The Body Wash Bandit

cleveland-mason-jr.jpg

Cleveland Mason Jr was arrested last week for stealing 26 bottles of body wash from Hometown Market in Decatur, Alabama.  I wonder why.

  • Maybe his New Year’s resolution was to stay clean.
  • Maybe he has a body wash fetish.
  • Maybe he always wanted to be called The Body Wash Bandit.
  • Maybe he was planing a prank.
  • Maybe he was going to use the body wash to clean evidence from another crime.
  • Maybe he is a kleptomaniac.

Anyway, this crime leaves me scratching my head and wondering why.

 

Full Story:  whnt.com/2017/12/30/decatur-man-charged-with-robbery-for-shoplifting-26-bottles-of-body-wash/

 

 

Children of Shame – A Documentary

movieposter.jpg

The documentary Children of Shame exposes atrocities committed at a home for unwed mothers in Tuam, Ireland.  The home was founded in 1925 and closed in 1961.

At the time, religion was an important part of the Irish culture.  Purity was viewed as an essential trait and failure to live up to that standard brought extreme shame, so unwed mothers were sent to special homes.

The unwed mothers were forced to live and work in these homes against their will.  They were treated as criminals, even though fornication was not considered a legal crime.

The babies could be put up for adoption by the home, regardless of the mother’s desire to keep her child.  Children remaining in the home were treated poorly.  They were malnourished, abused, and did not receive appropriate medical care.  This resulted in a mortality rate for babies born out of wedlock that was six times higher than the norm.

Legislating morality has been a hot topic in the United States.  For example: should gay marriage be legalized and should birth control be easily available to all women.

However, stories like this one remind me of the dangers of strictly legalizing morality.  The appearance of purity can become more important than people.  The end result is evil acts are committed to hide immorality.

Beware Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Wayde Zane Slocumb.jpg

Wayde Zane Slocumb was a counselor at Alabama Psychological Services, until he was arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography.

I was reading about this case on WHNT.com, which got me thinking about similar arrest that have accorded in this area.

A police officer in Huntsville was arrested a few months ago on sexual assault charges.  A youth minister at a Baptist church was arrested for similar charges.  Also, several teachers have been arrested for having sexual relationships with their students in the last couple of years.

These are just the stories of the people that got caught.  There are many other predators out there that go undetected.

I wonder can you ever really know somebody?  I also wonder who can you trust or should you just never trust anybody?

The world is full of wolves in sheep’s clothing and unfortunately they blend very well in our society.

Thoughts on Immigration

Immigration has been a hot topic lately.  I understand why people frown on those that come to this country illegally.  They are often seen as criminals.  However, I cannot fault someone for wanting a better life and for being willing to risk their own lives to provide for their family.
Coming into this country illegally can be extremely dangerous.  People have died when their boat capsized, or from dehydration in the desert.  There is also the possibility of being shot by border patrol agents (official and unofficial).  Yet these people keep coming in hopes of a better future.
Many of them chose the illegal route, because coming into the country legally is not within the realm of possibilities.  The amount of money they would need to do this may even exceed what they would earn in an entire lifetime.
I think immigration reform should focus on a merit system.  People come and apply for citizenship.  They are monitored for a number of years to see if they maintain employment, increase their education or marketable skills, do volunteer work, and stay out of trouble.  This gives people a way to immigrate without having to break any laws.

What are your thoughts on immigration?

56565t.jpg

Victim Blaming – Elizabeth Thomas

The story of Elizabeth Thomas has been all over the news.  The internet is full of people’s opinions about the case.  Unfortunately, those opinions also include blaming the victim.

Adults with fully developed brains and a vast array of life experiences are passing judgment on Elizabeth.  They believe she should have known what was about to happen and how to handle the situation.

However, Elizabeth is a 15 year old child.  Her brain is not fully developed, so she doesn’t have the same ability as an adult to make logical decisions or understand the potential consequences of what is happening.  Elizabeth also has a very limited amount of life experiences, which would prevent her from knowing how to deal with a sexual predator.

Tad Cummins is an adult and he knew Elizabeth was struggling with her home life.  He also knew that would make Elizabeth an easy target.  The early phases of their relationship involved classic grooming techniques used by sexual predators to ensure compliance from their victims.

It is not uncommon for children to return to a sexual predator that has groomed them and inserted themselves into the life of the child.  There are a lot of reasons children fail to report sexual abuse.

One of those reasons is fear.  They are afraid of being blamed for the abuse.  They believe it is their fault.  Unfortunately, that is what some children are seeing now.  A child was victimized by an adult and some adults are placing blame on the child.

When I hear people blaming Elizabeth for what happened, it breaks my heart.  I think of the pain she has endured.  These adults are only going to make it harder for her to overcome the abuse and learn to live a normal life.

I also think of any children that may overhear these conversations or read online posts blaming Elizabeth.  What if they are also being abused by someone in their life?  Will these children believe they are to blame for their abuse?  Will they endure years of abuse at the hands of a sexual predator, because the adults around them are blaming a victim?

 

 

Church Police – Literally

This week, the Alabama senate voted to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in Birmingham, to have their own police force.  The church has over 4,000 people in attendance each week and they run a private school.  They said having their own police force would help to keep everyone safe.

I was flabbergasted when I first read the article.  I admit they have a lot of people on their campus, but it still seems strange for a church to have its own police force.

I have been thinking about the pro’s and con’s of this decision.  If there is an emergency on the church campus, they will have the ability to respond quickly and potentially save lives.

However, what if there is a crime?  What if the crime is committed by a beloved member, volunteer, or leader?  Will the police force be able to maintain objectivity and investigate the crime?  Also, allowing people to police themselves often ends in disaster.

What do you think about this church having its own police force?

render.htm.jpeg

http://www.waff.com

The Immoral Moral Crusader

Robert Bentley, the former governor of Alabama, entered a guilty plea for several criminal charges on Monday.  He also resigned as the governor to avoid the upcoming impeachment hearings.  Bentley admitted to embezzling funds and illegally using state resources to cover up his affair.

During his political career, Bentley opposed gay marriage rights, the state lottery, and legalization of gambling.  Bentley wanted to use legislation to promote his Christian moral values.  Bentley wanted to be a moral crusader.

In actuality, Bentley was an immoral moral crusader.

Legislating morality is a popular political platform; however, it doesn’t fix any problems or address the real issues.  Bentley knew what he was doing was illegal, but he wasn’t concerned.  His problem wasn’t based on a lack of legal consequences.  His problem was based on a lack of character.

We can legislate morality, but it isn’t going to create a moral society.  We need to focus on personal character.  We need to value character above a person’s financial status, fame, or appearance.  If you don’t change hearts of people, changing laws will not be enough to fix our problems.

render.htm.jpeg

http://www.waff.com