Tag Archives: political correctness

Flawed Anthropology, Easy Money, and Politics in New Hampshire’s Correctional System

New_Hampshire_State_Prison_2008-1CONCORD, NH – Op. Ed. – People change. This is an incontrovertible truth in life. Yet, this concept seems to be lacking in the wonderful state that has become my home–at least it’s MIA in the New Hampshire state prison system. [Fortunately it hasn’t hit our schools yet.]

The money to be made by an opposite view–people don’t change–is real. The flawed anthropology which argues that people can’t change has no place in any serious attempt at rehabilitation. The shallow promises to act on behalf of change are the result of playing to the popular. In New Hampshire, when it comes to sex offenders, the popular is paranoia and ignorance. These never lower rates of recidivism.

Any pseudo-science that would claim that people do not change, does not deserve our serious attention. For every Psychiatrist or psychologist with an MA in the art of Psychology or Sociology, I’ll give you three Dr.’s of Theology or ministry who will present documented proof of miraculously changed lives. Changed lives can be easily documented or demonstrated. The press, politicians, and pseudo-scientific community refuse to acknowledge change. Change is threatening because transformation apart from them excludes them and is something they can’t take credit for or control.

Another reason the mainstream media refuses to understand spiritual change is their Western, anti-supernatural bias. Although you cannot see spiritual, supernatural transformation, you can clearly see its results in the life changes in millions of people. Yet they either refuse to see or cannot see. Is their blindness willful or does it have another source?

I learned in journalism [in my investigative reporter days assigned to East Boston and Boston City Hall], that we should “follow the money.” In NH, easy money hides in the notion that people like Raymond Guay can’t change. Good politics too.

Here in New Hampshire, the money trail is found in all the fees that are collected by independently contracted counselors–licensed by the state. The state collects licensing fees. The men and women on parole have to see these counselors weekly and have to pay for it themselves. Why should they ever get better? Why should they be released as healthy and changed? There’s no money in human transformation. So, “sex offenders can’t change” is the motto of profit.

There’s lots of talk about rehabilitation here in New Hampshire, but I question the sincerity. Four or five years ago I met with the Commissioner of Corrections, Bill Wrenn. He promised a meeting of those of us involved in aftercare. It never happened. He also promised to get to the bottom of parole officers undermining parolee’s chances of reestablishing themselves in community after having done their time.

The state set up a chaperone program to help ex-sex offenders be able to attend churches of their choice. After having certified thirteen of the people at New Life Fellowship in Concord, the state decided that it did not recognize their own certification. All training was conducted under an independent “counselor,” used almost exclusively by the state to inform them about prisoners and parolees. He has since been charged with a crime. And I believe was convicted and sentenced.

I know first-hand that some officials in the state of NH want to use these state certified counselors to declare parolees, who have served their time, as mentally unfit for release. If they can’t keep sex offenders in prison, then they can at least have them committed to their mental facilities.

Several years back, one woman on the parole board made it her mission to incarcerate sex-offenders for life. Never mind making distinctions between repeat offenders and one time offenders or predatory versus passive, single instance offenders. In her narrow mind, She lumped them all together.

During a parole hearing, she announced as much to a man that I was interceding for. She obviously does not believe that people change. For that reason ALONE she has no place serving our community on the parole board. We do not serve the people when we do not consider the weakest among us to be people also.

I hate to think of what the little mob in the town of Chichester or the state officials of NH would have done with Saul of Tarsus, who through his experience of regeneration became the Apostle Paul, one of Christianity’s greatest champions. Previously a murderer of men, women, and children of the early followers of Jesus, he was transformed to become a man of great love and character. Though he still had flaws after his conversion, they were not dangerous flaws. Nor did he ever kill anyone again. Today he is known as one of the greatest of Christ’s apostles–a champion of the Christian faith. So much for people not being able to change.

I’m really more concerned with the question: Can politicians and journalists really change? I believe they can . . . IF.  If they are willing to return to integrity and character they can change. If they are willing to be compassionate, they can change.

