May 20, 2007

Vail Vision May 20, 2007

Pretty in Pink...

It looks like Sheriff Joe Arpaio is back in the news. A high-profile heiress of the Hilton Hotel chain has committed yet another crime and will be jailed. Sentencing is set for August, but discussions are underway about whether this young woman should serve time in Arpaio's tent jail.

Some of you may be familiar with Sheriff Joe's style. (Hopefully from the outside!) He made the news a few years back because the inmates were selling the jail-issued undergarments on the black market. So Sheriff Joe had them all dyed pink. If my memory serves correctly, the hope was that pink undergarments would not be as desirable on the black market.

Now the tent jail is very controversial. I grew up in Phoenix and can tell you that the summers are HOT. Even with a tent blocking out the sun, I can't even imagine spending my days with hot, stinky inmates. Don't give me the line that "Well, at least it's a dry heat... So's an oven.

For those on Sheriff Joe's side, the tent-jail is wonderful. It houses inmates at a low cost. It is extremely uncomfortable and so perhaps criminals will think twice about committing a crime knowing that the tent-jail is in their future. It is reasonable to assume that the heiress would have thought twice about committing her crime if she knew the tent jail would be in her future.

But there are those who aren't at all happy with Sheriff Joe's style. There is always the possibility that someone could be jailed unjustly. There are always mistakes. But even for justly incarcerated inmates, is this fair punishment? The Arizona summer sun is so HOT. Does the punishment fit the crime?

My prayer is that the power of the Holy Spirit would guide you with wisdom so that you never end up in Sheriff Joe's care. It doesn't sound like a good time. But if, by chance, you ever find yourself on a hot August day sitting in pink undergarments surrounded by stinky miserable people, remember that Jesus also experienced the justice system of His day. Remember that He loves you and that when you confess to Him your sins, He is faithful and will forgive you. And remember that because He overcame death and the power of the devil His own will never see the fires of the ultimate tent-prison.


David Hook

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