July 14th, 2013
12:18 AM ET

Twitter theme: Zimmerman will face a higher Judge

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. chuck

    A Higher Judge has already Judged today, and peoples Prayers were answered.

    July 14, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Who prayed for what and whose prayers were answered?

      July 14, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • RS

      Yes, chuck they prayed for zimmerman to go to prison and one day he will. Poor Trayvon Martin. I hope he didn't die in vain. zimmerman will pay for his crime. chuck you can rest assured that zimmerman will get justice soon...

      July 14, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  2. Drew

    Or maybe there is no God, and he'll just end up dead like the rest of us. Just a thought...call me crazy if you want.

    July 14, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • zeyn2010

      True, can't assume there is a higher power... And, that's why I think we should try to make ourselves immortal rather than assuming there's after life. Wish we could LOL

      July 14, 2013 at 2:12 am |
    • Psst...

      Zeyn 2010 very well said.

      July 14, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  3. R.M. Goodswell

    If the kid had kept walking and just gone home .....George Zimmerman was an over the top, self appointed neighborhood watch..the kind you just ignore.

    but no...enter thug culture....

    July 14, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • HotAirAce

      If Zimmerman had just stayed in his truck. . .

      July 14, 2013 at 2:07 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Anyone can follow anyone on a public street....

      July 14, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • zeyn2010

      Only if there was not a gun involved... non of this tragedy would've happened.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • Brian Hartman

      Martin did keep walking. The only actual evidence we have is that Zimmerman followed Martin. And look at where Zimmerman said the fight started, and where the body ended up. (Hint: It wasn't towards Zimmerman's car.)

      Plus, we have the phone records. The fight started when Martin was still on the phone, and 911 was called ~ 40 seconds after the phone went dead. That means Zimmerman started the fight. In what universe would someone start a fistfight while they were still on the phone?

      July 14, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Im sure the jury heard that angle...if they did apparently it didn't carry a lot of weight.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:02 am |
    • RS

      Nice way to turn around the FACTS. KNOW the case in which you speak!!!!! zimmerman was asked by the police to turn around and STOP PURSUING TRAYVON. zimmerman kept following him and zimmerman murdered him. Wake up and see the truth! zimmerman will face justice one day. Trayvon was NO thug. His only crime was being young and black. Wake up, we live in America!

      July 14, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Man, a lot of witnesses here on cnn... why didn't you testify?

      July 14, 2013 at 3:30 am |
    • God wears panties

      Wasnt the community gated? Was Martin considered trespassing? Was GZ in his right to follow Martin?

      July 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Saraswati

        Martin was staying with relatives who lived there.

        July 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  4. SF

    That higher authority works through us–It isn't air in the sky-
    Can't wait for GF to be required to testify in Civil Court-Answering the question of -Iif he was pinned how could Trayvon be going for his gun in his back pocket-Also His body was on the grass far from any concrete-Not a life threatening situation-A fist fight with a stalker does not require murder-

    July 14, 2013 at 1:55 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      The instant you attack somebody physically, they have the right to defend themselves....George Zimmerman was taking a beating..he was losing had had no clue if Trayvon would stop...

      July 14, 2013 at 2:09 am |
    • HotAirAce

      There was no evidence to prove who started the fight. Zimmerman could have started it.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:13 am |
    • Brian Hartman

      Zimmerman started the fight. Look at Martin's phone logs and when the 911 call was placed. Martin was still on the phone when the fight started – meaning he didn't start it.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:21 am |
      • stardust

        yeah, i mean it's literally impossible to start a fight while talking on the phone. it can't be done :/

        July 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Athy

      Bullshit, Ben. The trial's over. There wasn't enough evidence to get beyond a reasonable doubt. That's the way the law works. Live with it.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • RS

      You're right. zimmerman murdered him and got away with it. Color aside... zimmerman stalked and killed an unarmed kid. He deserves to be in prison at the very least.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  5. Ted

    God spoke today through 6 jurors. Want a more vengeful God, convert to Islam.