We need to and can do several things:

  1. We need to take a close look at Maine’s way of classifying sex-offenders
  2. We need to take a close look at Vermont’s new system of combating recidivism. States all over the union are inviting Vermont’s prison officials to speak and teach about their successes.
  3. We need to thoroughly purge New Hampshire’s propensity for profiting from its “rehabilitation” programs. No more keeping parolees of proven character who have paid the penalty and done their time under the control of the state and financially bound to it by various fees, fines, and levies.
  4. We have to end ALL clear conflicts of interest in the counseling and reporting of ex-prisoners.
  5. Find men and women who do believe that people can change and support them to find NEW ways to work with prisons and parolees. If the people who now work there don’t believe they people change, then remove them and show them that we’re not afraid of change. Too many successful models work to hold on to one that doesn’t.

If they are willing to embrace a genuine concern for ALL people . . . even ex-offenders, perhaps there is yet hope. If the people and politicians of New Hampshire will treat one-time ex-offenders the way they would want to be treated, everyone will change–for the better of our future and our remarkable state. Let’s put NH on the map for something other than politics as usual.

–Dr. David C Alves

Concord, NH

QUESTION: Can people really change? Haven’t you?


Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Our Culture Invites Self-destruction

Name a single Arab or Islamic state, which, after a revolution that has overthrown a dictator, came to embrace political pluralism, religious tolerance and equal rights for women.

You can’t, can you?

So begins the post by Cal Thomas regarding the notion that Islamic states will arrive at Western values because a wave of freedom is washing across the world.

Notice too the clash between Islam and every culture it encounters?

Well, doesn’t Christianity do the same? Religious or political “Christians” –neither of which will be acknowledged by Jesus according to his own words and standard–have done worse. But that is not Christianity. That is Churchianity.

Would genuine followers of Jesus hijack airplanes and crash them into civilian office buildings to get the world to embrace our God and our biblical precedents or way of life? Yet, consistently the Qu’ran and Hadiths encourage violence and deception for the purposes of conversion or Islamic purity. The real problem is spiritual, not political or cultural. So what action am I calling for? Let me tell you what I’m NOT calling for . . .

I’m not asking Muslims to change or embrace what we believe–though to become disciples of Jesus would be a vast improvement over Islam. Nor am I condemning individual Muslims (many of whom I acknowledge may have absolutely no desire to harm anyone or impose anything upon another person–though I believe such a person to be ignorant of his or her own holy writings and unable or unwilling to stand against the true believer in Mohammad and Allah).

I am calling disciples of Jesus first . . .

  • to search the Scriptures beginning with Jesus’s words about the end in Matt. 24-25 and Luke 10, then in the Revelation.
  • to awaken to the warnings given us by Jesus, that a one-world-religion will sweep its false messiah into power. That the believers in Christ can expect to suffer for a time under such a regime prior to the return of Jesus.
  • Read well-researched books that seek to inform us:
  • The Islamic Antichrist, by Joel Richardson
  • Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs, by Robert Spencer
  • The God Who Hates, by Wafa Sultan
  • Think closely about the scripture references to which the authors refer.
  • Find responses that love people but that do not condone or embrace antichrist religions. Remember, the Jesus that Muslims honor is not Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Man and Son of the living (and only) God–Yahweh. The Jesus that Muslims embrace is the exact opposite of who Jesus revealed himself to be in Scripture. And remember Islam is the new kid on the block. The Way to the Father preceded Islam by between 600-700 years. Like other self-appointed “prophets,” Mohammed, set himself up as the Prophet–last in a line of many.
  • The Jesus of Islam is not the Jesus of the Bible. Islam denies most of what Jesus, the Messiah revealed and taught. The teachings of Islam also contradict the Apostles of Christ. Their view is antichrist and denies or twists what Jesus said about himself and our Father. Islam For He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to Father except through me.” That includes you, me, Mohammed, or anyone else. If “the Prophet” didn’t get to the Father through Jesus, then he’s dead until the Judgement. And he will face Yahweh, not Allah. Allah has already been judged. Jesus said he saw him fall like lightning (Lk. 10.19, I believe)

The signs of the times are such that no believer can afford to be caught sleeping at Jesus’ coming. Nor will you make it through the coming holocaust without paying close attention to the Word. Survival will require wisdom, understanding in the Word, and patient endurance. I hope that I can sound an alarm that is heard before it is too late. Our culture of political correctness and historical ignorance invites destruction at the hands of those who are willing to use post-modern culture for their agendas. Let’s be alert, always praying, and sharing the love of Jesus with those who will listen and turn from darkness to light before the End.

