I read two rather disturbing articles in this morning’s paper. They were unconnected, except that each is a symptom of our current culture.
The first was a report of the sentencing of a woman who had been convicted of assisting gang members in a string of robberies. She was proven guilty beyond any doubt and could have been imprisoned for up to twenty-five years. There were no extenuating circumstances to ameliorate her guilt, but the judge in the case sentenced her to a little over two years, essentially to time served.
The reason for this unusually light sentence was the woman’s horrendous childhood. She had been terribly abused by her father and her growing-up years were a crime that should not happen to any child (her father is serving a long term in prison), but sentencing based upon past unrelated life experiences establishes a worrisome precedent.
It sets the stage for “the devil made me do it” defenses by criminals who can admit to their guilt, but blame an unhappy childhood for current misdeeds and expect sympathetic leniency.
The second disturbing news report was about a Utah court declaring that state’s anti-polygamy, or anti-cohabitation laws unconstitutional. That decision was an inevitable outcome in a culture when all traditional restraints on the definition of legal marriage are being dismantled.
In this country’s eagerness to remove any taint of Christianity from our legal system we have thrown out the touchstone for determining morality and personal responsibility.
Our righteous creator God has given individuals and societies guidance and the freedom to choose to follow his lead or reject him.
No matter what individual or corporate trials we go through, we will eventually reap the just rewards for our choice.