Through Isaiah, God told us, “This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke."
Earlier this week you might have read about a bill making its slow way through congress. It had to do with relaxing the mandatory sentences for drug possession. All the preparatory work went for naught when a committee chairman squashed the bill. We don't want to misjudge the man, but it would be wrong if he left good people in prison just to make his voters feel more secure. I hope they sleep well.
I never took drugs or had a puff of marijuana, but I could have, if friends had pushed it on me. That would have me now serving ten to fifteen years.
I did have a night and a day in jail eight years ago. After playing 18 holes up in Georgia, I had my right front fender clipped, and that had me charged with a misdemeanor for encroaching on the other lane.
Six months later, after an afternoon of golf here in Jacksonville, I was arrested and jailed by two big cops. A clerk up in Georgia, copying records, put my lane-encroachment down in the space for felonies, and I was charged as a felon fleeing from Georgia. I didn't tell anyone I was a priest, and no one asked me who I was.
At our jail here I was lined up with all that day’s catch, and the guard was asking the others if they thought I could get it up at age eighty. I was given a skimpy blanket, but my cell was cold, the night was long, and the toilet was stopped up.
With my stomach upset I shared my breakfast with three guys who brought me into their card game. After a few hours a guard came, saying my lawyer was waiting,. Those guys I was playing cards with couldn’t believe I had a lawyer. They had each been there a month or more without a charge.
My lawyer couldn’t get me out then, so I was put into a cold holding cell, awaiting transport to Georgia. I was told that up there I would wait at least two weeks before a court date. I asked a lady guard for a blanket, but she said they were not issued to holding cells.
At four I was told I was being let out; but lining up with all who were to be released that day, I had to wait an hour before they got down to S.
Anyway, I am very happy to have had that taste of what it is like to lose one’s individuality and freedom here in America.
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