If you know of well-written and documented books, that are not alarmist but are truly preparing us for the close of this age, books that paint a picture of the future of the body of Christ and our nation just prior to Christ’s return, please include their titles in a comment below.

Please do not include links to those books. I don’t want my comments to become a marketing opportunity. [I will immediately delete any comments that can’t honor my requests.]

QUESTION: How are you facing the growing threat of Islamization?

Sad American

I have a house, but I feel homeless. Not only because I’m a pilgrim in this temporal world. Not only because my real home is the “home of righteousness.” But my nation is homeless. A home is where love and common history and values create an integrity of character that is modeled and passed down from generation to generation.

I am a sad American. A thief has broken in and robbed and destroyed our sense of family, of HOME-land. Since the 1960’s, I watched the rapid decline of my country. The values that made our nation great, the values that bring countless thousands from other nations to settle here, have been abandoned by our people and our leaders [I’m no longer a supporter of parties–Democrat or Republican, let’s deal with that right up front.

I’m not happy in any political party nor with any recent candidate [No, I’m not a religious kook either. I passed the MMPI–Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–though I don’t think Jesus or the Apostle Paul would have–they heard the Voice more often than me]. Besides, I despise religion (not religious people). But that’s for another post.]

The nation’s decline is most clearly reflected in the behavior of our public officials who cater to the party spirit. I think I’d prefer to elect a statesman or a stateswoman, who truly cared about the nation, the people, and God’s values. But I fear that will not happen in my lifetime unless Jesus comes back first.

What are my political views? I’m an Ambassador of the Kingdom of the living God. The government I serve is not from this dimension (though it impacts this dimension). My Father appointed me to go where He sends me. To speak what I hear. My loyalty is to Him and His Kingdom. My life purpose is to seek His sons (no this does not exclude women, it lifts them higher than secular feminism ever could). I would not step down from my high calling to be in political office–that’s Caesar’s realm. I used to be an Independent, but I do not see much future for political parties in our nation as long as they continue on their current path downward.  Libertarianism is often a guise for putting people under bondage or–at the other extreme–lawlessness. And those of you who are “Christians” [I don’t use the term any longer. It has no meaning), you are as big a part of the problem as the political parties. You too have abandoned truth to chase after human solutions. (Please don’t quote 2 Chron. 7.14 either, (I know it by heart!) because more of you are called by the name Republican or Tea Party than by the name of Yahweh .

Isn’t anyone tired of the Anthony Weiners, Bill Clintons, John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzeneggers, and others? They lie, cover up, strut unashamed before cameras, and redefine their willfully sinful behavior calling it a “mistake?” Have you ever noticed their use of the word “mistake?” I made a “mistake?” For clarity on the definition of “mistake” versus “sin,” see publisher Michael Hyatt’s excellent post “The Difference Between a Mistake and a Sin

Almost as troubling as those who lack moral values are those who support and defend liars, cheats, and frauds. What kind of person can trust an Arnold S? or a John Edwards. These are men who “take responsibility” only when their deliberate lies to their spouses, the press, and the American public are uncovered.  For them, taking responsibility is really doublespeak–meaningless. They take responsibility for getting caught? And what will be their restitution? NOTHING! Weiner’s statements make it clear that he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He just made the “mistake” of not being more careful in his deceit. So he doesn’t see any reason that he should forfeit his role as a representative of the people. His wife did the right thing not standing with him in public. She knows that he apparently recognizes no wrong doing. He is not the only one. Most of these men are blatantly “above responsibility.”

Perhaps their power assures them that they are above the rules and can operate outside morality with impunity. Their constituents foster this attitude. I remember a guy named Curly, in Massachusetts many decades ago, who was repeatedly reelected, even from jail.

