The soaring crime rates in cities across America are causing people to look for answers. Are they looking in the right place?
The Wall Street Journal did an article last week headlined, “The New Nationwide Crime Wave,” and the reported statistics on rising crime were alarming:
“Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.
“In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over the same period the previous year. Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%. ‘Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,’ said St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro at a May 7 City Hall hearing.
Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.”
The article wisely encouraged people to stop demonizing the police and concluded by saying that “no government policy in the past quarter-century has done more for urban reclamation than proactive policing.”
Yet proactive policing is not enough – because there’s not a police force big enough to make a man do what is right. Only when the heart of a man is changed by God will he truly be transformed from the inside out. This is our only hope.
President John Adams said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
Americans are looking for answers everywhere, except for the very place where we began – trusting in God. We’ve condemned religion and morality, so is it any wonder that we’re watching unbridled passions unleashed in our streets and schools?
James Madison, our fourth president, said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of the government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
If we can’t control ourselves, then we can’t sustain ourselves. Therefore, the future of our communities is in grave danger. How far we’ve fallen from our spiritual and moral foundation.
In 1980, the Supreme Court rejected President Madison’s words of wisdom. In Stone v. Graham, the Court held that the Ten Commandments must be removed from public schools. Pay close attention to the reason why:
“If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective …”
Thou shalt not kill. Ah, that’s not a permissible state objective. Well, statistics don’t lie: President Madison was right, and the Supreme Court was wrong.
Today, the police state has grown immensely, and new laws are exploding at an exponential pace. Predictably, this effort to deal with the increased crime is not working. Our politicians eloquently define the problems, but no one is delivering solutions. Yet there is One solution that we may want to look to once again:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galations 5:22-23).
When Jesus steps into the heart of a man, He changes him from the inside out – and you don’t need more laws or a bigger police force to keep him in check. God does the work! He transforms men from grievous sinners to good citizens. As Daniel Webster said, “What makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.”
The answer to our increased crime problem is Jesus. He is the only one that truly transforms and can make a man do what is right.
First published at WND
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.