Celebrity Takes Precedence Over Real Life (and Death!)

death penalty

I have to say I was disturbed recently by the response a friend of mine received from a post she wrote. Many of you know of Courtney Heard, AKA “Godless Mom” and that she is a fierce anti-death penalty advocate. She has been communicating, via mail with a man on death row in Texas for a crime that is suspicious in that none of the evidence seems to prove that this man, awaiting execution, actually committed the crime he has been sentenced to death for and remaining there for decades while his case is being appealed.

Here’s the tweet from Courtney that caught my attention:


How is it that some salacious gossip would override an important story as someone on death row? Of course we’re all interested in any celebrity news and of course Neil Tyson is just that: a celebrity. We’ve seen this before: prominent atheists accused of sexual misconduct. The twitter-verse  went viral on unsubstantiated accusations. We atheists, being pure and moral, wanted heads. Believe the accuser even though there was no actual evidence of any crime having been committed.

And this, this is more important to atheists than an innocent sitting on death row. Despicable. Why is it that so any atheists, clearly on the left, cannot, or will not  support an effort to end the death penalty? Are we so concerned with  bagging some popular,

I’m conservative and most  view people with my political ideology as being in favor of the death penalty. I’m not. I was  at one time until I took the time, a small effort, to understand the process and read about some that may in fact be innocent of the crime they were convicted. There have been hundreds, since the 1970’s convicted of horrible crimes that have been released from prison. In the past 2 decades alone, because of the advent of DNA evidence, 21 people previously on death row have been vindicated. Before that, people were convicted in many cases based on nothing more than they wer in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wonder how many we’ve put to death in this country based on a statement like, “I was so high that night, I have no idea where I was or what I may have done”? Even if over the years that number is just one, isn’t that one too many?

We live in a culture that is dominated by celebrity and those people that do not make the headlines are often tossed aside, their lives deemed of less value than aomeone of wealth and fame that far outsrips any of their actual accomplishments. none of these are real world problems and have no affect on society as a whole, yet we are transfixed by these same people while others who are more deserving, go unnoticed. This is the issue we’ve had for years with the death penalty.

There are very few voices advocating for the end to this practice and it’s because most people don;t care what happens to bad people. Of course it’s possible, as in the case deftly considered by Courtney, that an injustice may be about to happen and for that to go unnoticed may actually be the larger crime. Even if the person is guilty of the crime they were convicted of, which is dubious in this case,  does the state have the right or obligation to kill that person?  When we accept that the state has the right to put someone to death, we become the worst of what a civilized society means.

Instead of our focus being on a person that may have been inappropriate in their relationships with those of the opposite sex, endlessly speculating, why not spend just one-tenth that time advocating for someone about to be killed by the state, that by all serious accounts – even by the victim’s family – is innocent?

It’s time for those that claim to be woke to actually wake up to the fact that the death penalty is nothing more than societies revenge and a harbinger of the past that we can no longer attend. The more of us that raise our voices to put an end to this, the sooner it will be. It’s time to take a stand.


6 thoughts on “Celebrity Takes Precedence Over Real Life (and Death!)

  1. While I must agree with you, and I would be surprised by capital punishment support from left or left of center atheists, I am neither surprised nor very troubled by our foolish priorities. A bit jaded by our nature, I suppose.


  2. From the beginning of civilization, there have been classes of humans with the elites fairing better in all manners and the general masses or those in the lowest class getting the shaft. There has been no system of government even among tribes, that I know of, wherein this has not been the case. So this is nothing new and will probably always be with humanity.

    I favor the death penalty in very specific cases when supported fully by all evidence. I accept that it is part of society’s duty to remove permanently those who are human monsters.

    I can support an end to the death sentence for those whose evidence of guilt is not fully provided for such a decision to be made in courts, whether their case is in the past or ongoing.

    It is next to impossible for the average person to intelligently get behind any particular case against the advancing of a death sentence, just because someone else says so. I neither know this blogger nor the case that she has made her cause. Jumping to conclusions without all the facts is part of our 21st Century problem. That may be a terrible shame on us, but that is the reality.


  3. I’m with you on the death penalty, but I’m not sure I understand how GM can be surprised by the different reactions. We’ve all heard of Tyson, and people are going to have an opinion about someone with whom they are already familiar.


    • I just think it has to do with the amount of attention the Tyson issue received when the most that could or would happen to him is that he lost his reputation – and his TV show.


  4. Just realized what was said about Tyson and searched to find out what I slept through. Another casualty in the war on men. Accused and done for. These cases differ from those on death row, who may not be guilty, because they are happening in current time and attention span and the “court” process is played out in the media, with sentencing carried out before any other process is.

    At least the Cosby case followed a pattern of law, even though it was long in coming.

    I would submit that if there have been no charges filed, no investigations, no lawyers involved, no court proceedings, no final judgement and sentencing, then we should all be very dismayed that “the most that could happened to him” has apparently happened.


    • I reserve any judgement on Tyson because what I’ve read is very sketchy. What bothers me more is that soething like this would actually trend over social media. It’s an issue with becoming famous that it sems at some point, someone is going to come out of the woodwork and make accusations that there is no way to defend. But it’s also about our celebirty culture that we would think that this was more important the a life/death situation. It’s telling about our culture.


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