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During the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, political leaders were seriously trying to figure out how to deal with the outbreak. They were desperate to implement policies that would keep people safe in the face of this deadly threat.
As time moved forward, it became evident that most places in America actually had minimal problems. There were a few places, however, that had massive problems and accounted for the great majority of hospitalizations and deaths in the country.
No doubt, the worst “hot-spot” in the nation was New York City. As the infections and death toll increased, increasingly strict policies were adopted to try and stem the spread of this disease. One of the policies that was implemented by the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, was to release prisoners from Rikers Island prison. This was seen as a humanitarian gesture because inmates were catching the virus as they were locked up in prison.
But in implementing this policy, a very predictable result occurred. Many of those who were released immediately went out and committed new crimes. In fact, out of around 1,400 prisoners released at that time, about 50 had been rearrested for new crimes.
While most people looking at this policy from the outside were not surprised at all with this result, it seems that the mayor was totally shocked. In his statement addressing this phenomenon, he said, “I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done.”
I find it very interesting that de Blasio would think these released criminals would act any differently. After all, he himself, when he ordered gyms closed, went to the gym. And after ordering people not to congregate in parks, went to a park to get outside. If he is not able to follow his own dictates, what makes him think other people would?
Actually, this phenomenon is quite easy to understand. Mayor de Blasio is a full throated Marxist. Marxism is an expression of a naturalistic worldview. This belief asserts that there is no God, and that the formulation of morality is completely a human expression. Essentially, it fosters the idea that those who are able to accumulate the power to control society are able to make the rules, and those rules define morality. Along with that, if the situation (or the leader’s mind) changes, it is okay just to change the rules.
In de Blasio’s mind, the rules he made about releasing prisoners, and his beliefs about how they should conform to his dictates, comprise the definition of morality in his city. The very idea that some of the released prisoners would re-offend is just completely immoral in his mind – even though he has no objective reason for that kind of expectation.
A biblical worldview, on the other hand, understands man to be fallen. Human beings have an objectively real sin nature that causes them to have a built in tendency to sin. It is humanity’s natural inclination.
In many ways, I personally find it sad that de Blasio would expect criminals to act differently without any compelling reason to do so. Unless they have a change of heart about living out a criminal lifestyle, they will have no compelling reason to change their behavior. The mayor’s worldview beliefs don’t allow him to see human character in a way that corresponds to reality. And until he does, he will continue to have expectations that don’t reflect the way people actually think and act.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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