Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Four people are dead, killed by 16-year-old Ethan Couch who was driving drunk and hit them. Surely this absolutely irresponsible kid should pay some kind of price for taking the lives of four people, but no. A clever lawyer got him off with just 10 years of probation in a cushy rehab by presenting an “affluenza” defense. The word affluenza was popularized in the late 1990s by Jessie O’Neill, the granddaughter of a past president of General Motors, when she wrote the book The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence. Bear in mind that the American Psychological Association doesn’t officially classify this “affliction.” No wonder. It describes spoiled brats, like Couch, who come from rich families and act out bad behavior. Usually the term refers to kids who skip school or abuse drugs. In this case, its homicide. But can what happened be excused by partially blaming the parents, whom defense lawyers claim never set limits for their child and gave him everything he wanted? Does this kid need treatment, as the judge declared, or the tough lessons of a no affluence prison cell for a very long time?
It’s obvious that this crime was without any serious consequences. And if that doesn’t make you mad enough, consider who was killed: a youth pastor, two young women, and a mother – all Christians. Plus this utterly irresponsible driver was dumb enough to let two kids ride in his truck’s bed, and they were seriously injured. Oh, and if your blood isn’t boiling by now, Couch, the killer, was drunk from booze he’d stolen from a Walmart! One more thing: Couch bragged to one of the passengers after the accident, “I’m Ethan Couch, I’ll get you out of this.” And there’s more. Three days before the accident, Couch threw a wild, drunken party at a private mansion given to him by his father!!! Whether or not there will be any reversal of this outrageous decision, the judge who rendered this ridiculous verdict would do well to heed the words of Psalm 89:14 regarding the attributes of God: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your [God’s] throne.” His Honor who let this kid off with murder may preside over a respectful perch in the courtroom, but the “throne” of his jurisprudence has a very shaky foundation.
An encouraging word: HOW GOD SEES YOU
A pastor friend of mine recently made the following observation, which I’ll put into my own words: There are many ways that we may be viewed. (1) How we see ourselves, (2) How others see us, (3) How we think others see us, (4) How we want others to see us, and (5) How God sees us. As an exorcist, I often get to see number five, as I uncover the hidden core of people’s souls, where the demons dwell. One of the most important questions in life is to ask yourself how God really sees you. Paul had that kind of insight when he wrote in Romans 3:12, “There is no one who does good, not even one.”