Sunday, January 4, 2009

This is not what they were sentenced to!

Hebrews 13:3
Remember those in prison
as if you were their fellow prisoners,
and those who are mistreated
as if you yourselves were suffering.

This has been an issue for decades. The U.S. Department of Justice sued the Michigan Department of Corrections in the 1990's over it. They were cited by Amnesty International for their systematic violation of the human rights of the women in their charge. It was a moral travesty. It should have caused widespread outrage. Instead, a few people cared, but not many. But now that there's money involved, it matters. Now it gets a five part, front page story:

Oh well, at least someone noticed.

We get indignant when we hear about middle eastern countries where women are sentenced to gang rape for their crimes or someone else's. Or when we hear of women being punished for having been raped and then talking about it to the press. We're really no different here, we're just not so open about it. If you'd like a nauseous feeling in your stomach for a while, read some of the comments after you read the article above. Plenty of people think that our women deserve to be raped if they've ever committed the sort of "unpopular sin" that lands you in prison. And if she's so bold as to speak up about it, we may not physically whip her, but we'll give her far more than 200 tongue lashings, call her a liar, a lowlife, a prostitute and worse.

Proverbs 31:8-9
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

These are the inspired words of King Lemuel. They're the verses that immediately precede a far more well-known passage, "The Virtuous Woman." King Lemuel's mother was a virtuous woman, and as you can see if you look back to verse 1, she was the one who gave him this important instruction. I hope my children learn the same from me.

No comments: