TWENTY-ONE STEPS TO THE ELECTRIC CHAIR, OR
HOW TO RAISE A JUVENILE DELINQUENT
Curtis Ramey was a gospel preacher, a practicing attorney in Fort Worth, TX, and, before that, a Juvenile Judge in Madison County (Huntsville), AL. Over forty years ago, brother Ramey wrote an article titled “Twenty-One Steps to the Electric Chair,” “Or, How to Raise a Juvenile Delinquent.”
Nineteen states now have no form of capital punishment and another four have a Governor’s-imposed moratorium on capital punishment. Of the twenty-seven states that still execute criminals, lethal injection is the most common, but the electric chair is still an option in four states and the backup form of execution in Tennessee if lethal injection fails.
We hear little today about the problem of juvenile delinquency, probably because it is no longer a politically correct term. But we still have young people who are guilty of heinous criminal behavior.
So, while the title of brother Ramey’s article is now a bit dated, his points are still relevant. We run it this week as a fitting sequel to Gus Nichols’ letter to his family at home that we ran last week. Here are the twenty-one steps.
1. Begin early, even when he is a baby and a small child, to give him everything he wants.
2. Do everything for him. Do not make him feel that he has any responsibility.
3. Make him thoroughly dependent upon you.
4. Allow him to do as he pleases.
5. Praise him lavishly in his presence.
6. Never use the word “wrong.”
7. When he gets into trouble, defend him and take his side against teachers, school officials, neighbors, and police officers.
8. Criticize the church and people who go to church.
9. Constantly run down the government in his presence.
10. Lose your patience with him. Be cross and irritable at all times.
11. Ride him all the time.
12. Interrogate him every time he comes in. Never show him that you trust him or have any confidence in him.
13. As parents, fight and quarrel a lot in his presence.
14. Give him more spending money than he needs and never make him work to earn any of his own.
15. Pet and pamper him. Tell everybody that nothing is too good for your child.
16. Make him a cynic by running down and being critical of everything and everybody.
17. Satisfy his every fleshly desire. Let him eat and drink all he wants of what he wants. Let him read and watch whatever he wants to read and watch.
18. Believe everything he tells you. Never give him the idea you know he is lying to you.
19. Let him get the idea that it is alright to fudge a little here and fudge a little there.
20. Never give him any spiritual training.
21. Let him know that you will be glad when he is old enough to be gone and out of your hair.
December 6, 2016