THE PRISONER IN US ALL

Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe made headlines recently when he signed an executive order restoring voting rights to 200,000 people with past felony convictions.

It was a much needed act of compassion, though many saw it as politically motivated. That’s not the view from the ex-felon perspective, however. As one man released from prison in 1972 said after completing the voter register form, “I feel like a citizen now.”

The “Ban the Box” effort to remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications in Kansas City, Missouri, led by the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, is another step in civil rights restoration.

Why do we keep punishing those who have already paid the price for their sins?

Here’s My Take: It appears that ours is a society where personal worth is achieved only by degrading others. In contrast, faith seeks to maintain human dignity and provide hope for the suffering.

Jesus taught that we are of greater worth than the sum of our sins. “Indeed,” he said, “the very hairs on your head are numbered. Do not be afraid …” (Luke 12:7). That’s a freeing message for all of us.

 

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