The only flourishing business in West Virginia is the prison one, taking up 10 pages - 191-201 - in the 2011 Blue Book. Jobs galore, high-paying at that, for hundreds, added to that is the $20,000 to $30,000 it costs to detain a prisoner for a year. Surely a handsome part of the state budget, indeed.
Now, another correctional center has come to Parkersburg, one more to the scores the state already has. The intention mentioned by the powers that be who spoke this week is encouraging. "No lock 'em up and throw away the key" attitude was apparent. A welcome sign for the mothers of the state, whose children, mostly sons, started life with two strikes against them, much brought on by abject poverty and no father in their lives. Boredom, too, I'm sure contributes, for the three "R's" may not always help those who are gifted with the use of hands as opposed to minds.
So, a dichotomy exists in this country: filled to overflowing prisons and the highest church-attendance, Christian country in the world. The latter has slight interest in the former. Neglecting prisoners was not Christian teaching, for He suggests in Matthew 25 that neglecting prisoners is an affront to Him.
Moreover, prisons and prisoners are not foreign to the Bible. Persons of sterling character were prisoners, Joseph, Samson, Daniel, prophets, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and Silas. Truly, some of the best were in prison, which may be true in our land today.
So never point fingers, because that thumb is pointing back to you. Moreover, think not more highly of yourself than you ought, for many are out of prison only because they haven't been caught, which may include robed judges.
A young man once addressed Christ as "Good Master." How did Christ answer? "Why are you calling me good? There is none good, except God."