- Love and Liberty
Do Not Feed The Wolves
A person does not have to be for drugs to be against putting people in prison for drugs. Why would Christians be in favor of any policies that would put people in a cage for possessing or using a substance that the State does not approve of? Is it because they buy the idea that the State is concerned with keeping us safe? If the State is concerned about the well-being of American communities, why does it not, for example - ban alcohol, and pornography, and movies that glorify violence? Would the same Christians that march to the beat of the State's drum when it comes to the incarceration of drug users be in favor of incarcerating people for those reasons too? What do we do with people that abuse alcohol? We look to churches and community organizations to assist them and persuade them to stop. Why would we not do the same things with drug users? I was having a conversation with a young man that I like, one who I believe to be reasonably bright, and he agrees that the use or possession of drugs is not cause for incarceration. But he quickly followed that up by saying that people who sell drugs should "be shot", but not the drug users themselves. Based on his logic, I told him that people who sell guns should "be shot" because some people acquire them and use them to kill. He argued that guns do not kill people, people kill people - and I agree, but then I reminded him that people that sell drugs do not force drug users to use, so what is the difference? While looking at the ceiling he said "that is very true" and the conversation ended there. Should people that sell alcohol "be shot" because of all the heartache that has been caused due to over-drinking? Do we not see the inconsistency here?
The State is woefully inconsistent in its laws, and we should not support the incarceration of non-violent people. Because of the "War on Drugs", American prisons are overcrowded. Non-violent individuals go into prison and become violent themselves, out of necessity, otherwise they get taken advantage of. They often get initiated into gangs, sometimes by choice for "protection" from other gangs, and sometimes for "protection" from the gang they choose to join. When they get out of prison, after learning how to be better criminals, the State's restrictions on their lives cause them to put their newly acquired criminal skills into practice and the result is a host of career criminals that do not positively contribute to society. Incarcerating people for violent crimes is one thing, but destroying families by incarcerating husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, etc., for ingesting a substance that the State doesn't approve of, when we all know the State is not truly concerned with the morality or safety of a community, is inexcusable.
The big picture question is this: Why do Christians support so much State intervention into the lives of citizens? Why do so many Christians look to the State for answers when it comes to issues of morality? The use of drugs for mind altering purposes is sinful, just as drunkenness is sinful. It was a free will choice to begin using drugs, yes, but after a while there is also a dependency factor involved. Habits can be hard to break no matter what they are, and drug use is no different. Drug users certainly need intervention. But who is going to give them hope? The State? Or should we as Christians be seeking to turn them from their destructive lifestyle by winning them to Christ? Why do some Christians look at these people as an inconvenience to be locked up, out of sight, instead of a group of needy people that need Christ? People have depended on the State for so many things, for so long now, they look to the State to deal with issues through force that the Church should be addressing through sacrificial love. When you help to empower, enable, and encourage a pack of wolves to devour those who do not line up with your own morals, wishes, and ideals - after the pack grows fat on their blood, do not be surprised when it turns on you. Perhaps just for claiming to be a Christian.
Christians, stop feeding the wolves. Stop supporting more and more State intervention and control, even if you think it will turn out in your favor. When wolves consume the herd in one area, they will inevitably move on to the next.
The State never has been, nor will it ever be, a friend of Christians.