21 Responses to Frog Gravy: A Visit From a Minister

  1. Beverly says:

    Hey, I am late here, but the experience is very troubling. Obviously there can be a meaningful role for a jailhouse chaplain…to provide comfort, support, maybe prayer, relief of guilt or other spiritual concerns. The idea that it is a forum for building membership/conversions, particularly with pressure, is very out of an accepted practice

  2. crazy1946 says:

    This is off topic, however after I read this earlier my blood has started to boil… There is an article on MSNBC about Cal Ripken’s mothers kidnapping, and Adam Walsh is going to put it on his prime time crime show. Here are the words that Mr. Walsh used to describe the common people in this country….

    “Former “America’s Most Wanted” TV host John Walsh joined Ripken at the announcement, pledging his help.

    Walsh said the Ripken case would be featured on the front page of his organization’s website and on its hotline. He also said the reward had the potential to yield new information.

    “The average citizen . they’re not looking for the rewards,” Walsh said. “But in the criminal community, amongst the lowlifes who populate this country, 100 grand is a lot of money.”

    I did not follow the story, but let me guess the people that allegedly committed this crime are “black”……. But at least now I fully understand that myself and my fellow citizens are simply “lowlifes” to this man…..

    • ““The average citizen . they’re not looking for the rewards,” Walsh said. “But in the criminal community, amongst the lowlifes who populate this country, 100 grand is a lot of money.”

      Wow, I don’t understand this statement AT ALL.

      -He wants information about a crime.

      -He posts to a website, and offers a reward.

      -But then, he essentially dis-invites any information at all, by claiming that…

      -Obviously, anyone who wants to help, and who offers information is a “lowlife” in the “criminal community.”

      Weird. I haven’t followed Walsh in a while, although I did read his book about his son, and was aware of his advocacy efforts.

      Has he lost it? Why would he insult anyone who may potentially call, with information, by getting that dig in, that insult, before the call is ever even made?

      Is he saying that valid information is not valid, when it comes from someone like me, for example, who is viewed by many as a “lowlife criminal.” How about if someone just has a bunch of traffic tickets? Can they no longer make that call and give any information then? Maybe Walsh needs to put a qualifier in, that only people above a certain income level are welcome to call. Why doesn’t he flat-out say, Only the rich are welcome to call and help?

    • Cercando Luce says:

      Actually, the Walmart videos released of the perpetrator show him to be “white.”

      • crazy1946 says:

        Cercando Luce, Thanks for the information, but I must confess that I am surprised, not that a white man could commit a crime, but that Adam Walsh would preface his comments about the reward like he did……

  3. crazy1946 says:

    The real problem with Christianity today is there is very little of Christ in it, and too much of the world!

  4. Endless Summer says:

    Crane, this first person account is both fascinating and horrifying. It’s easy to see how inmates can get caught up by proselytizing zealots when they are housed in unspeakable circumstances.

    Thanks for sharing this gut-wrenching account in your authentic voice. The way we administer criminal justice is the shame of our nation.

    • You are welcome, and given the vulnerability of the many inmates there (nonviolent, newly arrived, mentally ill, etc, I view the practice of swooping in and doing such a thing as predatory. In that jail, we were constantly told we were “sinners,” and that the only possible hope for our souls was to follow the path they had chosen.

      Let he who is without sin…

  5. renah says:

    Man, CraneStation jeez 😦

    I am soo sorry this all happened to you — and to everyone else stuck in that sorry hellhole, and all the sorry hellholes in this world.

    Your writing is powerful and effective. I hope Ibis can help you publish to a wider venue because I know that once these stories are really out there, at least a couple of heads are going to roll. Amen to that.

    Meantime Im grateful that we get to see them here, even if it hurts to read them.

    • renah says:

      ANY religion that claims theirs is the only truth, the only way to god, is plain & simple wrong.

      Thats the easiest spiritual truth IVE ever found, for sure. (’cause the rest of it can get pretty complicated 😉

    • Thank you so much for the read and the comment renah, very much appreciated.

  6. Seems like a cult using false pretenses to recruit desperate people in desperate situations.

    I don’t recall Jesus attempting to do that or sanctioning others to do so.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      That’s just it. So much about Christianity as practiced is far removed from the words and actions of the teacher these institutions supposedly follow.

      When I was a very little girl, only three or four, I used to sit in church with my parents and think how very strange and alien it felt, as if I’d had many lifetimes in some other sort of culture. I could feel the positive energy of the chapels and yet also sense a wide disconnect between the spiritual and the service.

      Not that we humans have to be perfect, but it was a jarring experience.

    • Xena says:

      The Church of Christ is considered a cult by mainstream Christian denominations. Any denomination that says its the only true church and there is no salvation other than to believe as they do and join them, is considered a cult.

  7. Trained Observer says:

    The Church of Christ …. way tooooo claustrophobic for any but the narrowest of passages and minds.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Oh, my gosh. I grew up in the Methodist church, but was forced to attend a Church of Christ church during my junior year in high school in a small town where my dad taught in a small college in central Illinois. I have no clue why they didn’t attend the local Methodist Church – perhaps there wasn’t one – and possibly they went with the flow because so many faculty members attended this church, and because it was across the street from our house. Claustrophobic is a really good word for that experience, both the town and the church and the way my parents behaved as if they couldn’t be themselves that traumatic year.

      That a county jail in 2008-09 would limit reading material to Bibles and such is truly bizarre. Hadn’t they yet heard of the division between church and state? I spent a couple nights in a county jail in a rural SW state during that same time period (WTF was it about 2008-09?) and they had an unexpectedly good library – the only activity besides sleep that made that little sojourn in the least bearable. Otherwise a depressing, eye-opening, and bizarre interlude (my god, the poor young brown women in there awaiting long drug sentences – !!!). And this after getting punched in the head multiple times by an officer and having my wrist fractured by putting it over my head to ward off the blow. It was left untreated and unsplinted until I got out, of course . . . Guess this young LEO thug didn’t know like Fogen and his kin that one punch can kill. : /

      Crane, you captured the starkness of that religious experience nicely in this piece.

      By the way, Christianity and rightwing drivel drove me to Buddhism! : D

      • Thank you for your comment. My son’s roommate for the past several years (through law school and beyond) is a Buddhist, and my son has learned so so much from him.

    • I know folks in the community and they are very kind, and really cool about ministering to the poor.

      But man, pretty aggressive when it came to the jail setting. I think they got a good deal of encouragement from the court, though.

      I really don’t know.

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