Last week, a Florida man was accused of assaulting his wife for "using the Lord's name in vain" by smacking her head during an argument. He said the Christian bible's third commandment prohibits "using the Lord's name in vain."
Earlier this month, once he found out he would not be receiving the death penalty, a cult leader pleaded guilty to killing a 4-year-old boy he suspected was gay because the Christian bible calls gays an abomination and says they should be killed.
After 13 days of testimony last year, Muzzammil Hassan, formerly the CEO of Bridges TV, an American Muslim media outlet, was found guilty of second degree murder for stabbing and beheading his ex-wife. Many characterized the murder as an honor killing even though Hassan was not a devout Muslim.
It was not much longer after that when Warren Jeffs, leader of the FLDS polygamy cult, was convicted by a Texas jury for aggravated child sexual assault in his "spiritual marriages" to two underage girls, ages 12 and 14.
Children with treatable illnesses die because of faith healing, a practice that is legal in some states. Others are killed in exorcism rituals.
The foregoing are just a few of many news stories reported here and elsewhere where religious belief and faith is used to justify criminal behavior.
In America, everyone is entitled to defend himself. But is using religion as an excuse or as a mitigating factor because of perceived religious morals warranted to justify what society deems to be criminal behavior?
This unscientific poll will remain open until 7:00 a.m. Pacific time on Sunday, June 24, 2012. Although our polling software records IPs to void double voting, your personal identity will remain anonymous when you vote in the poll. Comments and discussion are welcome and appreciated, particularly if you do not agree with any of the poll's answers.
Thanks in advance for voting.
Is religious belief an acceptable excuse for criminal behavior?
- No. (95%, 87 Votes)
- Sometimes -- if the religious belief is sincere. (3%, 3 Votes)
- Yes. (2%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 92