Schiavo Case Judge Greer Asked to Leave Church
Judge George Greer, who made most of the findings of fact in the Terri Schiavo case, was asked to leave his Baptist church. He complied.
Judge Greer parts ways with his church on pastor’s advice (St. Petersburg Times)
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer left his church last week after the pastor wrote him a letter suggesting “it might be easier for all of us” if he leave.
Greer, whose orders on the Terri Schiavo case have brought him criticism, is a Southern Baptist who attended Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater.
Though he had other unrelated problems with the church, Greer’s attendance faltered after a Baptist publication the church supported criticized his decisions in the Schiavo case. He stopped his donations to the church, but remained a member. He briefly discussed his relationship with the church in a March 6 St. Petersburg Times article. Four days later, Calvary Pastor William Rice wrote Greer a letter: “I am not asking you to do this, but since you have taken the initiative of withdrawal, and since your connection with Calvary continues to be a point of concern, it would seem the logical and, I would say, biblical course.”
Rice’s letter became public when he sent a copy to the Clearwater courthouse. Rice also said the church supports keeping Schiavo alive, though he said he was “truly saddened and embarrassed by the level of harassment and vitriolic nature of so many comments that purportedly come from people of faith.”
I know little about Judge Greer and his fealty to Baptist principles. Presumably, one could be devoutly Baptist–and even believe fervently that Michael Schiavo’s actions are sinful–and still conclude that the law required that he rule as he did. While it’s often observed only in the breech, a judge’s ruling on a case and his personal belief in what is “right” do not always coincide. Indeed, many on the Christian Right complain bitterly about secularist judges imposing their morality on the country.
Via Jonathan Last