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How do people become criminals? Having taught Criminology at a “Car Pool U”, I can tell you there are many theories. The general “wisdom” today says that poverty causes crime, since most crime occurs in lower socio-economic areas. That idea is backwards, though. Poverty doesn’t cause crime any more than flies cause garbage. If poverty causes crime, where was THE great Depression crime wave? Dillinger and the other small-time hoods were famous because they were different from the great mass of poor, law-abiding folks.

Crime causes poverty. If you rob, burn and steal from local businesses, they will leave after some time of raising prices to compensate. Insurance rates alone make it too expensive to stay in such areas. Look at Ferguson, MO. The jobs leave with the business. Fewer jobs mean fewer customers, and those who can, move. Honest folks call for a greater police presence while gangs and politicians claim that increased patrolling is “racist”.

The actual cause of crime is the breakdown of the traditional family. In 1960, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for blacks was about 17%. Now the rate is 72%. What happened? The “Great Society” welfare programs from 1965 onward nuked the family because the government made it financially advantageous for fathers to leave and women to have more children. Positive male role models disappeared, replaced by pimps and pushers. “Super Fly” replaced “Super Dad”. As crime and poverty increased, the black middle class closed their stores and moved.

What then, created the criminals? Their own bad choices. Where do bad choices start? They start by being modeled by parents making bad choices and lousy parenting. Teenage pregnancy, failure to graduate high school or to value education, refusal to work in favor of welfare all set the wrong examples.
The Bible has the answer for this degeneration. God knows the past, present, and future of not only each person or group, but the effects their choices will have on future generations. Any prosecutor, cop, or defense lawyer can tell you that that there are certain families that breed criminals, generation after generation. By the time a kid in of these families is 10, he knows he’s going to jail someday. It’s just considered a cost of doing business. God’s remedy for this is in the 10 Commandments.

The first four Commands deal with the vertical relationship between God and Man. The last five Commands deal with the horizontal relations between people. Right in the center, focusing the two perspectives, is the 5th Command, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Exodus 20:12. Our relationship with our parents is crucial.

God ordained the two-parent, heterosexual, traditional family as the cure for criminality and the foundation of good, godly citizens! Parents are vital in raising a child who recognizes duty to something bigger than themselves and respects the rights and feelings of others. While toddlers can’t understand the concept of an all-powerful, wise and loving God, they do recognize parents as all-powerful, wise and good. It is by modeling God’s love, mercy, discipline and justice that they mold responsible adults.

photo credit: mripp We are family via photopin (license)

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Greg Hopkins

Greg Hopkins is a recovering lawyer, city prosecutor, police Use-of-Force law instructor, former city judge in two towns and criminal defense lawyer. He’s been teaching the Bible to teens and adults for 40 years. He now trains CCP holders and armed church security teams in self defense law. He also does expert witnessing in firearms and self defense cases. His book is A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, on the Bible and Self Defense.