Monday, February 21, 2011
What kind of society do we want to live in?
Wednesday is Pink Shirt stand up to bullies day. Although pink just isn't my colour, I completely support the message. I don't want to live in a society that allows bullies to thrive. On the same note, I don't want to live in the other extreme and end up like Texas where someone can do real time in prison for possession of a couple of joints. I know I am naive and idealistic, but I aspire to finding a balance between the extremes.
Cutting someones hand off for theft or capital punishment for a drug offense is in my opinion extreme. Yet so is house arrest for trafficking cocaine for the Hells Angels. Both extremes are wrong.
I do believe rehabilitation should be a factor in incarceration. Not the primary factor because public safety is but it should be a factor nonetheless. Christianity is all about second chances. Starting over and learning from our mistakes. In fact Christ talked about visiting those in prison and ranked it right up with visiting the sick, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.
Many people have volunteered their time on Prison Alternatives committees trying to find a better way than just locking people up in cages. Yet it's clear that our noble ideal of rehabilitation has gone to the other extreme where violent crime has no real consequence. This needs to change but we don't need to change it to the other extreme.
All of us rather spend tax dollars on schools and hospitals than on more prisons. However, I don't want to live in a society that's run by organized crime. That is not the kind of society I want to leave for my children. That's not the kind of society our forefathers fought in the trenches to protect.
I get a lot of slack for expressing my opinion in a blog. Sometimes I cross the line and say things that are pretty rude and I suppose I deserve it. I'm just fed up with the consistent lies and denial that are no longer believable.
I'm fed up with politicians who put themselves above the needs of the people who elected them. I'm fed up with criminals who think they can bully everyone forever. It's all about the golden rule - treating others the way you want to be treated. Don't sell crack to kids. Don't sell date rape drug to anyone and don't cry like a baby in court when you are caught selling date rape drug. That is absurd.
And just for the record, I don't sell pot and I haven't smoked a blunt in 25 years. I would rather live in a society where people smoke pot than in a society where people smoke crack or meth. It's like night and day. They're two different worlds. And I don't want to live in a police state where police are beating civilians without cause or locking them away in jail for smoking a joint. Is it really that hard to understand?