The sky was the most amazing color of blue you had ever seen. The wind, clear from a cool spring rain, was sweet and the breezes, which wafted through the trees, sang to the townspeople gathered together at the top of Judgment Rock.
Rev. Bork gave the benediction.
"Gone are the days of iniquity where the laws of man supplanted the laws of God, when sin filled this nation without threat of punishment. Blessed be New America where the Holy Bible is law and man stands in fear of our Lord God...Sheriff Jessup, please read the charges..."
"On the sixth day of August, 2020, Mary Elizabeth Simmons did, in the presence of several persons, and recorded on the Department of Homeland Security Monitor, location NCBCCOA2112, publicly revile her parents by uttering several statements."
The dear Rev. then spoke. "We are gathered here today in community to carry out the will of God." Reading from the book of Exodus, chapter 21, verse 17 he continued. "Any child that curseth his father, or his mother shall surely be put to death." He continued, "Let us carry out the will of God."
Mary Elizabeth was a precious child. She was all of six years old and her parents were so pleased with her. Her hair was the color of the sun and her skin was the color of honey from playing in the sun all summer long. She had a scattering of tiny freckles across the bridge of her nose, which were more pronounced having been exposed to the summer sun. She had sweet little pouty lips that gave her mother thousands of kisses as she prepared the family meals or sat and read to her. Her button nose drew the most comments from passers-by. People were always saying, "Oh my! What an adorable child you have! Isn't she so precious!" She loved and was loved. The Simmons' were truly blessed.
In days of old, the accused was buried up to their neck in the sand. Now, they were placed in a wooden support that immobilized them. This was, however, the very first time a child had been sentenced to death under "The Law", and accommodations had to be made. A smaller restraining frame was employed due to her small size. Her mother and father picked her up and held her between them, holding her and crying as they experienced this moment for the last time. "Mommy and daddy love you very much!" said Mrs. Simmons, her eyes red from crying. The sheriff walked over to where the Simmons were standing. "Am I going to see Jesus now?" she asked in the sweetest of voices. "I hope so," said the sheriff as he took her tiny hand in his. "Will it hurt very much?" she asked. "I hope not, darlin'." He knew it was the Law of God that His will be done. Tears were welling up in his eyes. He took her from her parents’ arms and set her down. He led her to the restraining device and opened the gate. Her arms were by her sides as she slid between the panels that made up the device and the side was closed rendering her immobile. Only her head was exposed. Her golden hair blew in the gentle wind. "The accused is ready!" stated the sheriff. The townspeople each bent down to pick up a rock. "Make it so," stated the reverend solemnly.
It began innocently enough. The Simmons were shopping in downtown Asheville for a gift for a classmate of Mary Elizabeth’s who was in a hospital. Mary Elizabeth was a loving child who was always thinking of others. She even wanted to knit sweaters for the birds in wintertime as she feared that they were cold, out there in the snow and all. She had been up all day getting up at dawn to do her chores. Once, children her age took naps in the afternoon, but she didn't and was beginning to get cranky. It was at the corner of Lexington and Patton that it happened. Without warning, she started screaming, "I want to go home NOW mommy!" She was jumping up and down and screaming. "I said NOW!, damnit!" The Department of Homeland Security camera was looking right at her...recording her tirade. Her fate was sealed. She was doomed from that point on.
The Dominionists had won their battle to replace the law of man with the Law of God. The courts had changed the focus of their legal analysis from that of the Rights of Man, the Magna Carta, English Common Law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, United States Code, the statutes of the several states, and legal precedent. The Laws of the Bible were now the only law of the land. The closed military bases, due to BRAC, were now the home for those accused of violating biblical law...and they were filling up fast. The appointment and approval of activist judges to the Circuit Courts and the Supreme Court was swift following the loss of power to provide checks and balances in the US House of Representatives. The conservative speaker and his counterpart in the Senate, pushed legislation through rapidly, starting with HR 235 which allowed political candidate endorsement for the first time from the pulpit. Challenges to the legislation failed due to the denial of the courts to review the cases. The First and Sixth Amendments were repealed by a vote of the states. New America was now a theocracy, through and through. The pending execution of Mary Elizabeth drew journalists from across the planet. There were protests from all over but the President knew that God was on his side and kept his mouth shut. The church had too much power to challenge them, even if he wanted to. The President kept quiet about the whole matter. It was safer to.
Everyone reached into the large box resting on the ground a few dozen feet from Mary Elizabeth. They removed a few jagged stones and held them in their hands. Some had been practicing using the summer watermelons so plentiful at this time of the year, making sure their aim was true.
"FIRE!" shouted the Rev. The citizenry responded with a barrage of stones. Some fell short, some went high, some went wide, some bounced harmlessly off the wooden frame, but the first one hit its mark. The stone hit Mary Elizabeth square in the eye. The increase of pressure in her eye caused it to explode. The aqueous contents of her eye, mixed with blood, spilled from its socket and over her tender cheek. A scream of indescribable pain came out of her tiny mouth. She wailed as stone after stone struck her once golden hair, now crimson with the blood gushing from punctured veins. Stone after stone tore into the flesh of this once innocent child, fulfilling the wishes of a God that demanded absolute abeyance to His Law. Mary Elizabeth convulsed as stones penetrated her cranial dura and found their way into her tiny brain. Arteries were severed and blood began to spew from the compromised vessels...her mouth, once the home for lollipops and kisses, foamed blood....then, nothing. Mary Elizabeth was dead. She would never sass her parents again.
Reverend Keith R. Wright is a co-founder and president of the United Deist Church, and an ardent opponent of Dominionism. He strongly believes in separation of church and state and has fought as an individual to maintain that separation. You can learn more about him here.
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