Presumed innocent

Our legal system is built on the presumption of innocence. Things would be pretty messy if we changed things around – we’d have to lock up everybody facing criminal charges – and then who would handle our baggage at the airport or stimulate the economy by buying motorbikes and parts… It’s a central principle of life in a liberal democracy. And yet it is thrown completely out the window in one social occasion – the transaction that takes place when a man buys flowers from any retailer. There’s the same awkward banter between said male and the (generally) female store clerk… Every time. Or at least every time I buy flowers. Maybe I just look guilty. It’s always a variation of this theme:

Salesperson: “So, what have you done wrong?”

As though I would only be buying flowers to atone for wrongdoings. As though a $14 bunch of colourful flora is an appropriate act to win my redemption. It’s presumed guilt. Perhaps I just want points in the bank in case I do something wrong in the future, or maybe my motives are completely altruistic. This response is prejudice at its most banal – and up with this I shall not put. Not any more.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

3 thoughts on “Presumed innocent”

  1. I don’t mean to be pedantic but did you really buy a $14 bunch of colourful fauna? But I agree, there is no presumption of innocence when it comes to buying flowers.

    1. Good point both of you – but now thanks to the power of editing I look smart and you look like geese. Which are fauna.

  2. hmm… I’m sure Robyn would really appreciate a bunch of little furry animals… especially colourful ones…

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