How would I treat Casey Anthony if she sat next to me in church?

I hesitate to write this for two different reasons:

1) You may be over it. You’re sick of the coverage and anything else that goes along with Casey Anthony; and/or

2) This is a controversial topic and I hate confrontation. I don’t like ruffling anyone’s feathers 🙂

Regardless of my hesitation, though, here I am … writing on this subject. And, in less than 48 hours, Casey Anthony will be a free woman.

I followed this case from the beginning. Originally, it peaked my curiosity because of my background (I majored in criminal justice and interned for a criminal defense attorney in college). Then, as months went by and thousands were searching, my heart just ached for this little girl. I prayed for her safe return. I was invested.

Then, I saw the horrible images of her mom partying. Disgust. I couldn’t even imagine a mother behaving like that when her child was missing.

So, I was drawn in and followed the case. I couldn’t watch the trial, but would get the daily recap on the news each night, after putting the kids to bed.

I was disappointed in the verdict, even angry. I told myself … don’t worry, she will face God one day and stand in judgment. I know this is harsh, but I have to admit — I even told myself she would burn in hell for killing that sweet girl.

Then, I heard a reporter say, “It will be interesting to see how the faith world will treat Casey Anthony.”

The question became personal to me, How would I treat Casey Anthony if she sat next to me in church?

I felt convicted. My anger and judgment for her didn’t reconcile with my Christian beliefs. God reminded me of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11. To summarize, Jesus was teaching and the “religious” leaders brought in a woman caught in the act of adultery.

{Can you imagine the humiliation? Caught in the act of adultery, then brought before righteous, “holier than thou” leaders & Jesus.}

Under the law, she was to be stoned. The religious leaders asked Jesus, “Now what do you say?” They were trying to back him in a corner because if he didn’t endorse the stoning, he was breaking the law.

Jesus had an amazing response, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

One by one, the religious leaders left and no one condemned her.

Jesus then told the woman, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

This is one of the many reasons I love and follow Jesus. He’s not about the “religious” law, but about forgiveness and restoration. As my pastor says, “He’s a God of second chances.” I’m so thankful for all of my second chances.

So, I’m working on my bitter feelings toward Casey Anthony. Even though she may not deserve it, I pray for her safety.

I don’t deserve anything I have, yet God always gives me a second chance.

So, now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts on this case? If you are a Christian, how would you react if Casey Anthony tried to turn her life around at your church? If you are not a Christian, how do you feel about this subject?


16 thoughts on “How would I treat Casey Anthony if she sat next to me in church?

  1. Since I am an Anglican priest, I would seek to talk with her one on one, and hopefully she could tell the truth, to me and to herself! But the so-called evidence points strongly to her quilt! The little girl-child died on her watch, her motherhood!

    I am however not an American, though living in the US right now.

  2. Thank you for reading and commenting! I agree, I believe she is guilty. I was so upset about the verdict. I wasn’t angry at the prosecution or the jury, but at Casey … she was the one responsible for that little girl and the last one to see her. But, I think I’ve finally accepted that she is going to walk free. I have just been really questioning how I would deal with her if she showed up at my church.

    If she tries to change her life … you are very correct, she is going to have to admit the truth to herself, before she can ask for forgiveness.

    Thanks again for your input!

  3. Yes, this was hard for me also to see! Since I am kinda old school, and believe in truth & justice certainly. Really one word comes to my mind: Narcissist! But sadly I see this even more in our culture today with so many young people, but really we can all be narcissist in some manner, with self and pleasure! Lord help us all!

  4. Great post…………….I too have struggled as a Christian (and as a parent)with my emotions of anger, disgust, and the like. I do agree that we, as Christians do need to forgive her, although I’m not quite there yet. I have been on many blogs where some followers of Christ are misquoting verses about passing judgement. We are not her judge, but we can discern between right and wrong, and not be o.k. with this outcome. In many of her jailhouse letters, Casey appears to be seeking God (many times quoting scripture), but her continual lies and defaming people tells me otherwise. Was she sincere or playing the “Get me out of this mess Lord” game? Only He knows. In the meantime, SHE needs to come to grips with the truth and ask for God’s forgiveness. I think people might be much more willing to forgive her if she starts telling the truth and shows some remorse…….

  5. Mandy I will never forget the look on your face when we heard the verdict. It was true disbelief. Then anger, then shock, then sadness. i know you were very invested in this story. I hope you find peace in this crazy unbelievable ending. I can’t imagine we will ever know the real story and the whole truth, but Casey has to live with the last images of that sweet angel, whatever they were. If I ever ran in to Casey I think all I would feel for her is pity.

  6. Personally, I see this as some kind of failure of the American legal system. The whole question of probable doubt in the legalese is just beyond me, but then I am not an American, but a Brit. I think the British system is a bit better, but then I am not a legal guy, so who knows? I was a Royal Marine for over 10 years, and so I tend toward a hard line on right and wrong. I am still just baffled with this whole verdict!

