Restorative Justice

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RESTORATIVE JUSTICE THE NEED TO FORGIVE

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"Justice" has been defined as "... The action taken on an individual by the group when he fails to take appropriate ethics actions himself."[1] Id at 868 

            Now how is it that we can take an "action" upon an individual when the Bible teaches us: "... Be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32 

            If I was to tell you to "just forget" all of the injustices done to you, it would, perhaps, be a hard pill to swallow, even though the Lord God commands it. However, in order for true justice to prevail, all of us must forgive, as we also seek to be forgiven by those whom we have offended. 

            Presently, our system of justice is vindictive; it seeks to teach people that it is appropriate to seek vengeance upon an offender, and that revenge (i.e.: "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" Exodus 21:24) is justified, as long as it is done through the court system. This is the Bible taken out-of-context: "...vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:19  

            The Bible does not contradict itself with the two verses just quoted; you need to read it in context. 

            That a victim’s need to forgive is just as great, if not greater than the offender’s need to be forgiven, was demonstrated by the majority of the families of the victims of the Oklahoma City Murrah (FBI) building bombing, who protested against the execution of Timothy McVeigh, saying that they forgive him. 

            This is not a dementia on the part of a victim who has suffered a tragic loss; it is a real need that is the only road to healing. We might not want to invite someone who has terribly offended us into our home for dinner, but the least a victim can do for him / her self, is to forgive the offender, and in the interest of the victim at the very least, the State should not only permit it, but reconciliation should be encouraged whenever it is possible. (Wow! what a radical idea, huh?) 

            Of course, it is useful and possible only if the State permits such a thing, which it currently does not. For such a process to be effaceable, the offender should take responsibility for his actions. As soon as he does, however, the State takes the "confession", and uses it as an opportunity to heap more persecutions upon him. In many cases, "confessions" are coerced in violation of the US Constitution[2], and a retired police lieutenant is getting rich selling books to his fellow police officers, teaching them how to get away with Miranda Rights violations.[3] 

            As a result, many false arrests and wrongful convictions have resulted. The judges know this, and go along with it because it is politically expedient to appear to be "tough on crime"; a policy, which can be proven statistically and historically, that makes the crime problem worse. 

            A review of "Restorative Justice" appearing in Nov - Dec 2001 issue of the newsletter Justicia [4]: 

            "... We can take a lesson from Navajo peacemaking. Navajo people believe that harm is done when someone loses "connectedness" with the extended family. That "connectedness" can be restored by talking together with the whole extended family, including the one who harmed. Through cooperation, compassion, and placing responsibility, they can regain connectedness with those harmed, and the one who harmed... In Restorative Justice, even the labels of "victim" and "offender" are harmful. These labels tend to separate us from them, and separate them from the community." [5] Id at 5,  ¶ 6, 7 

            For the offender, a meaningful means to make amends to those hurt or harmed is precluded by the courts. Forget about the offender for the moment; this robs the victim of his / her need to bring closure to the trauma by reconcilement and / or forgiveness. The State is guilty of perpetuating "the contamination of aberration", by feeding more (emotional) traumas into the dispute. The proof that our entire "justice" system as highly touted as it is as "the best in the world", is really a joke, is the answer to the question: "The best at what". It is a dismal failure on all accounts; it hasn’t caused crime to diminish, it doesn’t rehabilitate offenders, and it certainly does not encourage reconciliation. So pray tell, what is it good for? Any attempts in the past to "fix" it, has only made it worse; turned it into a spaghetti-bender’s paradise of contradictions and legal antinomy. What needs to be done is to completely replace it get rid of all the Hick-Farmer Sigmund Freud Wannabes who play god with people’s lives in the schools, the courts, and the prisons. What we need to do is BAN the practice of psychiatry within the borders of the United States. (You read that right; the practice of psychiatry should be illegal in the US a B-Felony, if I had anything to say about it) In order to become a sane nation once again (if indeed we were ever "sane" to begin with), we must get rid of the people who are literally driving us insane. God and compassion must be restored, and the DSM[6] burned.

 

            For all of us sinners, the important thing to remember is this: 

            Jesus said:                    "... Your sins are forgiven". Luke 7:48

            He did NOT say:          "Your sins have been undone".

 

            Remorse, or "being sorry", changes nothing. "Sorry" and fifty cents gets you a cup of coffee from the "roach coach". Remorse is crying over milk that cannot be un-spilled the proper word to use, and the right frame of heart and mind to have, is the spirit of Repentance. Remorse carries with it, nothing more than regret over having incurred the consequences of our actions; we had, in many cases, brought ethics in on ourselves! 

            Repentance is self-judgment God-ward; it is a Metanoia[7] change; an about-face and turning away from previous behaviors, and repentance carries with it, the need to make meaningful amends by accepting responsibility for our actions, and as L. Ron Hubbard wrote:  "... Find a real means to right their wrongs..." 

            The fact that we can sincerely repent and seek to reconcile with our God and our fellow man, is the final proof of our true nature, and is irrefutable evidence that man all of us, are basically good, although sinners. We are basically good because we are created in God’s image, and what conscience is evidence of is that our true nature strives to do the right thing.

            But the Bible says also, that "... the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately [incurable, intractable] wicked..." Jeremiah 17:9 (brackets mine) and we had better take that fact to heart, and use that knowledge to keep us on the straight and narrow path.           

 

 Peace and Godspeed WebPastor David Todeschini

  ۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩۩

FOOTNOTES


[1] The Scientology Handbook – ISBN# 0-88404-899-3  see www.bridgepub.com

[2] See: "Police Interrogations Should Be Taped" – Felix Lapine, Esq., in "Justicia"  July-Aug 1999 ISSN#  1077-6516
           
Judicial Process Commission, 285 Ormond Street, Rochester, NY 14605 (585) 325-7727

[3] See: "We Get Confessions" – Lt. Al Joseph, ret. (review on www.amazon.com)

[4] See note 2b "Restorative Justice" – Criminal Justice Press, PO Box 249 Monsey, NY, 10952  (800) 914-3379 ISBN# 1-881798-31-3

[5] See "Restorative Justice" – Criminal Justice Press, PO Box 249 Monsey, NY 10952  (800) 914-3379 ISBN# 1-881798-31-3

[6] DSM – Diagnostic Statistical Manual – Psychiatry’s catalog of 347 "mental disorders"

[7] Metanoia –  (Greek) – To have a complete change of heart and mind for the better.

 

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Last modified: 12/13/17

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