    July 14, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Gruber123

      Those six jurors believed a lie.....

      July 14, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • RS

      Those 6 jurors are idiots. God will punish zimmerman. A murderer walked free today. If it were your son, you wouldn't even leave such an ignorant comment.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • sam stone

      or judaism

      July 14, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  6. Samuel

    God Bless Zimmerman and protect him from those who wish to do you harm. Jesus protected him today, for he is God's child. May god walk with him daily and protect him from those who hate him. May Zimmerman be a witness for the Lord always. Amen.

    July 14, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Gruber123

      Woe to those who call evil good....

      July 14, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • jw

      I don't think that God is pleased that Zimmerman murdered an innocent child, and that he has been molesting his cousin for many years. Care to rethink your high opinion of this man?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • Ummmm


      And what does this "God" character think of you for 'bearing false witness'?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Wasn'tvTrayvon Martin one of your god's children too? Why wasn't he protected months ago?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • RS

      Samuel, you mean Trayvon Martin. Samuel, Trayvon Martin is in your prayers. His beautiful, black face will be looking down, way down... at you and zimmerman. zimmerman will receive justice one day, not God's forgiveness. zimmerman committed the worse sin and HE WILL PAY! Trayvon is the beautiful, clean angel that deserves all the blessings and love God has to offer. Many blessings to Trayvon and his family. Your son didn't die in vain.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • sam stone

      wasn't martin "god's child" too, samuel?

      July 14, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  7. ag

    God is showing us all something. 42 Jackie Robertsons is out, wasn't this Sanford, Florida. Same prejudice abounds. BOYCOTT that place. Drive a little further, for groceries, gas ,buy online etc.... Whatever you have to do. DON'T GIVE THIS TOWN YOUR MONEY!!!!!! NO MORE!!!!

    July 14, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • jacqueline

      exactly exactly, i just stated the exact same thing to my family . so true so true great minds think alike. i hope each person especially black folk take this advice for at least one month l praise god . the ultimate judge.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • Flamespeak

      If you feel that the town of Sanford is racist towards African-Americans, wouldn't African-Americans avoiding the town actually be a good thing to that town's eyes?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • *

      Who is Jackie "Robertson"?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:39 am |
  8. Gregg

    CNN sold it's soul a long time ago. It's a shame how hard it is to find a place where you can find ACTUAL news and reporting without this sensationalist spin.

    July 14, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  9. Flamespeak

    I find it odd how anybody could even think that Zimmerman would get a prison sentence with the evidence being presented in the first place. There was almost nothing but conjecture, hear-say, and appeals to emotion on the prosecutions side of the table while the defense just showed a bunch of evidence that backed up their stance.

    I reserved judgement until after the prosecution rested, then I didn't even need to hear the defense. Anybody who wouldn't have voted for him to be innocent of murder and manslaughter simply has no idea what reasonable doubt is and also fail to grasp the concept that the PROSECUTION has to prove their case, not the defense.

    July 14, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter, which is not the same as being declared innocent. Between his lawyer's fees and very likely to be found guilty in a civil suit, he will spend the rest of his life in poverty.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • Flamespeak

      Can't get hemmed up on a civil suit for the same crime as a previous criminal case in the state of Florida, Hot Air.

      Really, that is how it should be. Double Jeopardy and all that jazz.

      In regards to his lawyers fee, those have already been paid for from people that were donating cash to him during the whole trial.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • Brian Hartman

      I agree there wasn't a lot of evidence for Murder 2. I could've seen an acquittal if that was the only charge. But the manslaughter charge was solid. All the state had to prove was that Zimmerman caused Martin's death in a way that was not legally justified. And they did that. You don't get to claim self-defense when you start the fight, and it's very clear from the phone records that Zimmerman started the fight. Martin was still on the phone when the fight began. It was only because Zimmerman was losing the fight that he resorted to shooting. He wasn't afraid for his life. He just didn't want Martin to get away.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • HotAirAce

      There you go – I learned something today. Thanks! I still think his economic prospects are poor. Maybe a book and/or movie deal, but after that?

