Sunday, February 7, 2010

#6 Trust is not righteousness

Trust does NOT mean righteous.

Tonight I celebrate my home town winning the Superbowl, as the New Orleans Saints win a great game over the Colts. I was split on this because even though the Saints are my team by birth, the Colts are a very good team that I liked. We had several people at the house watching the game, eating snacks and such. I must admit, I had a great time.

Earlier today I started to write a blog about a commercial I saw on televison, but that was just about the same time our company started to arrive, so I had to put it on hold. This issue ties in heavily with the life of an ex felon, and sadly is a strong indicator that a person’s past can be held against him as long as a person chooses to hold it.

It also shows the stupidity of a person who thinks that trust is as simple as a back ground check.

The commercial was about an online site that can check backgrounds for anybody you wish, and the commercial took the angle of fear, or more directly, the fear of the unknown. The commercial pushes that you should check the background of anyone you don’t know…just to be sure you can trust them.

One of the examples they told was of a person looking at whom they should hire, and mentioned that they didn’t know that this person had a criminal past. The implication here is that if a person has been in jail or prison, they can’t be trusted.

Let’s stop right there for a minute.

I will be the first to tell you that I did time with a lot of people that I would not trust a warm glass of water to, but to make a blind judgment based on what you see on a computer is foolish. Now a lot of you will roll your eyes and take the “righteous” mode and defend the commercial because you have to know whom you can trust.

I counter that with this; must you be blindly foolish as well?

Who in God’s name gave you the intelligence to think that if a person did time a year, 10 years, or 30 years ago can’t be trusted? On what basis are you counting that condemnation….because THAT is what you are doing with extreme prejudice.

We as a society put a lot of false trust in background checks, as if it is the Bible on who is righteous and who is not. I am not saying it does not have a place, because it does, but to place absolute faith in a background check is extremely foolish.

Consider this, what if you had somebody to come do your roof, and you heard from others that this person does great work, and a great price. You contract them to do your house, and on a whim, you do one of those background checks, and find out he was arrested 5 years ago….does your trust in his work then go from A to F? Is he no longer qualified to do the job you hired him to do simply because of what happened 5 years ago?

Somebody tell me in the name of Jesus Christ what gives you a right to condemn a person and deny them a chance to make good after they have done their time. And yet, the irony here is that we call it “trust”. You want to be able to “TRUST” that person.

Sometimes technology makes us strangers to everybody else.

And let’s go after this in another way, the commercial implies that if you have a clean background, then you are “righteous”. By their commercial and implication, you can trust people if they have a clean background.

Do you REALLY believe that?

You are a fool if you do.

“Well, I would rather trust somebody with a clean record than an ex felon”

I can’t tell you how moronic that sounds! My own hometown pulled such a stupid stunt a few years ago. A man was running for mayor of our city, and the day before the election, the local newspaper ran a front page story about how this man got a DUI, get this, THIRTY YEARS AGO!

Thirty damn years ago!

Why in the name of all that is good is it important to dig up this man’s past and condemn him again for a mistake he had 30 years ago? But what this then put into motion was the idea that if this man had a “checkered past” that he cannot be trusted.

If you believe by implication that a clean man is a righteous man, you are sadly mistaken. There are millions of people that will go through life never being arrested, but will be just as wicked as those who did time in prison. How many pastors robbed the poor and widows of their money, hiding behind a nice clean robe? How many politicians manipulated voters to get what they want, which was election to grab power? How many men and women on Wall Street very nearly bankrupted our country for self greed?

I can go on and on, but 99% of those people, if you did a background check, would be as clean Mother Mary. Yet we are very quick to pass judgment on those with a past, without trying to find out with our heart if this person can be trusted.

And that’s the problem, that commercial had nothing heart-felt about it, it preyed on your fear, and desires only to make money from you. Not solutions oriented, rather money oriented.

Trust means to have a firm belief or reliability in a truth or strength or other ideals. You tell me, can you TRULY believe that a person is trustworthy based on his past…and before you answer, remember that NOBODY is perfect. Now don’t get me wrong, again, there is a place for background checks, but it is not the only measure, nor should it be one. People are looking for the quick and fast way to condemn somebody, without ever taking time to get to know them to know for sure. How can you say you trust a person if you never talked to them or had a conversation? Look a man or woman in the face before you condemn them for their past.

I realize I am talking to the wall here, because the average “citizen” believes that once a con, always a con. Some people will likely burn in hell believing that, forgetting about a lot of spiritual issues they conveniently forgot while trampling over people trying to change their lives.

