No doubt this will be the hardest column I have written so far because we are going to consider some controversial subjects. I want each of you to ponder truthfully about how you feel about these issues and if you can learn to be more charitable after you honestly examine yourselves.
This all started last week when I watched a movie called, "The Color of Justice." It was about a young teenager who lived in poverty conditions. He had poor self image. With the coaxing of four other boys, he killed a white woman. Her husband was crushed because they were very devoted!
An African American politician was going to make a big deal out of this case for his own political purposes. He stressed the condition of these boys who were poor, having no privileges, few material things, little education, et cetera. He worked up the people and the media. Although these things had nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of these boys, the judge threw out the case.
The woman's husband was saying, "What about my wife? They killed her. She was innocent! Isn't anybody going to pay for her death?" He pulled out a gun and shot the young boy to death. The politician was frantic. This wasn't supposed to happen! So now let's consider why it did happen. Is there one justice for white people and another one for black people (no disrespect intended)? What about the issues? What we're really looking at is prejudice. We think the side we're on is the only side and should be rewarded while the other side should have been punished. Does the fact that this young man had practically no material things give him license to kill? No, no, no! First we have to address the crime and settle it. Then his lawyer can use all factors to reduce his sentence but the law must be satisfied. He took a life.
Then all of us do-gooders out there can help these neighborhoods take care of their needs. Right?
Later in the week I watched "Philadelphia" with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Hanks was a brilliant lawyer who was rising to the top when he broke out with AIDS. The law firm tried to make him look incompetent and hide the real issue. It didn't work. He got a big settlement, although it didn't work for him because he died.
Now we can discuss this case at great length because recently gay marriages have become legal. In all conscience I love to discuss other sins as well. Let's discuss the promiscuous woman who was going to be stoned. Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." He walked away and then one by one they all walked away. Come to think of it, I can't remember any promiscuous men being stoned. Are they exempt? In our society there are many heterosexual men who have many sexual partners before marriage and even brag about it. Do we kick our brothers out of the house for breaking God's law? How about men who cheat on their wives and women who cheat on their husbands? What physical punishment do they get? Are some sins better than other sins? If a man went to his wedding night still a virgin the same as his wife, should he be ridiculed or respected? Sin is sin. Jesus said, "Hate the sin and love the sinner!" Now that's charity and real love.
Our society is clouding our minds and changing our values but is society the ultimate? I remember when I used to attend intervarsity meetings (religious not sports). The young men used to confess they were saving themselves for marriage. So before you ask, "Margaret, are you crazy? Young men are never going to do that!," the answer is it's not crazy. These young people are choosing to follow the Bible. Jesus is their teacher and they will follow Him! I've learned a lot in my life time through various experiences and I hope to keep learning. We still have choices. I'm just passing on my experiences. You be the judge. We can all be better by making better choices.