Mots-clefs

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Je ne parlerai pas ici de Tariq Ramadan à qui il est régulièrement reproché par ses adversaires d’avoir appelé à un moratoire sur la lapidation plutôt qu’à sa suppression définitive, mais d’une version plus ancienne de cette stratégie de suspension de l’exercice d’un châtiment qui n’en remet pas en cause la légitimité.

Au détour d’un article de Robert Graves publié en 1958 et intitulé The atheism of Bertrand Russell and Julian Huxley j’ai découvert cette interprétation du fameux précepte évangélique : « que celui qui n’a jamais péché jette la première pierre ».

He [Jesus] certainly never forbade the punishment of adultery. This would have been to gainsay the Mosaic Law, not one jot or tittle of which, he declared, should ever pass away; but once, it seems, when a woman was charged with using witchcraft for adulterous purposes in some Samarian village—Jerusalem is historically ruled out as the scene of the incident, and so is plain adultery as the charge—Jesus counselled a scrupulous observation of Deuteronomy xvii. 2-7: the first stones must be flung at the witch, not by the crowd at large, but by the eye-witnesses of her crime. He then courageously reminded these that, to avoid Divine wrath, they must be free from sin themselves before they let fly. Thus he saved the woman’s life and gave her an opportunity for repentance.

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