martin looked suspicious then followed him ignoring police dispatcher instructions. Exactly how the fight started or who started it is unclear. What exactly do you think Martin was doing that made him suspicious or that required Zimmerman to follow him. It doesn't say good things about Florida if a child can't go to buy snacks without running this risk.
      How would you react if you were followed in this way? How would feel if your child were killed in these circumstances? He got what was coming? I doubt it.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      When they were arguing for a verdict based on reasonable doubt, they were asking for a verdict of not guilty. Sometimes a finding that someone is innocent is sought after a guilty verdict has been overturned. I don't think it's common.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    There is nothing that balances things in the end. Much good will go unrewarded, and a lot of bad will go unpunished. Too bad. The whole idea of good and evil, reward and punishment, can only belong to the living. When we die we are dead and gone – nil.

    July 14, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Roth

      Any eye witnesses to back up your statements?

      The bible has many witnesses that say there is life after death, Jesus Christ being one of them and all the apostles and later followers of Jesus that confirmed what he said.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Eye witnesses are notoriously faulty, even ten minutes after an accident, cops get completely different stories, cars with the wrong number of doors and wrong colors, and on and on. Besides, anybody can write down that some character or another saw something. Something being written down is no guarantee that it happened. Harry Potter isn't a real magician.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Are you talkin' 'bout the first or second death??

      July 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  11. AtheistSteve

    "The Judicial system or jury may not provide justice but GOD will."

    No he will not. There is no divine justice, only the flawed human form. No matter which side of the Zimmerman issue you side with the fact remains that any crime that escapes justice in life will not be rectified after death. The Christian myth of divne justice is simply an escuse designed to overcome feelings of unfairness. Our existence in a world that is sometimes cruel and unjust doesn't sit well with those who believe that sin exists and ultimate justice will prevail. But the sad truth remains that sin doesn't exist, only crime is real. Any crime that goes unpunished by the courts will stay unpunished. The only consolation being that the eventual death of the perpetrator will end any further criminal activity.

    July 14, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Saraswati

      "No he will not. There is no divine justice, only the flawed human form."

      When you go around making blanket statements like this for which you have no evidence, you make all the rest of us non-believers look bad. You have no idea, and the fact you would go around stating nonsense like this in a public forum just emphasizes how little of a clue you have. I find fundamentalist atheists at least as annoying, if not moreso, than fundamentalist Christians. More annoying because by their irrational extremisim they doom efforts at secularization at every turn.

      July 14, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • lol??

      Tweety birds of a feather tweet together.

      July 14, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Really? Are you saying you support the idea of divine justice? Or that sin is real? Care to cite any cases where people have been convicted on charges of greed, lust, gluttony, envy, adultery etc.? What blanket statements have I made that aren't supported by reason or evidence?

      July 14, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • lol??

      I wonder if they're included with other hateful birds?? Inclusivity works miracles in a mob, err flock setting.

      July 14, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      AtheistSteve has it right. Of course, the way things are is unsatisfying to most people.

      July 14, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      @AtheistSteve, Are you asking me? I don't personally believe in God and suspect there is no divine justice, so I'm not about to. pull out evidence. As for sin, it depends on the definition you use.

      July 14, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • barbie

      Nobody is trying to save you A.S., and it really doesn't matter if you believe or not. It isn't part of the criteria. Pharaoh didn't believe either and it says the path to heaven is small. It is what it is, there is a passage about you too. So good luck on your path and journey. As for the believers we will keep on believing. So much for your hopelessness.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • barbie

      Nobody is trying to save you A.S., and it really doesn't matter if you believe or not. It isn't part of the criteria. Pharaoh didn't believe either and it says the path to heaven is small. It is what it is, there is a passage about you too. So good luck on your path and journey. As for the believers we will keep on believing. So much for your hopelessness. Too bad 4 u

      July 14, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • the AnViL™

      AS is absolutely correct – there is no divine justice.

      those of you who believe that statement requires evidence are disgustingly ignorant and stupid.

      July 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • justice for all

      remind us again what part of canada is florida in?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  12. Reality

    Higher judges than six women who listened, reviewed and came up with a verdict? Bless the Founding Fathers who established this system of justice. As far as some other mythical judge/god?

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    July 14, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  13. Truth Prevails :-)

    Not guilty does not imply innocence. This was a living man's word against a dead man's word. Zimmerman profiled Trayvon, there is no question about that. Zimmerman was advised not follow, he did not listen. Who started the battle, no-one will ever know for sure. I don't care what either of their pasts may show, all that matters is what happened in the time leading up to an armed man pulling a weapon on an unarmed teenager....a point that there really is only one side of the story being told for, dead men don't speak.
    The only judgement to be had was had. Zimmerman will live his life with the death of a kid hanging over his head forever and will never truly be free, no matter where he goes people will recognize him and hate him.
    For those supporting Zimmerman, if Trayvon was your child you would not be supporting Zimmerman.

