Ward Bird of Moultonboro New Hampshire is a farmer, Boy Scout Leader, and gun rights advocate. However, he recently began serving his mandatory prison sentence for when he displayed his lawfully registered firearm while a tresspasser refused to leave his property in 2007. According to the facts in the case, Mr. Bird never fired a shot — not in the air and not towards the trespasser. His property was clearly marked private, and yet the person continued to trespass. After his appeal, the New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to over-turn his conviction. The Court passed the buck regarding the unjustness of a minimum three-years sentence, stating “While the statutory penalties are indeed harsh and in many cases unjust, any amelioration of their mandatory nature is a function for the Legislature, not the courts.” In other words, when a law applied become unjust, it’s not the Court’s job to fix it. A group of area citizens, including Representative Betsy Patten, are advocating for Mr. Bird’s pardon and making news in New Hampshire about it.
Mr. Bird’s story is a good example of how the human justice system fails to adminster what is considered fair, so often. Like his supporters in Moultonboro, many times it is hard to comprehend how things can be so unfair — how what should be right instead flies in the face of ethics and values. Fortunately, the Maker of heaven and earth provides a spiritually devine justice system that does not fail. Throughout the Bible, God kept His Word about justice. From the early days of Abraham to the Acts of the Apostles, God promised a penalty for sin, but offered a Redeemer to pay that price. “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23.
It is difficult to understand why bad things happen to good people and why justice is not immediately served on the evil. Jesus said that rain falls on the good and the bad, but keep doing what is right. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?. ” Matthew 5:44-46.
Only through God’s law did humanity become aware of wrong-doing. “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20. If it were not for the law, there would be no knowledge of wrong-doing. If there were no penalty for wrong-doing, there would be no need for salvation. Christ died in our place of punishment, so that humanity would be saved.