Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When Doesn't Belief Means Battle?

So maybe it's the Army, but I like to be prepared and informed, so I do my homework when it comes to important things like working with the State Prison system. So I subscribe to the CDCR STAR, it's the media engine for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

<---- Click on the Picture, it's a Link. Anyways, I get postings from Facebook too, which is cool. Last week I read a few clippings from an article linked to the author Scott Smith's Blog and found his An Appeal to the Divine, very appealing.

Last Sunday he posted "When Belief Means Battle" (hence the rhetorical title) a piece on Minority Faiths, and included an interview with a Druid inmate and a few choice words from fellow Wiccan Chaplain and colleague Patrick McCollum. I have to say I was very happy with the segment, it is not often that we get good press from a non-Pagan.

But it wasn't long before the smear squad started posting comments on the News Forum, no doubt from deep in the heart of some back woods bible belt BBQ, bar and barbershop drive thru. At first I wasn't going to jump in the frying pan but it began to haunt me, so I posted comment #14 which states:

The “R” in CDCR stands for Rehabilitation, and it has sadly been forgotten. A very large portion of the inmates referred to on this discussion board will be released very soon to a neighborhood near you.

Part of rehabilitation is arming them with the proper tools to function and survive within a society full of people whom, based on the comments so far, will be more than a little challenging.

Minority Faiths such as Druidry and Wicca promote self control, self reliance and most importantly responsibility for one’s own actions. Most inmates have begun their new path in prison and has been a crucial part of their mental, spiritual and emotional growth and rehabilitation.

These earth based beliefs and practices encourage one to establish a peaceful balance and a harmony with the rest of the world, and instills a core belief in the sanctity of all life, even yours.

I for one hope they are allowed and encouraged to follow these paths, I for one hope they take them very, very seriously, and I for one hope that you can let them.

Because we will be meeting them very soon and the quality of that meeting is a matter of faith.

It has taken a lot to refrain from jumping back in head first, but I promised I wouldn't. I said what I had to say, I made my point, knowing they were not going to get. Sigh.

But I'll be riding my Harley out to a Prison tomorrow, somehow that makes me feel better...

1 comment:

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