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Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mark of Cain

In Christianity and Judaism, the curse of Cain and the mark of Cain refer to the passages in the Biblical Book of Genesis where God declared that Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, was cursed for murdering his brother, and placed a mark upon him to warn others that killing Cain would provoke the vengeance of God. Wikipedia.

I had lunch today with a son of mine who was sentenced for murder (with some mitigating circumstances) when he was a teenager.  Today he is 39.  He applied the other day for a job at a well-known grocery store. He was going to work stocking grocery items.  The local manager liked him and recommended him for the position, writing an email to his superiors.  But the company refused to hire him due to his criminal record—a crime that occurred more than twenty years ago and for which he has duly served his sentence—the sentence ending some 9 years ago.  He is now married to a gracious wife who is six months pregnant.  I understand today’s job climate.  For every job there is a surplus of candidates.  One must eliminate most of the candidates from serious and final consideration.  A criminal record is a ready disqualifier.  My only concern is: “When can it be said that justice has been served?”  Background checks today are readily available and mercilessly complete.  Today more than ever in the job market the mark of Cain is indelible and an everlasting curse—making this aspect of justice forever devoid of mercy or forgiveness.

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