As events play out, we’ll get to see the true character of the New Yorkers Weiner represents. Will they affirm his lack of integrity? Or will they send him and future leaders a message that hypocrisy, cover up, and lying are not the example they want set for their children. Nor should we want the kind of world that compartmentalizes morality and character. In time, whatever someone is in secret will show itself publicly.

Lack of integrity used to be called hypocrisy. Immoral leaders don’t see a problem. They’re confused by accountability and integrity. They want to continue in office. They actually expect someone to trust them. Sadly, many will. Who are these people that don’t care that Edwards lied to his wife? They don’t care that Weiner has betrayed the public trust? Who are these people? How can they compartmentalize like that.

People who are ready to overlook lying, cheating, embezzlement, extortion, manipulation, etc. are equally a part of the problem. I’m sure that they can’t imagine that some of their neighbors actually have character. Some people actually walk in integrity. One source says that integrity “regards internal consistency as a virtue.” Integrity means acting consistently in every arena with the values one CLAIMS to hold. For the American people, these values have ALWAYS included honesty, fairness, compassion, faithfulness, and personal accountability.

I’m less afraid of terrorism than I am of our loss of integrity!

I am more concerned over what our nation is becoming as a result of this loss. When I watch the news, I see the issues that face us. I also know history. We cannot escape the inevitable. Our nation has lost its moral compass. God has been declared irrelevant. This abandonment of the God and Father of Jesus is the indictment that will convict us in the courtroom of history.

Long after republicans and democrats no longer exist and a foreign enemy has occupied the United States of America because of our immorality and sinful choices, our children will shake their heads in disbelief that a people, who had been so blessed of God could have been so ungrateful and blind.

You have to be a student of history, theology, and values to recognize just how far our nation has declined. We are a nation adrift. We are a people perplexed and manipulated by all political parties and the media. We have no cannon by which to measure truth. No set of common or shared values that we can agree upon. We don’t even believe in objective truth any longer. In our pluralistic, politically correct, tolerant (except for people of faith) culture, opinion rules.

I’ll NEVER forget the wise words of G. K. Chesterton: “An opinion lacking in  knowledge is an ugly thing.” I’ve heard so much stupidity from so many self-appointed experts on all sides. I have begun to believe that no health or healing can come to our nation because, like Pontius Pilate, we no longer clearly recognize truth when it stands before us, so we pass the responsibility on to others.

I’ve known men whose word was their bond. They wouldn’t lie come hell or high water. If you called them a liar, they’d punch you in the nose. Are those kind of people–people with integrity–so rare that no one expects integrity anymore?

I was told (don’t know if it’s true) that one of the more recent dictionaries does not have the word “integrity” in it. WOW!! I never thought I’d live to see the day! No need to even include or define integrity. But should I be surprised?

Millions could care less about cheating in private life. But if men and women cheat in private, why wouldn’t they cheat the public? How can anyone trust bold-faced liars.

HONESTLY: Would you entrust your children to be cared for at a day care by a parent who only harms her own children in private? Would you reason that what she does in her own private life is her business? Would you advocate that she is qualified to take care of your child in a public day care? You’re in denial or naive if you would entrust your precious child to someone like that.  So why would you trust public officials who privately lie to their own  family members? Who deny any wrong-doing? Do you think they’ll be more honest in their dealings with YOU? They serve themselves, not the American people. I’m tempted to think that many Americans do not want someone of character in office, otherwise we’d have better men and women there now. But I’m afraid there exists a silent majority who seldom speak up except in private. Unless we turn the ship around, we’re going to run aground.

Well, I guess you’ve heard enough from me. What do you think? And please . . . pastors, don’t lecture me. No I don’t think I’m a judge. Nor do I condemn anyone. That ministry belongs to others. And PLEASE . . . if you comment below, don’t give your systematics paper from seminary. I know systematic theology as well as you, so let’s have a more genuine, heart-felt, relevant dialog. Don’t defend your little kingdoms. All I’m saying is that I long to see integrity restored to public and PRIVATE life, so that we can be a great nation–perhaps greater than we’ve ever been. Do you agree?

©2011, David C Alves

**[The photo in this post is from iStock.com. The person portrayed is a model. and not me. The opinions stated are mine and–as far as I know–do not reflect those of the model or iStock.com]

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