Housing Crisis for Sex Offenders

I am a guest columnist in today’s Utica Observer-Dispatch!

Many thanks to Dave Dudajek for doing me a favor and allowing me this slot.

Here is an excerpt:

When we as a society compare our sex offenders to garbage, we do the same thing to them that they did to us. In doing so, we stoop to their level and perpetuate the cycle of violence.

American society at large endorses such violence because no one is said to be more despicable than a sex offender. We seem to have made it OK to dehumanize and hate these people because of what they have done to others. We use them as scapegoats and a “dumping ground” for our own rage, frustration, and self-hatred. Again, we do to them what they did to us. We become what we judge.

With this housing crisis, I believe God is presenting us with an opportunity to rise above revenge and break the cycle of dehumanizing violence. We have a chance to stand in solidarity with Jesus, who ate with tax collectors and sinners, the scapegoats and “sex offenders” of his day and age.

Click here to read the full article

12 Days of Christmas in Utica

In spite of the indisputable fact that we are currently in the season of Advent (NOT Christmas), I couldn’t resist the urge to share with you this silly song about the city where I began and continue much of my work on the street.

In it, you will find much local cuisine, including turkey joints, which are much more appetizing (and expensive) than they sound.  It would be a merry Christmas indeed if someone were to give me 7 jars of turkey joints.

Also, honorable mention is made of Rainbow, a colorful local character who is known and loved by all.  Friends from Boone, NC and Vancouver, BC will understand what I mean when I compare him to Joshua (Boone) and Ross (Vancouver).  You can’t have a sunny day in Utica without a Rainbow.

Setting a Higher Standard

Another home run ruin for law enforcement in central New York.

Earlier today, I posted an article on Facebook about an off-duty state trooper who was caught breaking into a house in Utica.  Miraculously, this individual was not arrested, although caught red-handed on the scene by Utica Police.

Read WKTV’s report on the incident here.

Tonight, I came across another sparkling gem, courtesy of the Utica Phoenix:

Read the Phoenix article here.

I’m not even including the many incidents that took place while I was working as a counselor at the Addiction Crisis Center and a Community Chaplain in the neighborhood where this second incident took place.  Some of these events I witnessed personally, others were reported to me by my clients.

I respect the difficult job that law enforcement officers have.  However, our bravest and finest have a responsibility to conduct themselves with a degree of integrity and professionalism appropriate to the power with which they have been invested.

To my neighbors in the Utica Police Department:

You can do better than this.  You must.