Judge Dodd of the district court has seen a number of his cases end up in the court of appeal because he has a habit of falling asleep during his trials. In my DPP days we thought a judge that didn’t fall asleep during a trial quite extraordinary. Anyone having to endure a barrister reading out a prepared speech for up to two hours will have a great deal of sympathy for the judge. I remember a case where the only person not struggling with the onslaught of the sandman was the one on his feet reading.
Meanwhile Justice Kirby of the High Court suggested this week that it would be good not only to televise the proceedings of the High Court but to have a dedicated channel allocated to it. Sounds like the big brother of big brothers. Imagine how riveting it would be if Judge Dodd made it to the high court.
If only Adam had understood what eating the fruit from that tree would lead to. It was called the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” because the eating of it was not only an act of rebellion which introduced evil into our world, it also loaded us up with the impossible task of deciding the difference between good and evil for ourselves. This act left us without an ultimate arbiter and umpire and we have been unable to regulate society or our own personal lives ever since.
We need someone who knows the past, present and future. Someone who is incorruptible and one who will never be confused by either complexity or emotions. We need one who not only understands our external actions but also our internal motives. We need one who knows exactly what the consequences of every action is. On top of that we also need someone who is compassionate and has our best interests at heart. It might also be helpful to have one who doesn’t fall asleep on the job.
The problem we have is that we are too close to the ground, too tied to the present, too wrapped in self interest, too insecure and too confused. We’re too prone to corruption, vice and our own foolish emotions to even begin to do the job well. Sadly we are deluded enough to think we are the best judge of good and evil and resent anyone, even God, telling us we are wrong. The moment one man feels he has the right to determine his own morality and ethics, he opens the door for every man to believe the same thing. How can you expect harmony when you have 6 1/2 billion people all living according to their own set of rules and all wanting to set up their own courts of justice.
Our friend Justice Kirby is a homosexual who has a vested interest in helping people feel comfortable living outside the boundaries of God’s laws. For him the final arbiter is that ungraspable masked man called Public Opinion. He wants the proceedings of the High Court made more public and a more rapid turnover of high court judges believing that such things would make the court more in tune with changing community standards. Haven’t we eaten enough fruit from that wretched tree already?
Solomon who was given the job of exercising human rule over the kingdom of God recognised that Israel, now firmly established in the promised land, was to be an experiment in re-creating Eden. That being the case, when offered anything he wanted byGod very wisely prayed for “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).
Solomon, unlike George Bush who seems to have suffered amnesia over the last few months, realised that mankind can never be trusted in the marketplace or anywhere else without an independent umpire. Solomon knew that God was the only one really qualified for the job.
What I find wonderful as a Christian is that the new Jerusalem, soon to drop out of heaven, will have no tree of the knowledge of good and evil because none will be silly enough to eat from it. All of us have learned from bitter experience that we can never really experience peace and harmony unless we leave the judging up to God.
In such a world Judge Dodd can finally rest in peace.
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