      July 14, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • Athy

      We're you there, Brian? How do you know all this?

      July 14, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Brian must have been there....

      July 14, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • RS

      Don't worry, the civil suit will find him guilty. He's a sick murderer and he'll get his sentence like other sick murderers.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • Flamespeak


      The phone records do not indicate that Martin was still on the phone when the fight broke out because there was no exact time listed as when the fight began. The complete lack of any defensive wounds on Martin and the only wounds he did have on him was battered knuckles and a bullet hole indicates he was the sole physical aggressor.

      You can add conjecture and hear-say, heck, you can even talk about the sound wet grass makes on a phone all you want to, but the hard evidence and the facts back up Zimmerman's claims and that is all that matters in the end.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:47 am |
    • RS

      Martin was a teen who was innocently killed. zimmerman pursued him EVEN AFTER the Florida Police told him to leave Trayvon alone. zimmerman murdered him. BTW, zimmerman had NO serious injuries. Lastly, in Florida, for zimmerman's crime that's 10 years minimum. The jurors are wrong. I promise you if Trayvon was white, zimmerman would be in jail. I feel that VERY strongly. Know Florida's history. Lots of racism there. Don't worry, zimmerman will LOSE in the civil suit. He'll be broke soon. Oh happy day!

      July 14, 2013 at 4:01 am |
      • Flamespeak

        Florida doesn't allow civil suits when you are found not guilty of a criminal offense as it falls under double jeopardy in that state. Also, does the name Roderick Scott mean anything to you? Black man shot and killed an unarmed 17 year-old white teenager and he got off with self-defense. The only difference is that in that case the 17 year-old was breaking into his neighbor's car and didn't even lay a finger on Roderick Scott. Why didn't this make the news? BECAUSE the races were switched.

        July 19, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Cops don't generally like wannabes- GZ was a cop wannabe. If they had found cause to hold him they would have. There was enormous pressure to convict the man even after the police had conducted the investigation.

      I recall cnn discussing TM's text history – one discussed a gun sale and one described a fight TM got into where the other guy didn't bleed enough for TM's satisfaction...

      July 14, 2013 at 4:14 am |
  10. dumb_media

    GOD, haha! people say their faith is strong or intact, then shut the "blank" up then the out come of events played out just as they were intended. celebrities only are supporting martin, and black people are making this more racial than it needs to be. I would like to say to zimmerman sorry that the world we live in now is horrible and one sided that when the justice system rules, that you are more unsafe now than before. I feel ashamed that racial tensions exist and are blinding people.

    July 14, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • jw

      Would you say that if your little brother was murdered by Zimmerman, and he walked? I highly doubt it.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  11. faith

    I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before. Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, these are outgrowths of Thoreau's insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. noted in his autobiography that his first encounter with the idea of non-violent resistance was reading "On Civil Disobedience" in 1944 while attending Morehouse College.

    noncooperation with evil

    July 14, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Seyedibar

      There is no such thing as evil... only things that aren't beneficial to society. Evil is a religious term synonymous with sin.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • G to the T

      That's kind of funny faith. Personally, I consider Thoreau one of the worst of his time. He did nothing but borrow money and/or live off his friends/family most of his life.

      July 15, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  12. foxy brown

    liberal garbage.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  13. Seyedibar

    Christians are so ridiculous. Their delusion permeates every corner of their existence. A higher judge living in some other dimension with magic powers? Sounds like some malarkey from a Dr Who episode.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Gruber123

      What do you know? You speak as if you have some knowledge of what is not. Who made you Author of truth?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • RS

      God aside then... zimmerman will receive justice one day. zimmerman WILL PAY! Trayvon will not have died in vain.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:30 am |
  14. Craig

    Tese tweets sound like Muslims. Just saying.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:49 am |
  15. Annie D

    I LOVE how CNN only puts reaction from one side of the coin! Great journalism CNN- always so unbiased!

