Christianity Shouldn’t = CRAZY!Published by Torrence Glenn on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm.
If you’ve read this column for some time, you know how I feel about certain things and understand the method to my “madness” in how I cover things as it relates to gospel music and issues surrounding church culture. And one of the things I’ve always attempted to do is help “us” with how we portray ourselves and the things we do and represent in the name of “faith,” “church,” etc. So although we’re quick to say “well I don’t represent all Black people” or “we’re not all the same;” the truth is whether you want to or not, your actions and behaviors (or someone else’s) can and many times WILL represent a group you’re a part of. So let’s fast forward to a story I read and saw today that broke my heart which will explain the title of this post “Christianity Shouldn’t Equal Crazy!”
I’m on all sorts of social media platforms (too many if you ask me) and I follow quite a few folks, and I ran into this story twice so decided to actually open it up and read it. From the title of it, I assumed it was a hoax or something like that. Because certainly it couldn’t be true that two parents were being accused of beating their 7 year old son to death for not reading his bible. You read that right…. 7-year old Roderick “RJ” Arrington, Jr. was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital on November 29 because he was unresponsive. Doctors discovered severe bruising and brain swelling on the boy and called the police as these were signs of abuse. RJ died the following afternoon.
Police arrested RJ’s mother (Dina Palmer, 27) and his step-father (Markiece Palmer, 34) and charged them with RJ’s murder. Why? Because Markiece acknowledged that he had spanked RJ on November 26 and 27 for not finishing his homework and for lying about having read the Bible. Police allege that RJ’s step-father beat him with a spatula (yeah, that utensil you’re removed to flip your burgers with) a belt and a wooden paddle. He’s also believe to have shaken the child severely enough to have caused the swelling in his brain. RJ’s mother also allegedly hit him with a belt and her hand. But for what though? Because a 7 year old didn’t finish his homework or read the Bible to their satisfaction? The level of ridiculousness in this entire tragedy makes me want to scream! I’m all for fervor, zeal and being “on fire” for Christ but this is where it just goes too far and it also caused me to ask two questions? Are these just two abusive parents who needed a quick excuse so decided to throw some God talk into their defense in hopes to get off? Or were these actually two genuinely religious nutcases who thought this was the way to “train up a child in the way he should go?” Well, as I continued to read I got my answer…
Once RJ became unresponsive and it was clear that something was wrong, what did the parents do? They called their Pastor BEFORE calling 911. I’m no prophet nor a preacher but here’s what I know, Jesus didn’t tell them to do that either! What irks me so much about this part is when they had the opportunity to possibly save their child, they made the wrong call. Now before you get deep on me, let’s just use some practical sense and wisdom. You can be praying the entire time you’re dialing 911 and getting your child help. Unless your Pastor is the dispatcher at the Emergency call center, you may want to call him later. Shoot, even he was surprised. KSNV writes, “Pastor Kenneth Hollingsworth says he’s as shocked as anyone that Markiece Palmer chose to call him before first-responders.” What’s even scarier is that I’ve heard people “testify” this way before. “I didn’t call the doctor til I called on Jesus!” Sir/Ma’am, it’s in your best interest to ask God to give you the gift of multitasking! But this story is so unfortunate for so many reasons. Not simply the obvious ones that that little boy lost his life due to the disregard for his life and well being by his foolish parents. But because these fools tried to blame their murder on some skewed brand of Christian values. Thanks Markiece and Dina, this is just what “we” needed!
The only bright side to this is that RJ is in a way better place and away from these two psychos and that they’ll get what’s coming to them. I’ve never been to jail but if there’s ever been a place to have extended alone time with God, that would be it! So I’m asking all of you to do me a little favor. If somebody brings this story up to them, just remind them we’re not all crazy. Some of us have the good sense GOD gave us!
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