Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:05:52 EDT
Subject: Displaced Guilt


Here's an article where someone stupidly imagines that she injured an invisible magic being when she killed a visible, real human. Since the guy is dead, she cannot be forgiven by the one who was injured. She cannot evade her psychologically felt guilt by pretending some surrogate can forgive her for her injuries to others. She may "get over it", she may even have been justified...but she cannot be forgiven by the one injured...he is dead, period.

This is one reason Christianity is so popular. Christians feel quite rightly and naturally guilty when they injure another, and then, instead of seeking forgiveness from the injured, they immediately hope to convince an imaginary being to forgive them instead. Being imaginary, is it any wonder this being helps out the imagineer? Only the individual injured can forgive the offender and if that injured person is unavailable then the offender had better get used to the idea that they cannot undo their wrongdoing. This wishful thinking, this idea that one can somehow "undo" irrevocable acts, may well be one of the main reasons both low-grade scum and self-righteous, generally nasty people find Christianity so attractive... here is an opportunity to evade both responsibility for one's actions and soothe one's conscience at the same time by pretending they're forgiven by an invisible surrogate. One cannot help but conclude that this but a psychological defect not far removed from psychosis. Unable to deal with a reality tainted with the evil they have wrought, these folks exit into a dreamworld where an imaginary surrogate can fix everything.

Is it any wonder the evil, the stupid and the gullible eat it right up? It's a spiritual analog of a perpetual motion machine..... sounds nice but it doesn' t work!


Forgotten Convict Released


.c The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A 58-year-old woman who was jailed last year when prison officials discovered she never served a manslaughter sentence imposed 16 years ago was set free Friday.

"Life is going to be good," Loretta Randley said. "I'm going to find me a church and I'm going to get in that church and I'm going to serve God."

Ms. Randley was sentenced in 1981 to eight years in prison for shooting her boyfriend to death. But because of a bureaucratic mix-up, no one ever arrived to take her away. She continued to live quietly at home and never hid from the law.

Finally, a tip led prison officials to the forgotten convict's door in May 1997, and Ms. Randley had been serving time ever since.

On Friday, Ms. Randley's sentence was commuted by a state clemency board to time served, after her lawyer argued that she had essentially served probation at home all those years.

"She never left the jurisdiction," Stacey Dougan said. "Indeed, she lived an exemplary life for those 16 years, dedicating herself to raising five grandchildren."

Prosecutors had argued that despite the mix-up, Ms. Randley had a duty to turn herself in. But her lawyer said Ms. Randley's conviction was not fair, since evidence of sexual abuse at the hands of the victim should have been introduced as a defense at her trial.

After being convicted of shooting Hartman Delano Poitier, Ms. Randley was released on bail pending an appeal. The appeal was denied in 1982.

However, the letter notifying Ms. Randley that she should go to jail went to the wrong address. So for the next 16 years she raised her children, helped raise her grandchildren, went to church and spent many hours sitting on her front porch. Her daughter even worked as a dispatcher for the police.

Asked about why she never turned herself in, Ms. Randley said: "I thought about it occasionally, but life goes on. I had to raise five grandchildren. You mostly concentrate on that."

In June, a judge who heard evidence that Ms. Randley was abused by Poitier reduced her sentence to four years. Because of the time she had already served and time off for good behavior, she would have been set free in 1999.

Ms. Randley said she committed the shooting in a drunken rage.

"As far as taking someone's life, I regret it every day," she said. "But if it hadn't happened that way, it would've been me. I ask God for forgiveness every day, and I think he's forgived me."

AP-NY-09-18-98 1706EDT


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