Albany may well be known for two things we have an inordinate amount of, and those are both churches and crime. We have a lot of places to commune with the Almighty, and we have plenty of people in this town who think nothing of taking what you have. Somehow, that just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Christian teachings, at least all of them I have heard, include “Thou shall not steal” as one of the big ones. Now, I’m not some sinless man. I screw up plenty, and I can only pray that the Lord will forgive me for all that I’ve done. However, there are a few big ones that I haven’t done. “Thou shall not kill,” for example, is one that most of us abstain from without question. At least here in the South, honoring one’s mother and father is just part of our way of life.
Somehow, the lessons about stealing just didn’t get to a lot of our community. We have those higher up in so-called society that have stolen plenty, so this isn’t even an economic issue. One area businessman with a reputation for shrewdness stole from my own grandfather many moons ago. Sure, he used the letter of the law to his advantage, but he knew he did wrong but did it anyways.
I’m usually one who believes in the separation of church and state, though not necessarily to the extent that many of my fellow libertarians do. In this instance, I think Albany needs the churches more than anyone else to help pull our community out of the crime we have been mired in for decades now.
Churches, for example, need to minister to their congregations as they always do, but they also need to make it a point to visit those who are behind bars and let them know that they did wrong, but that God will forgive them if they repent of their “wicked ways”. Then, the business leaders in the community need to give these folks a shot. If they’re not worth a darn, fire them. But don’t hold past wrongs against them.
We all have to work together to solve this problem, and we need to quit looking to the city and county commissions to make the problems go away. In case you haven’t noticed, they don’t seem to have gotten a whole lot accomplished on that account, so maybe we need to deal with this ourselves.
I’ll be writing on this later in the week with some specifics, but first we all have to accept that we need to forgive the sin, but never let the sinner forget his own mistakes. Maybe, just maybe, we will start to clean up this town.