Should Billy the Kid be Pardoned?

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is considering pardoning Billy the Kid because one of the governor’s predecessor’s may have promised Billy a pardon and then reneged.  He’s soliciting input from around the world.  Aside from the fact that it’s clearly a publicity bonanza, there is a deeper question of integrity we need to consider.

The two underlying questions are these:  Can someone right a wrong that was done in the past?  Clearly, the answer is yes.  When someone falsely convicted and imprisoned is freed, we all rejoice and admire the people who helped to right the wrong.  But what if promising the pardon in the first place was wrong?    If Charles Manson was offered a pardon today to testify, and then not given that pardon, would we be advocating for his freedom?  No, because it would have been wrong in the first place to have offered the pardon, and Manson is a threat to society.   So as we consider a pardon for Billy the Kid, here’s my viewpoint:   Two wrongs don’t make a right

Would you pardon Billy the Kid?

What I Learned Serving the Homeless

Our company last week spent an evening volunteering at the Nashville Rescue Mission, which serves the homeless men and women of Nashville.  We worked the serving line, prepping 560 trays of food for men who were searching for food, warmth, and a little caring on a very cold night.  While we had fun as a team in serving, several insights have had an impact for me.

1) Mr. Darrell, an employee of the mission, said he enjoyed our being there because we enjoyed doing it.  He commented that several groups come in and serve in silence and look like they are struggling.  So I want to do all I with joy and smiles– bringing smiles to the faces of those we serve.

2) A colleague told us later that her father died in a homeless shelter – and she never knew he was there.  She was looking for his face in the faces of the men we served – and it was a hard night for her.  It reminded me to see the world from other’s perspective.  

4) The Rescue Mission sees lots of volunteers this time of year – and very few the rest of the year.  I want to make a commitment to serve when I am most needed.

 3) As another colleague Jamie said, on Sunday we worship a homeless man and on Monday we forget the homeless.   I don’t want to forget or ignore those in need – I want to love like Jesus loved.

See you had no choice which day you would be born

Or the color of your skin or what planet you’d be on

Would your mind be strong or your eyes be blue or born

Whether daddy would be rich or if mama stuck around at all

So, if you find yourself in a better place

You can’t look down with a frown on the other guy’s face

You’ve gotta stoop down low – look him square in the eye

And get the funny feeling  you  just might be dealing with the face of Christ.

Chris Rice – lyrics from The Face of Christ