Some kids get detention for being punched in the face. Sad, but true. Schools are adopting no-tolerance rules on fights, which sound like a great idea, but really they punish anybody who was in a fight, regardless of whether they were actually swinging the punches.
Does that bother anybody else? Doesn’t it seem fishy that these schools punish the victim? Whether defending themselves or not, if they were in a fight, equal detention.
Punishing the good with the bad is not an isolated event. How many drugs have been taken off the shelf because they can be used to create meth? Where I live, you have to show your 18-plus license to get Nyquil because they found that Nyquil can be used to get drunk or make drugs. You know what else Nyquil is good for? Sleeping through a cold!
The sad thing is that lawmakers pat themselves on the back for this. It may be legality, but it certainly isn’t justice. Justice does not punish the good with the bad. Justice punishes evil and evil alone. Justice rewards goodness and goodness alone. Any compromise on these two extremes is not justice at all. In fact, it’s borderline corruption.
This kind of thinking is actually kind of prejudiced. It rules out any good and focuses only on the bad. Do you know how dangerous it is to drive? Do you know that the sun can burn your skin? Do you know how deadly it can be to have a baby? And yet we do all these things because the good outweighs the bad. Legalist thinking ignores all this, and only focuses on the bad that can come from any given scenario.
This isn’t justice. This is fear.
This kind of thinking says, “By throwing everybody in jail without a second thought, I don’t have to worry about crime anymore!” After all, ignoring justice sure is convenient.
My wife had a co-worker who lied about their grandparent dying so she could get off work. The boss found out and, naturally, got angry. But shortly afterwards, my wife’s grandmother actually did die, and when she asked off, the boss refused. Why? Because she’d been screwed by the other co-worker and she wasn’t going to be duped again. Great for the boss, bad for my wife. Choosing convenience over justice is pretty much the definition of self-serving.
Speaking of choosing convenience, this line of thinking jumps for the easiest solution, not necessarily the right one. After all, why go through the trouble of seeing who’s really at fault when you can slap an cross-the-board punishment and clock out for the day? And I don’t care if parents, teachers, and other scaredy-cats are screaming for results. Trust me, they’ll wait for justice.
“Wow, this chicken sure is taking a long time to cook. And I’ve got kids screaming for dinner. Ah, screw it, I’ll just pop it out now and serve it to the kids. It’s only pink on the inside, it’s not like they’ll see.” Such is the mentality of punishing the good with the bad. Hey, who cares if it created more problems? It fixed our original problem, right?
Nope! Do you know why we keep making new laws to ban new drugs? Because meth addicts keep finding new ways. Ban on this drug? No biggie, I’ll try this one. Oh, ban on that drug? Okay, I still have thousands of options! Meanwhile, the guy who just wants ibuprofen for his headache can’t do so without paying a doctor’s copay, then his prescription payment when the darn thing used to be five bucks.
How does punishing the victim stop the bully? Oh, you punish the bully, too, sure, but does punishing the victim add any sort of effectiveness? Of course not. He’s a bully; if the kid he punched gets detention for getting punched, the bully just won twice!
But that good kid who got attacked? Do you know what goes through his head? “Nobody will help me. I can’t tell the principle because I’ll get detention. I can’t tell mom and dad because I’ll get punished.” This poor kid feels trapped and scared and he feels the weight of legality slowly crushing his soul.
There are only two logical ends: a shattered soul…or another bully. Either the kid breaks and panics over being a good little boy the rest of his life…or he rebels. The only person who isn’t crushed by legalism is the person who has no regard for the law in the first place.
What makes me sad is the Christians who live the same lives. Lust is bad, therefore no sex EVER! There’s porn on the internet, so no internet for anybody ever! Telling lies is evil, so no novels, screenplays, or movie scripts may ever be written. Jehovah is the only God, so how dare you teach my children Greek Mythology!
Legalist fear closes the mind and opens the mouth. It rules out judicial interpretation, individual deduction and discernment, and simple common sense by slapping one big “NO” law. If you question the big “NO,” you are a heathen, a communist, a drug dealer, a murderer, a whore, or God knows what else. You see, they put the “NO” law up as a once-and-for-all “end” to the problem. How dare you question it!
Legalism that cancels justice and enacts censure. How American. How Christian.
Why can’t we have justice again? When did “it’s too hard” become an excuse to cut corners and save time? When did we sacrifice results for the appearance of results?
Who will save the rape victim from shame and censure? Who will save the bully victim from guilt that doesn’t belong to him? Who will loose the chains of the victims? Who will fight the long, hard, bloody fight for one square inch of justice?
2 thoughts on “Jail Time for the Victim”
“Legalist fear closes the mind and opens the mouth” – what a great line, and so true in our society today. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post.
I’m glad you approve 😀