On the American Crime System
I don’t want to delve too much into the numbers, how they are generated, or the weight that the actual accounts and consequences of these criminal statistics carry. I want to focus on the big picture — what these statistics imply and their scientific consensus, as well as how knowledge of this statistical account of the deeds of human beings makes one feel. What is your first gut reaction after reading that one murder occurs every 32.5 minutes? That every 3.8 minutes, there is a rape; or that someone is robbed every 1.9 minutes? What do these numbers say about the nature and choices of human beings, and how might this activity look to the eyes of our Father?
A natural and defensive response may be “Well I’m not one of those criminals”, and indeed, the statistics are pulled from arrest records databases — not everyone has an arrest record, but let’s again look at the bigger picture. What have you done to contribute to the environmental conditions that makes crime thrive? What conditions have you supported in the scope of political, economic, and social procedure and legislature? When considering these types of indirect effects that one contributes to, how much of the guilt of each murder, rape, assault or robbery event is on your shoulders?
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17)
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
You have been called out, whether you are Christian or not, to propagate the Word of God into the eternal future, and through the Word of God every virtue, principle, duty, and bright idea. You have been aggrandized with ways of peace and wisdom and joy and compassion and love and caring; some of you have even known true happiness and have been asked of nothing even the acknowledgement of the Lord Father. Yet you have squandered the gifts of sharing these moments, your days and your years. You have desired only to keep the blessings of God for yourselves and the ones that you love — and this is why you lose the ones that you love.
Even the best and highest in well standing among you, where is your place among the statistics that bear up the American criminal system? What encouragement and permission do you give to the politicians, corporations, and laws that rule not only your world, but the worlds of 300 million other American citizens? This is not a criticism of the failure of good men to act in the face of the actions of bad men (although there is certainly an available criticism there); this is about the choices that all Americans make and submit to in order to facilitate the misery and living conditions of others — the misery and living conditions that oftentimes is a direct causal factor of criminal activity.
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? (Habb 1:33)
No American is absent-minded of the duty that has been placed upon himself or herself in being adjudicators of justice. Many of you have chosen to become members of the criminal justice system, perhaps even unmotivated by the internal and external conflicts that taint the justice administered by this system. However, the laws and Word of God have been written on all hearts, and His Word is observable in the immediate environment. You cannot run from it; you cannot live without it — God permeates every dark alley and dimly lit room, every grandly architected structure of human innovation and every battered shelter. Truly I tell you, not even Atheists have been beyond the call of God to follow the True Path. They are not innocent by means of ignorance, nor are they capable of true apathy in the face of the evils that we invite to plague mankind.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? (Prov 24:11-12)
Truly, what can we do to stop murder from occurring every 32.5 minutes, what can we do to discourage the rape and robbery of our neighbors? There are many courses of action where one could start doing his or her part to transform our world, but the best place to start is in Church.