    July 14, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Jenn

      I agree, I also think there are far more people on twitter talking about how Zimmerman should be murdered than people talking about god.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • RS

      Yeah, you only read what you want. Their are plenty of ignorant people siding with zimmerman on this blog.... Can you read? Trayvon is dead and zimmerman went free. If it was your kid, you'd wish zimmerman were in jail right now. Wake up and remember you live on planet racist earth!

      July 14, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • Flamespeak

      Don't worry, RS, as long as people like you exist, I will remember just how racist the Earth is.

      July 14, 2013 at 4:18 am |
  16. One without name

    What makes anyone think they know the Truth? Why do people assume that they know what happened? No one can see into the depths of Hell , or into the airy heights of Heaven? put yourself into the shoes of those two people at that place, in that time, Then you can answer.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Seyedibar

      There's a good reason people can see neither of those places, and it's because they don't exist. In the case of heaven, the idea was built on the misunderstanding of ancient kings building their palace high above the populace, usually on mountain ledges. Every time you seem the phrase "on high" after god's name in the bible, they are referring to the Canaanite mountain temples, not the sky. As for Hell, history and mythology lets us see the evolution of the idea from a ravine where they threw plague bodies and enemies, to a mysterious underworld everyone attended, to finally a lake of fire with horned leprechauns and such. Your delusional extradimensional realms do not exist.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • JustSaying

      Apparently the people whom the CNN quotes can look into Hell, because they are the ones with (beyond) lifetime membership to the Hell's clib

      July 14, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • RS

      Hey one without an opinion, zimmmerman killed an unarmed teenager. 10 years in prison min. Trayvon is dead and zimmerman went free. If it was your kid, you'd wish zimmerman were in jail right now.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:34 am |
  17. Bruggs

    I send a prayer to the Martin family, and to all who have lost love ones in unjust ways. Know that God is still l God and his Kingdom endureth forever. For the injustices done on this earth shall be judge by Him alone on the day of atonement less the wicked and unrepentant think he is asleep. Be peaceful and not take the law into our hands.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Athy

      Bruggs, do you ever proofread your comments?

      July 14, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  18. faith

    every one will

    July 14, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  19. Thought Purification

    and a questions to ALL church goers.......why do you think Zman was guilty?

    July 14, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Gruber123

      Because a 17 year boy is dead?

      July 14, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • Flamespeak


      That is a shame, but given the history of violence, drug use, and his fascination with thug culture (made evident by his flashing of a gun, smoking weed, and pics of underaged nude females on his camera phone and getting in trouble for assaulting a school bus driver) I doubt Trayvon Martin would have lived to 30 anyway.

      July 14, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • RS

      He killed an unarmed kid in cold blood. In the state of Florida that's 10 years minimum! He was black, so in Florida that means the criminal walks free. Sad and true. Now, YOU go read some history books and learn about our court system and how unfair it is. Ignorance isn't acceptable nowadays. Bye bye....

      July 14, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • Flamespeak


      1. Martin wasn't a child. He was a young adult, but an adult none-the-less.
      2. No matter the race, anyone would do whatever they could to get a stronger individual off of them when they are beating their head into concrete while sitting on their chest
      3. I seriously doubt you would have the slightest bit of a problem with the verdict if their races were switched

      July 14, 2013 at 3:44 am |
    • sam stone

      smoking weed is evidence on a thug culture?

      July 14, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • Flamespeak

        Yes it is. Other people do it to, but it is also undeniable part of thug culture as well.

        July 19, 2013 at 4:06 am |
  20. Thought Purification

    if you believed in "a higher authority", why wasted 16 months trying to put him behind bars?

    July 14, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Gruber123

      Who wasted 16 months? Look. you got a victory today....enjoy it. Murders walk sometimes.

      July 14, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Thought Purification

      @Gruber123, I bet you had hard time to accept OJ ever killed anyone.

      July 14, 2013 at 8:49 am |
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About this blog

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.