28

But that was in another Country, and besides, the Wench is Dead

You leave one little thing off your resume and some people hold it against you:

 

 

 

James Gordon Wolcott killed his father, mother, and 17-year-old sister in their Georgetown, Texas home in early August of 1967. He was 15. The night of the killings, Wolcott sniffed airplane glue and shot his family members with a .22 long-barrel rifle. Wolcott’s plan to kill his family and the resulting trial is all detailed in a stunning expose by the Georgetown Advocate.

He was tried for the murder of his father and found not guilty by reason of insanity the following year and was committed to Rusk State Hospital, where he was released in 1974 after being determined sane. He was later also found not guilty of murdering his mother and sister by reason of insanity.

46 years later, Wolcott is now James St. James, a psychology professor at Millikin University, a private school in Decatur, Illinois. Administrators at the school are just now learning of his past life and have decided to let him stay on as a faculty member.

“Millikin University has only recently been made aware of Dr. St. James’ past,” a statement issued by the university says. “Given the traumatic experiences of his childhood, Dr. St. James’ efforts to rebuild his life and obtain a successful professional career have been remarkable. The University expects Dr. St. James to teach at Millikin this fall.”

Some members of his family weren’t so forgiving: Continue Reading

10

Sinners in the Hands of a Non-Judgmental God

Pal Jesus

 

 

We live in a time of cheap grace where forgiveness is not requested but demanded by miscreants.  Exhibit A is Mark Sanford who disgraced himself as governor of South Carolina and destroyed his family by his lust for his Argentinian mistress.  Now Sanford is the Republican candidate for Tim Scott’s, newly appointed Senator from South Carolina, old House seat for South Carolina 1.  He is opposed by Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, Stephen Colbert’s sister.  (No fiction writer could make this up.)  Sanford is touting that he has been forgiven by God and the people of South Carolina should also forgive him.  In a very good column in the New York Post NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY looks at the American impulse to embrace an endlessly forgiving God.

Only 31 percent of Americans believe in what the two call “an authoritative God,” a deity who is both engaged in the world (caring about human affairs, no pun intended) and judgmental. The rest believe that God is either disengaged or simply benevolent. Or they’re atheists.

Listening to these politicians rattle on as if they’ve had a sit-down with God and come to some kind of mutual understanding makes one long for some old-fashioned God-fearing.

Our European brethren think of us as puritanical; if only. These men — whose sin begins with infidelity and then travels through public humiliation of their wives and children and then ends with an inability to remove themselves from public life — might benefit from the recitation of that great sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”:

“The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow.”

Maybe Mark Sanford should try thinking about that next time he’s on the “Appalachian Trail.”

And not just him. A recent study in the academic journal Theoretical Criminology found that criminals often use religion — and even God’s forgiveness — as a way of rationalizing their behavior. “God has to forgive everyone, even if they don’t believe in him,” one 33-year-old enforcer for a drug gang told the interviewers.

In the first few centuries of the Church, penances would go on for many years in regard to serious sins before absolution was granted.  The penances would be public in nature, and would make clear that the penitent had committed grave sins.  Now, most people assume that God forgives any sin automatically, that penance is unnecessary and that the forgiveness of God absolves them from the consequences of their sins.  I recall one child molester stating at a conference that God had forgiven him, so why couldn’t everyone else? Continue Reading