Religious leaders  endorse Family Friendly Jury Duty Legislation

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Table of Endorsements


Reverend Hershael W. York
Senior Pastor, Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY
Professor, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
President of the KY Baptist Convention, 2004-2005
Education: B.A., M.A., University of Kentucky
M.Div., Ph.D, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

“The Bible teaches that we are to care for the weak and defenseless, to be keepers at home, and to and to provide for the needs of our families. I believe this legislation is necessary to keep the citizens of Kentucky from being forced to choose between civic duty and family responsibility. I heartily endorse family friendly jury duty.”
Correspondence to Kathye Schattner, February 18, 2006


Rabbi H.D. Uriel Smith
BSc Physics at University College, London, UK
Ordained Rabbi at HUC, Cincinnati
Served as Conservative Rabbi at various congregations throughout the USA
Now working for Environmental protection, Commonwealth of Kentucky
Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In support of  Family Friendly Jury Duty legislation, Rabbi H.D. Uriel Smith of Lexington, Kentucky refers to Deuteronomy, Chapter 25 v. 17 & 18 from the Hebrew Bible:
“Remember what Amelek did to you, on the way, when you were leaving Egypt, that he happened upon you on the way, and he struck those of you who were hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear God.”
The Stone Edition Tanach, First Edition, December 1996

The Amalekites attacked the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt.  The Amalekites perpetrated a cowardly and unprovoked attack, as they did not engage in battle from the front lines, but rather attacked the rear where the sick, feeble, and weak amongst them were situated.  The actions of the Amalekites showed that they were a people devoid of pity and fundamental humanity by attacking those who were unable to defend themselves.

Here, the Israelites were unable to protect the defenseless, since they didn’t have time to form a protective guard during their hurried escape from Egypt. It just couldn’t be helped.

However, it’s a different situation altogether when family care givers (the protectors) are forced to serve on jury duty without regard to the needs of their vulnerable family dependants.  It’s as if court officials are acting like allies of Amelek by deliberately leaving the weak (the dependants) defenseless and exposed to harm. 

In this case, what they’re doing is immoral and unjust. 

Personal conversation on 29 Jan. 2006