RICO Parents…and the Cartel Kids!
Just to brush up your memory, “RICO” stands for ‘Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act’. ‘Cartel’–at its most simple form–stands for those who have banded together as a criminal enterprise, plying their evil works to make money and eliminate those who may get in the way. If you put these two terms together, you will better understand my column for the month.
For far too long, we–the law abiding public–have been sold a bill of goods concerning criminal activity in our streets. We now have paid hooligans demanding ‘this or that’ in the name of the most popular cause. We also now have whole families who are involved in some of these protests, for the sake of a buck.
Having real or cobbled families involved in crime is nothing new. Many are familiar with the story of ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. When I first ran into it back in my younger days, I could not get over one of the sub-plots involving the characters of ‘Fagin’ and ‘The Artful Dodger’, as well as the ‘family’ which Fagin brought together–and trained–to pickpocket the citizens of London. Dickens reportedly wrote this work partly based upon a keen eye on his times, and partly out of his own experiences.
Fast forward to today, where this story has grown some ‘real life’ legs. Some parents–it may seem–are actively ‘training’ and ‘using’ their own children to prey upon others, much like the Dickens tale. In short, we have parents in some of our communities–and in some of our churches–who seem to thrive upon turning their families into criminal enterprises, and raising up their children to become proficient in the ways of crime. What is truly troubling? Some of these ‘parents’ hold employment in pretty respectable fields, such as banking, retailing–and law enforcement.
Why do some families turn to crime? For the money, of course!
And, IF one of the children happens to get killed in the commission of a crime, the family can put forth ‘moral outrage’ against the cops; faulting society and God for ‘letting them down’ in this cruel and cold world, as they were trying to ‘feed their family’. (Of course, we won’t mention the fact that the ‘crowd funding’ dollars can amount to some pretty cool cash for a child’s funeral). Am I being cruel? Some may say I am; but to paraphrase the words of Sherlock Holmes: “If you eliminate all the other variables, what remains IS the truth.”
The truth of the matter is there are more RICO parents and Cartel kids than we would like to imagine…and their numbers appear to be growing. It matters little as to the racial identity of the families in question. What does matter is that blight has grown and needs to be checked, and stopped. It will take some courage from those of us who are counted as the ‘law abiding’ in society to stop this ‘crime train’.
The best way would be to get back to setting ourselves on ‘shun’. If you know a shady family, raising their own brood of Cartel kids on your block, you need to stay away from them AND keep your children away from them…AND explain why! The Apostle Paul recommended this method to the church at Corinth, when sin was discovered in the church house. The perp in question was sleeping with his father’s wife. There were people IN the church who were–dare I say it–cheering him on! Paul reasoned from the scriptures and called for the offender to be shunned…in the hopes that he would repent of his sins, and thus would come back to the church in humility.
That’s the proper role of a good shunning…to get folks to repent of their sins and realize that God–nor his people–are amused by their antics. Sure, the offending family may call you a host of dirty names. In truth? It will teach them that they are NOT living on the right side of life. Lying, cheating and stealing are activities that need to be eradicated…NOT encouraged.
Yes, I know that I’ll get some haters trying to justify the actions of these crime families. However, I believe there are more people who will support such a united front against home-grown crime. We need to stop hanging out with criminals, and stop letting their sins spread throughout society. After all, how can a community–or a people–hope to make progress when members of their own are hindering them?
Ramey, a Minister, syndicated columnist and book reviewer lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. To correspond, drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2017 Barnstorm Communications.