I recently encountered two old friends whom I’ve known for a very long time. They were standing in front of a house drinking and having conversation. I was driving by when one of them screamed out: “Preacher man!”
I pulled over and began conversations with them. One of the men spoke about my connections with the local police department interacting with the major crimes division as a crisis chaplain. I advised my old friends that I am not strattling the fence when it comes to the law. You are either guilty or not guilty. Choose what side you are going to be on—right or wrong.
As I expected, they began calling the police department “corrupt” and attempted to justify why they must carry firearms “to protect themselves” from “crooked” officers. I explained to them that police officers may not be perfect but their professions are safer than standing on the corner. One of the gentlemen in the crowd previously had a warrant; and when I stumbled upon the scene, two officers took him into custody.
They began to complain that there were no jobs and that “these white folks” didn’t want to give them any work. Mind you, both of these fellows are nearly 50 years of age and spent several years in prison. I had to shoot back and advise that I received most of my college education on a scholarship and Pell grant; that I had to work in the hot fields of North Carolina to buy things that I wanted even though my parents had the money. That I had to work as a janitor for ten years putting myself through school. I had to remind them that I quit being a drunk and a young juvenile delinquent, and am now married with three children, owning real estate and am productive in my field.
The mindset that currently floats around is that someone must give black people something as opposed to the employment seeker looking to be an asset and constructive in whatever shape or form within the community. Rather than teach their children to become police officers, they are teaching youngsters to abhor the profession and attempt to gain an economic advantage through misconduct.
In addition, these men told me that their guns are bigger than the police department and that if things “hit the fan” it will be a “lot of blood”. I sternly advised them that their modern way of thinking was unacceptable and that if I ever showed up with the SWAT team; just remember, “I will not hesitate to give testimony confirming the officers’ justification of force.”
Folks, the problem with crime is that the liberals are giving criminals too many excuses. My specialty is intervention at homicide scenes to administer psychological first-aid to the victim’s loved ones. At the same time I am able to assemble evidence that may lead to a primary suspect or suspects. In building relationships within the community, citizens have become comfortable informing the chaplain regarding people who may be responsible for committing major crimes. To my old “friends”, I am a snitch. But to the law abiding citizenry, I am an asset.
What can be done about the existing shared intellectual currency in these depraved neighborhoods? Do we remove the free lawyers (public defenders) and increase the consequences of crime? Do we lock ‘em up and hide the key? I think the answer is Christ.
First, we have to prohibit the criminal by incarceration (arrest) from engaging in further offense. Then we can preach the Gospel and let Christ turn the caterpillar into a butterfly.
No amount of Habitat for Humanity, Housing Authority or laws will make the criminal legally productive. Some people have ceased committing crimes only to become idle. Taxpayers still have to pick up the tab. My opinion, the answer is to be found in Christ as it is Him who can make the former criminal productive. From a liability to an asset who’s more concerned about creating jobs rather than just having them. In other words, from socialism to capitalism. Fair trade—not robbery. Thereby benefiting both parties where the criminal can become a friend and not a foe.