• Pastor Jason Murphy

A Hug, A Bible, and a History Lesson

Did you hear about the man and the judge who dared to give a convicted murderer a hug and a Bible? 


Amber Guyger, who was a Dallas Police Officer at the time of the incident, returned to what she thought was her apartment after a long shift. She was attempting to unlock the door when she heard noise coming from the inside of what she thought was her apartment. She pulled out her gun and shot what she thought was an intruder in her apartment. Turns out, she was on the wrong floor of her apartment complex. Therefore, she was attempting to unlock and enter the wrong apartment. The noise she heard was actually the man who lived in the apartment. She shot and killed an unarmed man in his own apartment. 

Amber Guyger was dismissed from the Dallas Police Department. She was arrested and charged with murder. She was eventually convicted of murder for shooting and killing Botham Jean, and was sentenced to ten years in prison. 


At the sentencing, something amazing and unexpected happened. The brother of the murder victim, Brandt Jean, told Amber Guyger that his brother would have wanted her to turn her life over to Christ, and that if she asks God for forgiveness, she will get it. He also stated, “I love you as a person. I don’t wish anything bad on you,” Then, he looked at the judge and said, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug?” The judge granted permission, and Jean and Amber stood up, met each other in front of the bench, and embraced in a hug. Amber cried as Jean assured her that he forgave her.

Botham Jean's Brother Forgives Amber Guyger, Then Hugs Her.

Judge Tammy Kemp, who presided over the courtroom, waited till the official proceedings were over, then she stepped down from the bench and spoke to Amber Guyger as well. In their brief conversation, Amber mentioned that she did not have a Bible. Judge Kemp went to her chambers and returned with her personal Bible and gave it to the woman that had she just sentenced to prison. Judge Kemp said, “This is your job for the next month. You read right here: John 3:16.”.


Wow! What an amazing display of grace and forgiveness demonstrated by the victim’s brother. What an amazing display of justice coupled with mercy and grace demonstrated by the judge. Both the brother and the judge clearly displayed for the whole world to see what it looks like when Christians apply the Bible to contemporary culture. 

Both the brother and the judge clearly displayed for the whole world to see what it looks like when Christians apply the Bible to contemporary culture. 

As expected, the left went nuts. They hate anything to do with real Christianity. The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Their chief complaint is that it was inappropriate for Judge Kemp to give Amber Guyger the Bible, and to read a passage from it. 


Why? Why is that inappropriate? Well, many people believe it is inappropriate because they wrongfully believe that the First Amendment guarantees the separation of church and state. Therefore, this Judge breached the wall that separates the two by giving this woman a Bible. 

There is no such thing as the “wall of separation of church and state” in either the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment gives us freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the freedom to assemble. It does not erect a wall of separation of church and state, at least not the way the left defines it. 


The first phrase of the First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,”. It's clear that the First Amendment protects religious freedom and places constraints on secularism and the government.


It is not designed to stifle religious expression in America. In fact, it was written for the exact opposite purpose, which is to keep the government from squelching religion, and by religion, the founding fathers meant the various branches of Christianity. Joseph Story was appointed as a Justice to the United States Supreme Court in 1811 by James Madison, who is referred to as “The Chief Architect of the Constitution”. In Joseph Story’s commentary on the First Amendment’s original meaning he wrote, “The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.” (America’s God and Country by William J. Federer) In other words, the First Amendment was not intended to give all religions freedom, but to give all Christian sects, or denominations, freedom, and to make sure that there would not be one Christian denomination to rule, or to become the “State Church”.


Again, the first phrase of the First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” So, the question becomes, “Where did the terminology ‘separation of church and state’ come from”? The answer may shock you. When Thomas Jefferson became President, the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury Connecticut wrote Thomas Jefferson a letter. In that letter, they expressed their concern that one day the government would force a national religion upon the people as some of the states were doing in the new found colonies. Thomas Jefferson wrote a personal private letter back to the Association in which he said that would never happen. As a matter-of-fact, the first amendment makes sure this will not happen. He wrote: “The legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” The rest of the letter explains that the government is dedicated to Jesus Christ but will not tell people how to worship Him. 


So, how did it become public policy to use a phrase from a private letter to intimidate and silence Christians and secularize America? An ACLU lawyer wrote it as an opinion for a Supreme Court Judge and the Supreme Court used it in the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education to stifle religious expression in America, and it became public policy ever since. (Original Intent by David Barton) It is erroneous, deceitful, and illegitimate. 


Judge Kemp did nothing wrong. If anything, she was acting in accordance with the spirit, intent, and original meaning of the First Amendment. It is the Freedom from Religion Foundation, ACLU, and every other leftist, communists, and atheistic organization that is wrong. They hate Christianity, and they will do anything to stifle its public expression, and to silence the voice of Christians. Do not be intimidated. The law is on our side. It was written to protect Christians as opposed to all religions in general. Stand firm. The Law of God is on our side. 

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