Sounds strong? It should be.

I am not saying this with a halo around my head, but I say this as a person who has gone through these condemnations long after I paid my debt to society. People act like an ex con ought to be able to heal the sick and raise the dead to prove they are worthy of being a citizen, but will deny them every chance to make good because of some stupid background check.

Just because you think a person has no background does not mean they are righteous, and just because a person made a mistake does not make him unrighteous. But we won’t get it right, we are constantly looking for flaws just to kick a person who is trying to do right. But when they fail due to frustration, we are the first ones in line to say, “see I told you so”.

I’ll use myself as an example. When I was blogging a few years ago, I tried to sell prison books that I wrote, prison cards and other items, everything I made and wrote myself. I also ask people that IF THEY CAN, to support my blogs so I can try to do more. Now, there is no need for a background check on me to see IF I have been in prison, you already KNOW that.

But some folks had some issue with that because they felt I was trying to con people out of money. Its like I have no right to try to earn money as a writer, and to write books. What the hell you expect me to do, work at McDonalds the rest of my life?

I was fortunate for awhile to have several people to take in my writings, email me and ask me how they can support my blogs. Through their contributions I was able to share some free cards and prison encouragement certificates from time to time to those who wanted one. I sold my “Grades of Honor” books, many prison cards, prison encouragement certificates and other things I created to try to make an income.

All that was to try to make good on helping others while making a living…which I thought every citizen of the US had. But when things dried up, I decided to pull all my blogs offline in frustration. On jerk criticized me by saying, “how dare you believe that we as readers should be paying you to blog”. The idiot twisted my words to make it seem that I was trying talk people into paying me to blog. That was not the idea at all.

Yet I was quickly judged because I am an ex felon. I bet any other blog on any other subject outside of prison would have no problem at all if the writer asked for donations.

So I am seen as untrustworthy because I am an ex felon. Never mind that I have written over 5000 PAGES of works, and have written for over 12 different prison support sites, and have answered hundreds of emails. I thought I proved myself 1000 times over that I want to help, but I also need an income. Yet to many who are not sympathetic to ex felons or people in prison, all I am is some con man.

So I cannot be righteous…by what definitions, I know not.

And my unrighteousness is based on what man defines as trust. And trust, in man’s eyes, is based apparently on whether he has been in jail or prison. So, if I have done time, then I am unrighteous.

How foolish is that?

Folks, if I die tomorrow, for any reason, I have no doubt that God Himself would say that I did my best to help those in need, many times at my cost. I was not perfect, but then who was. But I did a heck of a lot more than the average man in my position would have done. How many millions of men did time in the last 20 or 30 years? How many then, have written about prison issues to help others?

Not many.

Yet my attempt to get a living out of helping, and writing (which I love to do) is frowned on because of my past, and that I can’t be trusted. To many, I am trying to con you out of some money. If you strongly believe that…stop reading my blogs and leave me alone!

If you are borderline about it, read my blogs and see if what you are reading is from a sincere person. Not one blog, or 10, but read what I write, and see what life I am opening to you. I won’t sugarcoat my life in prison, my life after prison, the problems with prison support sites, or even how I feel spiritually. If you really want to know, I will tell you. But I try my best to put a positive spin on it, if I can.

If you are still unconvinced, then email me. I am a human being just like you, and I do answer my emails unless it is insincere, to which it is immediately discarded. Don’t buy anything from me, and don’t send me one penny until you are absolutely sure about me, or comfortable to understand that I am doing the best I can, all things considered.

But don’t spit in my face and condemn me because I am an ex felon. Give me a chance to make good, don’t kick me in the face, then run to the front row of the pews in church and say “Praise God, Amen”.

This is about trust, and I understand how hard that can be coming from an ex felon, but if you came here looking for help or understanding, I can provide that. I am not asking you to pay for me to write, I am asking FIRST for you to listen to what I am sharing, and decide if I am worthy of your trust…then support. If you are not sure, then don’t bother yourself with donating or buying any books or cards… its just as well, the computer I use is old and the cd drive is broke anyway, so I can’t use it to update my print works until I can afford to get a new computer anyway.

Understand this, trust does not make a person righteous, at least my man’s delusional standards. Just because Joe from Chicago has a spotless record does not make him a better man than a person who made a mistake and did some time. Last I checked, we all made mistakes. What if God did background checks?

Anyway, had to blog that out, hope some of you get what I am saying. It won’t change how the casual reader judges people, which is sad, but if you have a loved on in prison, it is something you should consider. Anyway, glad the Saints won, and until next time…

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