Devlin's (Not) in the Details

Joe sounds off about Michael Devlin's plea bargain.

Hey Joe: What's do you think of the Michael Devlin's plea deal? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Devlin's misdeeds won't come to light?
Catherine Hanaway, St. Louis

My favorite maxim is, "There is so much good in the bad of us and so much bad in the good of us, that it behooves none of us to talk about the rest of us." Devlin's misdeeds have already come to light, although not in detail. But the manner in which he has been paraded around in public from one courthouse to another made him out to be a buffoon. Obviously, he preferred it this way; otherwise, he would not have plea bargained for a lesser charge. By doing so, he spared everybody involved, especially the state and the character of the two kids. Contrary to popular belief, the good thing about it is that his crime was committed against the state, and this subjected him to state punishment. Additionally, he could have killed the children, but he didn't. As is, he will spend the rest of his life incarcerated.

But had he been a member of the priesthood, he would have been protected until eternity. Revealed in this institution is the ineffective representation of the Bible by the so-called Founding Fathers. According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, the Bible is defined as the sacred book of Christianity, a collection of ancient writings including both the Old and New Testaments. More than 2,000 years after its perfection, America became a nation, chose Christianity as her standard religion and adopted the Constitution. After the 1791 ratification of the Bill of Rights, five freedoms were guaranteed. The first was freedom of religion. With its approval, doors to the world of vice opened, beginning with the separation of church and state.

Had the Christian doctrine been followed, there would have been no such thing as "religious freedom." God granted man free will (or freedom of choice); however, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that the end result will be unfavorable for those who choose Christianity and fail to heed His commandments. The outcome of Michael Devlin is a prime example of the double standard. Leviticus 24:22 explains it more succinctly: "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am The Lord your God."

As for the Founding Fathers, the answer is found in Matthew 23:9. "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father which is in Heaven." By adhering to their method of religious freedom, the Bible was violated. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book," says Revelation 22:18-19. The state punished Devlin, but in the case of priests, the church was granted autonomy. Because the church as one refuses to speak against such sin, all are equally guilty.

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Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn?t know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman?s Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white. Perhaps Henry?s most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they?d arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts. Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards. After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'. Direct questions on any and all topics to heyjoe@riverfronttimes.com. If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

 
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