After 12/7/2011, this blog will no longer be updated, although content will remain. Please visit my new blog at Hidden Latitudes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Helter-Skelter and Grace

This past August marked the 40th anniversary of the Manson family murders—Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Sharon Tate on August 9, 1968, and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca the next night.
An excellent docudrama on the History Channel brought back the memories I had of the crime, and of reading Vince Bugliosi's account, Helter-Skelter. The story is one of pure and unexplainable evil.
But a perusal of the web turned up an interesting fact: Two of the murderers, Susan Atkins and Charles "Tex" Watson, have become Christians.
No doubt this infuriates some, as it did when infamous serial-killer/cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer also professed faith in Christ shortly before his murder in prison.
But the truth is, grace is available to anyone. Anytime. As much as we would like to say that Jesus died to keep people like Atkins and Watson from killing, the thing we must all accept, if grace is unmerited, is that it always follows sin. It is the only know antidote.
So, rejoice. As William Camden wrote in Remaines, speaking of a dissolute man who died when he fell from his horse:

     My friend, judge not me,
     Thou seest I judge not thee;
     Betwixt the stirrop and the ground,
     Mercy I askt, mercy I found."

W. S. 

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