The Dallas Morning News is looking recognize someone as 'Texan of the Year'. I've recommended Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watson. I say why in my monthly column today. In part it reads:
"Jan.1, 2007, the day Craig Watkins was sworn in as Dallas' first African-American district attorney, marked a seismic shift in local politics. Perhaps even more significant than the election of Ron Kirk, our first black mayor, Mr. Watkins' first two years in office illustrate a commitment to just and effective enforcement of the law; citizens expect as much and rightly so.
"Mr. Watkins has taken his charge one step further – an equal commitment to justice. The Dallas D.A.'s office is as committed to seeing the innocent go free as it is in seeing the guilty prosecuted – and Mr. Watkins has redoubled those efforts in 2008.
"For that reason, Craig Watkins is my nominee for Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year.
"To date, 19 men, unfairly prosecuted and falsely imprisoned, have had their Dallas County convictions overturned through DNA technology that was unavailable at the time of prosecution. Most of them were found guilty because of faulty eyewitness testimony. But all were innocent."
I've been MIA from the Texas Faith online panel for a couple of weeks, but here's this weeks question:
"The U. S, Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on a case that has interesting religion-in-public-square implications. The case is Summum v. Pleasant Grove City and it’s been bumping up through the court system since 2003, when the founder of a religion called Summum asked the town of Pleasant Grove City in Utah to accept the donation of a stone monument with his faith’s precepts, to be placed in a city park next to a decades-old monument with the Ten Commandments. The city said no and the case was off and running — with several sets of federal judges ruling for Summum.
"The constitutional and social questions are important: How does a government body decide the credibility of a religion? How does the law protect the rights of minorities without imposing a tyranny of minorities? What kinds of objects belong in public parks?"
"If you were on the U.S. Supreme Court, how would you rule and why?"
You can read my reply to this week's question here. You may have a better answer than mine. Feel free to respond here or at DMN Religion blog site.