Thursday, June 30, 2005

An Ace is Dooced: Prosecutor Fired Over Blog

Lance Salyers was an assistant prosecuting attorney at the Montgomery County, Ohio, prosecutor's office until yesterday, when he was fired for writing a blog entry critical of a justice system that tells victims, "You're not worth fighting for." Read his entry about his firing—and the entry that sparked his employer's ire—on his blog, Ragged Edges.

Something tells me that Ragged Edges is going to be where the action is for some time.

I know Lance, and the interesting thing about his case is that he is not a rabid, ultraconservative, God-blogging fanatic. He's a mild-mannered, garden-variety midwestern Protestant Christian. He never made any trouble for anyone but the rapists he put in jail. If he can suddenly suffer the loss of a job for speaking out against what he perceives as injustice, it can happen to anyone.

Simply put, some people don't like working with people who believe there is a real difference between good and evil. Those people don't like the feeling of having their behavior judged—and they feel judged by the mere presence of someone who believes there's right and wrong. To that end, like the vinedressers in Jesus' parable, they believe that by disposing of the person who represents judgment to them, they can dispose of judgment itself. In Lance's case, they tossed out a breadwinner who has a wife and a 5-month-old daughter.

It's important to realize that every stand for righteousness, however small—even a stand for the concept of righteousness—makes an important difference. This is not just a Christian concept, but a concept that runs through every major religion, as was noted by C.S. Lewis.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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Part 2 of yesterday's post will appear tomorrow.