  7. It would be important to be polite to Casey.

    As God is sovereign, He is in control of her verdict in this world and the next. That is the bottom line.

    But we don’t go too far in scripture before we find out what God thinks about sin and what He does about it. At the same time, we learn about His mercy and His plan for forgiveness only through the work of His Son.

    I was not satisfied with the verdict, although, in a way, when judgment and truth are left in the hands of mankind to determine, I should expect for things to get tangled up.

    But I can have peace knowing that God has His intentions in mind. Because sin and its consequences are so serious, it would behoove Casey to turn to this God. If God changed her, that would be much better than her eternal destiny at this point.

    Even though Casey should not be out, I would never want people to harm her. She is her own worst enemy.

    I am foggy about this whole forgiveness thing…when people say we should forgive her. If she was contrite, yes. Ultimately forgiveness lies with God through Christ.

    • Yes ultimately, we all “the just and the unjust” will stand before the Lord! (Acts 24:15) Often sadly there is no justice in this fallen, broken world.. so we must leave it to God. He gets the last word! We Christians should be learning this, as postmodernity settles in more and more, and right and wrong fade ever more away in this culture. The eschatological end has its handwriting on the wall! Sadly the free-world (so-called) is coming down to the end of the age.. it does appear. We should note 1 Peter 4:17-18! Sorry, got a bit preachy! 😉

  8. I appreciate all the comments. It’s wonderful that we can have a healthy, respectful discussion … even though this case certainly can warrant an emotional response. I’m glad God is the one who will judge her and not me 🙂

    @one4truth – I love what you wrote, “SHE needs to come to grips with the truth and ask for God’s forgiveness.”

    @offthecuff – You are so correct, “Ultimately forgiveness lies with God through Christ.”

    All of your comments helped me wrap my head around this whole forgiveness and judgment thing even more — thank you so much for your input.

  9. I guess I am just glad we go to really big churches…however, the irony is in the mega church of today, how well do we really know the people sitting around us? Most often we don’t. That is the greatness of God. We area all welcome in HIS HOUSE! As you said, he is the God of 2nd chances. Fortunately for me 3rd, 4th and 5th chances as well. I think your post brought more to mind for me about just judging. Typically I make my mind up about someone in the first 10 min. Its only when you dig deeper you see there is so much more. As sick to my stomach as the whole thing makes me, I suspect w/ Casey Anthony there is more. My hunch from the beginning is that she really has no idea what happened to her daughter. Drugs, alcohol, the devil, whatever it may be, evil entered her life during that time and some horrible things happened. It saddens me that so much focus is put on such evil in our society. It made me sick in the restaurant when the verdict was read (we were on vacation and in a restaurant) that the patrons turned up the TV. My kids did not know a thing about this until we, the “non-sinner” judgers of all, turned up the TV and they had to hear and then react about the verdict. (which incidentally I had to ask the waitresses to turn it down when Geraldo gave his expose on it). Thanks for posting Mandy, and for your honesty…it is tough.

  10. My good friend said she is studing James 2 and it went along with this blog post. James 2:12-13 says, “So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” (NLT)

    I love that Scripture! I’m so glad she shared it with me.

    • A great Wisdom Text!

      “So speak and so do/act as through, or by the law of freedom/liberty being about to be judged. For judgment will be merciless to the one not showing mercy.” (Lit. trans. James 2:12-13)

      Here is the Law of Christ simply & profoundly!

  11. It is refreshing to see that others are thinking of this in a respectful manner when it would be so easy to be ugly and judgmental. My heart poured out for their family in the search for the little girl – my little girl was not much older than Caylee at the time. I was sick when she was found and what was found with her, but also at peace that she suffered no more and was with Jesus (who would definitely show her love). I was so very disappointed in the verdict. I thought for sure with the evidence there was that she would be convicted on something and have to spend time in jail. I am sad to say that I hoped she would get what was coming to her and have a terrible life therein. I now find myself also knowing and believing that it is not my place to judge as HE will judge when it is time.

    This reminds me of a situation in our church. A woman came to our church with her beautiful daughter (she was the sweetest and most friendly little girl) and her young son. The little girl was in my group during children’s church and always gave me a hug when she saw me. They were there almost every Sunday for quite a while. Then they stopped coming. We come to find out that she left her children in the daycare where she worked and did not come to pick them up. The cops found her at home so high on meth she didn’t know what was going on. I often wandered about her children, especially her daughter, and felt anger and sadness for them. She came back to church to perform with the group that has helped her with her lifetime of addictions. I got chills as they performed and had tears in my eyes for her. She poured out her heart on the stage and what her life had been like and what she had done to herself and her children. She was on her way to giving herself completely to Jesus – this was all she ever really needed to lead her down the right path. I felt compassion and complete happiness for her journey. I pray for her and the children. I will pray for Casey Anthony to find the right path through Jesus.

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