John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez successfully grabbed another headline last week by tweeting that Americans should have a “real conversation” about abolishing prisons. Though she did later walk back this bone-toss to her far-left supporters, the prison abolition movement isn’t as niche as you’d think.
At their annual meeting this year, the Democratic Socialists of America passed a resolution to start a working group on the topic. In April, the ACLU told the New York Times it wants to defund the prison system.
The idea behind this radical proposal is this: If we could just get our systems right – our healthcare system, our education system, our welfare system – we wouldn’t need any prisons. If everyone just had proper healthcare, great teachers, and all the money they could want or need, no one would commit any crimes.
It’s a bit like suggesting we should abolish doctors; because if all had equal access to leafy greens and the flu shot, no one would ever get sick.
Obviously, part of the prison abolition movement’s strategy is to shock and turn heads toward these other issues. But such a proposal is also a particularly obtuse expression of Utopianism.
Chuck Colson defined Utopianism as “the myth that human nature can be perfected by government.” Utopianism has at least two core flaws: First, it completely misunderstands the human condition. Because human beings are corrupted by sin, we gravitate toward greed, selfishness, and pride without the redirection of the Holy Spirit. In fact, we do this without help of any kind… our sin is not society’s fault or caused by poverty. You can’t educate us out of our sinful natures.
In fact, even the most devoted prison abolitionists can’t make it through a single morning without falling short of their own standards, much less God’s standards. And neither can we.
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Source: Christian Headlines