Thursday, June 29, 2017

Presumption of guilt is the antithesis of a liberal society

                In the United States, we have a phrase, "innocent until proven guilty",(See Coffin V. United States, 1895)  this is allegedly one of the foundations of our classical liberal society, though our legal system seems to think otherwise.  The United States is not alone in this, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, article 11 declares: "Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence".  I bring this up, because, it seems, this does not apply to Catholic clergy.  The presumption is (and this is often pushed by the media), "Accused means guilty".  Unfortunately, this pushes public thinking into that, and even when the media does admit the case was dismissed OR the accused is found not guilty or innocent, the damage is already done.  I bring this up because, well, I'm sick of people assuming that accused means guilty.  It does not.  People tend to forget that one important thing about human nature is that money makes the world go 'round.  We're much more content serving mammon than serving God.  There's no chance for a high profile cleric, even if he is found not guilty.  But he most likely won't be.  The media has already made up its mind, and its mind is that he is guilty. 

*When I use the term "liberal" I mean it in the traditional sense on the basis of equality, not the modern political term, which is quite different.

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