It's been thousands of years since the biblical story is said to have unfolded, but that didn't stop ex-New York governor Eliot Spitzer from facing-off against famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz in a mock trial surrounding Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac as recounted in the book of Genesis.
In this July 8, 2013 file photo, Eliot Spitzer appears in New York's Union Square (AP)
Spitzer, who served as Abraham's prosecutor, argued that "the voice of God is no defense to criminal acts" in front of an audience of 1,300 at New York City's Temple Emanu-El.
Dershowitz, though, won the audience over in defending the Judeo-Christian figure, with federal district judge Alison J. Nathan presiding over the mock court battle.
"Better 10 guilty go free than one innocent go to prison," Dershowitz said, according to the New York Times. "And who do you think came up with that concept? Abraham!"
But Spitzer — who was one of Dershowitz's students at Harvard Law School — sought to dispel the notion that God, as Genesis recounts, told Abraham to sacrifice his son.
"'Voices told me to do it! God spoke to me!'" Spitzer sarcastically said to a round of laughter. "Really?"
Dershowitz argued that one of the charges in the mock case — child endangerment — should have been dismissed, as there is no evidence in his view that Isaac was past 17 years of age.
The famed attorney and Harvard Law professor also argued that God and Abraham were merely playing "theological chicken" and that the so-called crime would have never been committed, the Times reported.
"He never would have plunged that knife," Dershowitz said of Abraham.
On the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, 748 audience members voted for not guilty, while 529 found Abraham guilty. As for the attempted murder charge, the numbers were 687 and 590, respectively, the Times reported.
Alan Dershowitz was a guest at the American Society of the University of Haifa gala held at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, NY, October 28, 2014. He recently retired as the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. (Tim Boxer/Getty Images)
The event was heralded by Gady Levy, executive director of the Skirball Center at Temple Emanu-El, who told the Wall Street Journal last week that it would offer up a creative way to study scripture.
"For me this is the ideal program. It’s educational, it’s fun," he said. "We’re talking about a culture that is obsessed with celebrity trials. Who’s a bigger celebrity than Abraham?"
Likewise, Dershowitz said that the event would be an opportunity to show that the Bible remains "an enduring teaching tool."
(H/T: New York Post)
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