    July 14, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ truth: You weren't there, so you might want to make such as-sertions of absolutes. The state had to prove Zimmerman's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" – a very high standard. The state failed to convince the jury.

      July 14, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Attack: There are a few points that were obvious:
      a) Zimmerman was told not to follow Trayvon but yet he did.
      b) Trayvon did not have a weapon
      c) Zimmerman profiled Trayvon based on a simple fact-the kid was wearing a hoodie.

      No-one knows who confronted who...that is Zimmerman's word against a dead man's word. Only 2 people truly know what happened in the moments leading up to this unarmed teens death-him and Zimmerman. Was the use of a weapon necessary? Obviously the State failed to prove their case or Zimmerman would be exactly where I believe he should be...in jail. Either way Zimmerman lives his life knowing he killed this kid and I'm going to guess that won't be an easy thing to live with, unless Zimmerman is heartless.

      July 14, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  14. Saraswati

    I don't know if any god's will bring justice, but if he was guilty and hasn't learned from this we'll likely as not see him pay in the same way as OJ finally did. People who can't learn normally go down in the end. If his main crime was stupidity, the last year and the guilt he will live with will hopefully be enough to ensure he behaves better in the future. His dream of a life in law enforcement is almost certainly over and that loss will, I hope, have taught him and other over-zealous and arrogant wannabe cops a lesson. I hope Mr. Zimmerman will make some good of his life out of what he has learned.

    July 14, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  15. faith

    dear god, what a tragedy

    July 14, 2013 at 6:58 am |
  16. Miss Chocolate Mom

    Another trial of life, a sad day, and reminder to tell those you love that you love them while you can.

    July 14, 2013 at 5:16 am |
  17. Colin

    God playing one of the fundamental roles for which he was invented. He either (i) answers questions the believer cannot work out for himself – such as the origins of the Universe or of life on Earth – “I don’t know therefore God did it”; (ii) gives people a false level of control over their environment – “I prayed that my mother’s cancer would go away.”; or (iii) let’s them think there is some kind of cosmic justice to remove their bad feelings at what they perceive as an injustice on Earth – “Zimmerman will answer to God in the end.”

    In other words, God is a crutch for the ignorant, the weak and the easily satisfied.

    July 14, 2013 at 4:45 am |
    • And then

      God also helps scared people with their fear of dying, and gives a concept of something beyond the self. God gives philosphers something to debate and atheists something to complain about. God gives agnostics something to try and define. If a concept is serving so many purposes what happens when it is eliminated?

      July 14, 2013 at 6:55 am |
  18. Emma

    God is you imaginary friend. Zimmerman is free. Hahahaha....

    July 14, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • Flamespeak

      Well, look at it this way, people were praying for justice and it was found.

      July 14, 2013 at 4:42 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Flame, There is no evidence that praying has any effect on the object of the prayer. Explain why you think this was justice. How would you feel if your unarmed son carrying only snacks was followed and ultimately killed in this manner?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  19. MICHAEL WHITE

    Wow, all of a sudden these Democrats and leftist media suddenly believe in God? They sure put lots of energy trying to keep God out of schools and government, now they turn to God in hopes of correcting a perceived wrong? Outlandish and hypocritical!

    July 14, 2013 at 4:21 am |
    • Saraswati

      I'm not sure how many things you misunderstand here. First, this story is about people using Twitter, not the media. If you aren't sure what twitter is there are a lot of articles online. Second, Just because people support separation of church and state does not mean they aren't religious. In diverse communities around the world people have established secular states so that people of different religions can live together freely and in peace. I don't think I've ever had to explain this to anyone over 10 years old, so I wonder if it something else you don't undertand?

      July 14, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • the AnViL™

      twitter is media. *rolls eyes*

      July 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      In the context that Michael used the term, media typically means the "professional" media who supposedly have professional standards to meet.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      AnViL, the OP was using the term to refer to "mass media". See Webster's. If you can't discern meaning from context you might want to be a bit more reserved on the eye rolls.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      twitter is social media. the op used the term media – not mass media, dingbat. while the op may be a bit of a goober – he was most certainly referring to the media outlined in the article (twitter) and his acknowledgment of the fact that those he perceives as liberal are calling out to gods for divine justice – which he feels is incongruent with his stunted ideal of liberalism. see – tea party tards are convinced all "liberals" are "atheists".

      twitter is media – deal with it.

      are you all caught up now????

      July 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      AnViL, If you were right he would be calling twitter itself a "leftist media". That is like refering to your television set as "Libertarian".

      July 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  20. JoMama

    Harvey D. Rabbit wrote: "Interesting that the people that are happy about this are right-wing white people."

    And I would ask, you know this, how? You need to move back to the trailer park with RS. You deserve each other.

    July 14, 2013 at 4:07 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.