Originally created 08/31/02

Difference in foolishness and felony

Regarding Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor's June 16 guest column, "Endangering child should be felony."

God give us wisdom in our judgment of others. Tragedies bring out the best and worst of what is in the heart of man. Decisions shouldn't be made in emotional haste, but with prayer which places life issues in perspective.

There are different degrees of child endangerment - such as purposely leaving young children in a house or in a car all day while parents go to work, or leaving a newborn in a Dumpster or on the steps of a building. There are child abductions. There is pornography on the Internet and in various establishments.

There is verbal abuse, physical abuse and crazed students who shoot classmates and teachers. Parents take their eyes off their children in the home and outside, and accidents and tragedies happen.

What is in the heart of the perpetrator should determine who is a felon. Foolishness and felony are really different.

The outcome of the child, who was left alone in the car, might have been tragic; but by this incident, many became aware. The mother made a mistake, and will have a hard time forgiving herself, and the ostracizing by overzealous accusers might be with her throughout her life. She did not intentionally plan to harm her child.

We are all a sorry lot if we believe in luck. It was more than luck that the child was found. God saw that people were there in the nick of time, and the child survived. We should be thankful.

I believe something good can come out of this. Who hasn't made very wrong, foolish, perhaps unsafe decisions? Some of us learn the hard way. To brand this mother as a felon is ludicrous.

I believe the Lord leads our steps and, when we err, we will still suffer the consequences. If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and we are restored. He forgives us and forgets our sin. Humans don't forgive or forget easily.

Who of us would want to be unforgiven, unrestored and scarred for life? By the grace of God, go we all.

K. Simpson, Augusta

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