The defense had been confronted with overwhelming evidence. There was no question that the defendants had brutally assaulted and maimed the transgender victim, and that it had been planned, and that it was done because of their hatred of "queers and trannies". The Defense had decided to argue that the defendants were exercising their "Deeply held religious beliefs", and wanted to prove that according to their religious teachings, they HAD to force the victim to repent.
The defense called Pastor Grey of Calvary Baptist Church first.
"Pastor Grey, are you familiar with the defendants?"
The pastor nodded and smiled "Yes, two fine young people, they were active members of my church for several years. Excellent students, memorized verses from the Bible, brought their friends to come and be baptized. And both they and their parents tithed. Their father, Senator Thomson, had made a large donation to the church school so we could teach proper Christian Values."
"Very good Pastor Grey, so you would consider these people model Christians?"
Pastor Grey nodded "None of us are saints, but yes, they were excellent examples of our community."
"Pastor Grey, what is your church's policy on gay people?"
Pastor Grey puffed up "We love the sinner, but not the sin. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is an abomination and homosexuals should be put to death. However, if they repent, they can be saved, forgiven, and baptized into the church."
"What about those who are not repentant?"
"Well, in those cases, we believe that some additional persuasion is necessary. This might include having members their own age make friends and try to persuade them of the error of their ways. If they still don't come around, they might be shunned."
"Do you advocate violence?"
"I don't, but the Bible does. It says that if a sinner burns in hell because we didn't reach out to save them, then we will burn in hell too. Therefore, we must do everything within our power to persuade the sinner to repent and be saved. Sometimes that includes a bit of intimidation."
"Did Tommy or Betsy ever participate in this type of intimidation?"
"Oh yes! Betsy would often make friends with a homosexual boy, and get him to come to a place where Tommy and the other boys could convince him to repent."
"What about boys who wanted to be girls?"
"Sissies, Fairies, Faggots, Queers, Trannies, Queens, Dykes, they'll all burn in hell if we don't make them repent."
"So what Betsy and her friends did to Tina would have been ministry, helping to get Tina to repent from her sinful ways?"
The pastor nodded "Yes, if they didn't at least try, they would burn in hell right next to Tina!"
The prosecutor nodded "These traditions and teachings. Did they come from the witch trials and the inquisition? The Malleus Malefacorum?"
"I'll withdraw the question."
"Pastor Grey, how many members do you have in your congregation?"
"We have over 1,000 active members, over 2,000 attend the Christmas and Easter services."
"Pastor Grey, you have led many demonstrations have you not?"
"Oh yes, we try to demonstrate our faith in public ways."
"In 1968, you held a demonstration at a local Junior high school. Over 300 people showed up, did they not?"
"Oh yes, I remember that event, we were protesting busing, integration, and race-mixing. A very successful demonstration."
"Pastor Grey, I don't understand, only 30 of the demonstrators supported your position. Over 300 students came out in SUPPORT of busing and integration. Your own daughter announced that she was dating a black student."
Pastor nodded. "Yes, I had to give her the strap for that."
"Excuse me, you beat your own daughter with a razor strap? How many times?"
"49 lashes, just as our Lord received under Pilate. She couldn't sit for a week. Spare the rod and spoil the child I always say."
"So Pastor Grey, you are saying that you advocate violent attacks against those you consider to be evil and unrepentant sinners?"
"Absolutely! Better to make them suffer for a few days here on earth than suffer for an eternity in hell."
"Can you tell me which chapters of the Bible order such behavior?"
The pastor cited various isolated verses, putting together a jumble of verses from Leviticus, Deuteronomy, a couple lines from parables of Jesus, and a couple verses from Revelation.
"Do you know Matthew 27 verse 5?"
The pastor shrugged "Not off the top of my head."
"So Judas threw the money into the temple and left, then he went away and hanged himself."
"How about Luke 10 verse 37"
The pastor was stumped again "I'd have to look that up."
"Jesus told him "Go forth and do likewise?"
The pastor nodded. "Ah yes."
"So the members of your congregation should go hang themselves?"
Pastor Grey fumed "Don't be ridiculous, you took two verses that were completely unrelated and combined them to make a ridiculous statement."
"Pastor Grey, you just quoted a bunch if individual verses from almost random parts of the Bible and stitched them together to preach a mandate that your followers should terrorize minorities, gays, and anyone you consider a sinner?"
"Pastor Grey, were Tina, or any of these other boys and girls, members of your congregation at the time they were attacked?"
"No, of course not, we'd never allow queers and trannies to join our church, until they repented?"
"Pastor Grey, I'd like you to take a look at some pictures. Here are pictures of Tina the night she was attacked. Is this the kind of behavior you encourage?"
Pastor Grey looked at the picture of Tina, bleeding at the penis, testicles ripped loose, and still in her dress, with the hem up. Her legs were covered in bruises, her stomach had bruises as well.
"Look at that faggot wearing that skimpy dress and pulling up her skirt like that, it's disgusting. She should be whipped within an inch of her life."
"Pastor Grey, do you notice the bruises? Her testicles have been crushed, and her penis is leaking blood! Doesn't that upset you!"
"What upsets me is that they didn't also whip her with a razor strap. That's what I would have done!"
"Your honor, I would like to pass these pictures to the jury as a reminder of the damage incurred by Tina at the hands of the defendants."
The judge nodded "Please do so."
The jury was visibly disgusted. One appeared almost ready to throw up. Even the most conservative man on the Jury was visibly disturbed, at both the pictures, and the statements."
"So Pastor Grey, you are not disturbed by these pictures, you feel that she WAS NOT PUNISHED SEVERELY ENOUGH!?"
Pastor Grey nodded absolutely "That faggot Jezebel would lead faithful followers of my congregation into the depths of hell!"
"Pastor Grey, are Elizabeth and Thomas currently members of your congregation?"
"No, they left the church several years ago. I don't remember when."
"No more questions for this witness your honor."