Re: Phillip Johnson at Northshore Church

From: David F Siemens (
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 00:27:16 EDT

  • Next message: Lucy Masters: "[Fwd: Good and bad lawyers (was Re: Phillip Johnson at Norshore...]"

    On Mon, 23 Apr 2001 21:02:25 EDT writes:
    > In a message dated 04/23/2001 8:24:15 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
    > writes:
    > << Jonathan Clark remarked: "One last question. If we must "think
    > lawyer"
    > when responding to PJ, how do we avoid sinking to
    > the level of lawyers?"
    > As one who has a lawyer in the family (my daughter), I'm hoping
    > this was
    > a quip.
    > >>
    > As one who has friends and a distant relative or two who are
    > lawyers, but
    > more importantly as one who has tried to think about this issue a
    > little, I
    > think Jon just forgot to say "trial" and perhaps "most" and maybe
    > "defense"
    > ,that is, "the level of most trial (defense) lawyers." Undoubtedly
    > there is
    > moral corruption in other areas of law (as well as in other
    > professional
    > areas), but it seems to me that it is in trials that both truth and
    > justice
    > are most desperately and deeply subordinated to winning a case and
    > making a
    > profit. In any event there is an enormous and I thnk
    > disproportionate amount
    > of moral corruption in the legal system; and Christians and
    > Christian lawyers
    > in particular should be openly calling this sin "SIN" and "EVIL",
    > questioning
    > it in legal journals, and confronting the truly guilty with their
    > sin and
    > with the gospel. This is what Philip Johnson for one should be
    > doing; but, I
    > wonder if any professing Christian lawyer is doing this?
    > Paul

    The matter of lawyers brings back memories. In the college where I
    taught, there were classes in real estate ethics taught by a lawyer.
    Every time the class listings came out, one of the members of the
    philosophy team would object that only philosophers were competent to
    teach ethics. Each time we had to assure him that what went on in that
    class had nothing to do with ethics and the principles of right and
    wrong. Rather, it was a presentation of what the realtors had to do to
    keep their license and to avoid being sent to jail.

    The ethics of the legal profession are similar. They have nothing to do
    with right and wrong, moral and immoral actions. It's purely a matter of
    keeping a license (although behavior has to be egregiously violative of
    all standards in many states to even rate a reprimand, let alone being
    relieved of the license to practice), and of getting a fee. I am thankful
    that there are lawyers who go beyond legal ethics to morality. But I
    understand that they may be required to give the best defense possible to
    some guilty scumbag on being so assigned by a judge.

    There are, I fear, few with the integrity of a member of a Brethren
    (Tunker) Church in a small county seat. I encountered him over 50 years
    ago. A woman, not a member of his church, came to him to seek a divorce,
    which was contrary to his faith. So, at his expense, he worked to achieve
    a reconciliation and change of the behavior which had prompted her
    desire. While there may be others with that level of commitment, I
    haven't heard of them. More common are the lawyers who file fraudulent
    and frivolous suits because they know that the defense will find it
    cheaper to pay them off than to go through a trial.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Apr 24 2001 - 00:19:37 EDT