Once upon a time, Jack Henry Abbott was serving time for forgery and manslaughter. However, Abbott managed to become pen pals with author Norman Mailer from his prison cell and then turned their correspondence into his bestselling book titled In the Belly of the Beast, which received a rave review from the New York Times.
Despite the fact prison officials vehemently opposed his release and considered him unstable, Abbott was paroled after numerous liberal “Hollywood” elitists had championed his cause.
Actress Susan Sarandon even went so far that she honored Abbott by naming her son with actor Tim Robbins “Jack Henry.”
Yet six weeks after his release from prison and with a nice five-figure advance on royalties in his pocket, Jack Henry Abbott senselessly murdered his waiter in a New York restaurant only the day before his book received that untimely rave New York Times review.
It wasn’t merely because he wrote well that Abbott was so readily forgiven his many horrible sins by people like Norman Mailer and Susan Sarandon.
Jack Henry Abbott became successful in part because he wrote what liberal elitists wanted to read — about how the criminal justice system was unfair to criminals, regardless of whether or not the criminal actually deserved punishment as decreed by our judicial system.
What the elitists forgot, of course, was that forgiveness requires repentance. If you aren’t sorry for your sins (all crimes are sins, but not all sins are crimes) then you don’t deserve forgiveness.
Jack Henry Abbott should not have been released from prison.
Even so, simply saying “I’m sorry” shouldn’t allow a criminal to escape punishment, either.
According to the Bible, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So I believe God would even forgive Jeffrey Dahmer, who claimed to repent and become a Christian while in prison.
Because of God’s forgiveness, I believe that Jeffrey Dahmer could be in heaven today. That’s between him and God. I’ll even go farther to say if his conversion was sincere, Dahmer should be in heaven.
But that has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not he should have been able to escape punishment on earth.
Genuine or not, Dahmer’s alleged conversion to Christianity shouldn’t affect or mitigate his punishment by the legal system for his criminal behavior any more than an ability to write should have gotten Jack Henry Abbott out of prison.
The case of our third “sinner” is to me the most interesting and baffling. His “crime” pales in comparison to Abbott or Dahmer — to be clear, to the best of my knowledge, Adam Mark Smith has never killed anybody.
He doesn’t deserve comparison to murderers. I only mention him in the same article to contrast the way society has treated Smith in comparison to that of a murderer like Jack Henry Abbott.
Smith’s only guilty of bad behavior, yet there seems to be no end in sight for his punishment.
Three long years ago, Smith was a high-ranking executive at a private corporation with a six-figure salary and seven-figures worth of stock options as well as a part-time professor at a local university.
In one infamous and immortal two-minute video that Smith posted online himself, he completely destroyed life as he knew it, losing both of his jobs in very short order.
Even today, he’s still unemployed. Smith was fired only two weeks into the only job he’s landed since his silly but unbelievably costly “protest” against Chic-Fil-A.
His attitude in the video was so offensive, I immediately remembered the incident. In light of the current brouhaha about the new Indiana law passed to protect religious freedom, it’s important to put all of this into proper context.
Smith claimed that Chic-Fil-A discriminated against gays because they donated money to nonprofit organizations that opposed gay marriage. He grossly mischaracterized their support of traditional marriage as tantamount to homophobia and they even opposed two men kissing.
It was an idiotic thing to say. The comment can’t be mitigated or sugarcoated. Smith wasn’t only a bully, he made a wrong assumption about the motives of the people involved.
But his stupidity can be forgiven.
No one is attempting to prevent two individuals from having a homosexual or lesbian relationship. The issue remains whether or not people who believe gay marriage is not legitimate for religious reasons continue to have that right originally granted by the First Amendment to the Constitution, or has that been usurped by the rights of gays?
But at what point does society say that you’ve suffered enough, and deserve a second chance? Smith said something stupid, but he didn’t kill anybody.
Let’s be honest — if saying something stupid truly merited incarceration in prison, we’d all be doing life without parole.
I talk way too much, so I’m certainly not immune to saying something stupid on occasion. I try to make sure those utterances aren’t recorded, however.v If necessary, I’d destroy the tape just like Hillary erased her emails. Get rid of all the evidence by any means possible.
My wife claims that I’ll talk to a wall if no one else will listen, but I’m sure that isn’t true. I draw the line at conducting conversations with inanimate objects. I do talk to my dogs, occasionally to plants, and I talk to God all the time. Sometimes I wonder if God tunes me out the same way my wife does.
Okay…so maybe I have offered a few choice words over the years to my tennis racquet and golf clubs. But I’ve never spoken to an actual wall, of that I’m sure.
Though I disagreed with Smith three years ago and disagree with the popular consensus on the Indiana law, I must confess I feel some measure of sympathy for the Smith family — the guy can’t support his wife and four children.
He and his family now live in an RV. They have been forced to rely on food stamps to survive. At what point does society forgive and forget? Doesn’t anybody else feel a little bit sorry for this guy?
I must concede that part of the problem appears to be Smith himself.
He has recently published a book titled Million Dollar Cup of Water. The reviews are all over the map — as of this writing, there are twenty eight positive “5-star” reviews and a staggering eighty one negative “1-star” reviews thus far.
A significant number of the negative reviews were written by people who obviously still haven’t forgiven Smith and admitted they didn’t even bother reading his book.
But a disconcerting number of negative 1 or 2-star reviews by people who did read the book basically said the same thing — Smith apparently took the wrong lesson from his horrible mistake. He still views his actions that fateful day as “standing up for his principles.”
Maybe that’s why he still can’t find a job today. Which brings me to another question — plenty of people are making news today for basically saying the same thing about the state of Indiana that Smith said about Chic-Fil=A.
So why can’t he get a job? Why hasn’t Tim Cook hired Smith? Apple surely could use another guy who’s sharp in the world of finance, even if they don’t currently need a new CFO. Smith is certainly politically correct in Cook’s world.
Even Miley Cyrus seems to think people should care about her opinion of Indiana Governor Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. Her reported riches far exceed her talent, but perhaps not her ego. Doesn’t she need a highly qualified financial advisor? She can certainly afford the best.
So why aren’t these birds of a feather flocking together? Hell, I feel bad enough for this guy that if I could afford to hire him, I’d give him a second chance out of sympathy alone. But Moe Lane at Red State has a very interesting theory why Smith can’t find a job.
He thinks liberals believe Smith’s plight is actually more helpful to “the cause”, which is presumably the end of traditional marriage. In other words, Smith is seen as nothing more than a useful idiot by the people who most wholeheartedly agree with his point of view.
The only way the end to this story could be any more ironic would be if Chic-Fil-A offered Smith a job.