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Crime and Punishment

Today's Bible Quote Examined : Kings 2:23-25

If you've every wondered whether God and his prophets have a sense of humour, wonder no further. Harken to the word . . . 

23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

Apparently, having your bald head insulted was too much for Elisha who was on his way from Jericho to Bethel. He calls on God to do his worse and God puts on quite a show indeed.

The quote is from the King James version of the Bible. In the New American Version, the word "children" is substituted with "young lads" but the story is the same. This is, I suppose, to make the punishment of having a bear tear forthy-two kids apart seem a little less harsh. The religiously squeamish (e.g. many Catholics) can point to the verse and say, "See? they weren't children. More like teenagers." and somehow that makes the punishment fit the crime.

Yes, God so loved the little children that he had them torn apart by a wild beast. Sorry, I meant teenagers.

Praying For Peace In Winnipeg

Image from Radio Canada article here http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/manitoba/2012/10/04/002-winnipeg-chef-police.shtml

I'm trying to decide just how much fun I want to poke at this guy. 

On one hand, Devon Clunis has an unenviable job, one I certainly never want. While Winnipeg is a quiet rural town when compared to comparable US cities when it comes to crime, tackling crime in Canada's murder capital is a hard job by anyone's reckoning. 

Unfortunately, I must temporarily suspend my respect for the person willing to take on this kind of job because Devon Clunis needs to sit down and think seriously about what policing involves and how best to deal with crime. Winnipeg's new police chief has apparently decided that the way to reduce crime is to get everyone to pray.

Yes, pray.

"I'm a little tired of us…being '[the] murder capital of Canada,'" says Devon Clunis, who was appointed chief of police at the beginning of October. "People consistently say, 'How are you going to solve that?' It's not simply going to be because we're going to go out there and police it away. I truly believe that prayer will be a significant piece of that."

"What would happen if we all just truly—I'm talking about all religious stripes here—started praying for the peace of this city and then actually started putting some action behind that?" he adds. "I believe something phenomenal is going to happen in our city. I truly believe it's coming. I don't think I've arrived at this position just by chance."

Go to Jail or go to Church

Sep 23, 2011 - Tags:

If that title sounds like a joke, let me assure you that it's deadly serious. It's also outrageous and just plain wrong.

In Alabama, offenders found guilty of a non-violent offences are being given a choice to either go to jail and pay a fine or (wait for it) go to church every Sunday for an entire year. The theory, in theory, is that going to church will put you on the right path and turn you into a better person. Which is utter nonsence. Religion doesn't make you a better person and checking in with your local shaman once a week is hardly a proper form of rehabilitation. It's total nonsense.

Don't get me wrong. Far too many people are incarcerated for petty crimes as invariably happens when prison is a for-profit institution. But in sanity's battered name, let's put these minor criminals to work doing community service. Let's not have then sit through a service.

The full story, including the video, can be found on the CBS site here.

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Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.

Benjamin Franklin