5% of all the people in the world live in the United States
25% of all people in prisons in the world are in United States prisons
Do our political types and law makers believe that we are five times more criminally behaved in the United States than others in the world? It is a wonder we ever pop out of our homes for a stroll around the block. It is certainly amazing that tourists come here to visit!
It is beyond time for some changes. We need to save our struggling young generation where 1 in 15 has experienced legal issues. We need to be working to make sure our schools teach reading, writing, math and critical learning and thinking skills. When we have management and ownership authority, we need to be willing to hire folks trying to support their families with honest dollars (and their communities by paying taxes).
Our churches need to be helping in practical, welcoming ways. We need to be supporting families who are trying to rebuild on solid ground. We need to take a stand and offer practical support and ask ourselves if we would have welcomed a tax collector, a woman with a dicey reputation, a government leader with blood on his hands, a terrorist, or thief, or liar or any of the other wholly broken, sinful and disgraced people upon who Christ built His church on earth in both Old and New Testament times. Sometimes I think one of the biggest problems with churches is the pressure they put on folks to have perfect histories and perfect lives.
How can real people take us seriously if we pretend we never make mistakes? Never have to seek God's help when we slip off the way and need God's help to even stand again? Never look at people we love and realize that, though we were doing what we thought best at the time, it was actually far from helpful and even damaging?
Are you praying for the incarcerated, those in law enforcement, courts, penal and probation/parole jobs, victims of crime, and neighborhoods decimated by criminal behavior? What is your church doing to help? What are you doing to help?
This is a growing problem and we all need to become informed, ask questions of those in authority and pray God will show us how we might "do something" in His Name.