Think about this strange debate in Alabama: Why does God need to see public records?

GetReligion | 7/20/2019 | Terry Mattingly
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It’s one of the mantras I recite every now and then when describing journalism trends in this troubled age: Opinion is cheep, while information is expensive.

Week after week, readers send us the URLs to opinion pieces and op-ed essays about subjects that, in a previous age, might have received serious news coverage that explored the views of people on both sides of these arguments and standoffs.

Pieces - Information - News - Stories

This does not mean that these pieces are not important or that they don’t contain valid information about important news stories.

That’s certainly the case with this “opinion column” that was published recently by the Alabama Media Group — AL.com — with this headline: “Why does God need public records? In Alabama, that’s a real question.” The author is political columnist Kyle Whitmire.

Overture - Sort - Point - Case - Press

The overture is somewhat confusing, but that’s sort of the point. What we have here is a case that involves press freedom, religious freedom, the death penalty and who knows what all. It’s a bit of a mystery.

Why in the name of God would anyone need a public record?

Almighty - Documents

After all, doesn’t the Almighty already know what those documents show?

Those aren’t rhetorical questions. For Tabitha Isner, they were real, asked of her by a lawyer for the Alabama prison system. And she had to answer under oath.

God

Swear to God.

Or, if you care about transparency and accountability in government, just swear.

Holy - Bible - Beginning

Like the Holy Bible, maybe we should start in the beginning.

When Isner asked for Alabama’s death row execution protocols, she had to give a reason on the Department of Corrections’ public information request form.

Tabitha - Isner - Rev - Tabitha - Isner

It helps to know that Tabitha Isner is actually the Rev. Tabitha Isner and an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This is a denomination that is usually listed on the religious left, but, down in Bible Belt land,...
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