The following was submitted to the Indianapolis Star as a letter to the editor.
To the Editor:
It is shocking to see a pastor invoke the name of Jesus Christ while brazenly violating the clear commandment of Scripture in Exodus 20:16 not to bear false witness against his neighbor, as Jeffrey Johnson of the Eastern Star Church did in his July 18 letter to the Indianapolis Star. Johnson claims Trayvon Martin was shot to death “simply for walking home from the store.” A minister of the Word and Sacrament should know better than this.
Johnson knows that Martin was not shot for simply walking home. It has been well-documented by this point that there was a physical altercation between him and George Zimmerman, who is Hispanic. An eyewitness said that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman in a MMA-style “ground and pound” position. An expert witness testified that the forensic evidence at the scene is consistent with Zimmerman shooting Martin while Martin was on top of him.
Zimmerman may have acted foolishly, and he may have been overzealous in his role as a volunteer for the neighborhood watch. Those actions, while they may be worthy of condemnation, are not a crime. The legal question that the jury was asked to answer was whether there was reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s accusation that Zimmerman committed murder. Did Zimmerman legitimately fear for his life as Martin allegedly slammed his head into the concrete?
It is shameful to see a pastor leave out these critical facts in pursuit of a political agenda. Johnson has smeared the name of Jesus Christ, who he claims as his Lord and Savior. But if Jesus is Johnson’s Lord, then Johnson should obey His commandment in Exodus 20:16. If Johnson loves Jesus, then he should keep Jesus’ commandments. (See John 14:15.) Johnson should publicly apologize and repent for sinning so egregiously in his letter.