Posted by: owizblog | September 20, 2016

Acquitting the Prosecutor: Thought For The Day, BBC Radio Scotland,20 September 2016

“Loves, darlings, I want to thank my parents, without whom I wouldn’t be here today, my lovely wife and family, my Church Officer and Elders… Excuse me a moment… The emotion…”  Awards ceremonies aren’t my thing. They remind me of comedian Bob Monkhouse’s dictum that “Sincerity is everything. If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made…” So I mentally tuned out of yesterday’s news coverage of this year’s Emmys, the prestigious US television awards – until Sarah Paulson’s acceptance speech.

Paulson had won an award for her portrayal, in The People Versus OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, of Simpson’s publicly-ridiculed prosecutor Marcia Clark, whom some blamed at the time for, as they saw it, OJ’s “getting away with murder”.

Here she was, saying: “The more I learned about the real Marcia Clark, not the two-dimensional cardboard cut-out I saw in the news, the more I had to recognize that I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial and careless in my judgment…”

Speaking directly to Ms Clark in the audience, she said “I’m glad to be able to stand in front of everyone here today and tell you I’m sorry…”

I thought several things at once. I realized that Ms Paulson seemed sincere in her apology. I realized that I was sitting, judging her, assessing her sincerity. She spoke of “millions of television viewers who’d been superficial and careless in their judgment.” And here was I, watching television and judging. And it struck me that Sarah Paulson had had to reassess her judgment of Marcia Clark after playing her as a role, entering into her character, placing herself where history had placed Clark.

We all judge so easily. We judge from outside without knowing. Christians can turn God into an external, judgmental figure, when the heart of their faith should be a God who wears our human nature, enters into what we are and knows us from within. Of all Jesus’ sayings, perhaps the hardest for us all, whatever we believe, is “Judge not, that ye be not judged…”

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