From a small town bordering my home city of Concord, New Hampshire:
The Rev. David Pinckney, the local pastor thrust into controversy after agreeing to temporarily house a convicted child killer at his home in Chichester, released a letter to the news media yesterday seeking to explain his decision and squelch fears in his neighborhood.
Meanwhile, Chichester police Chief Patrick Clarke met with Chichester Central School officials yesterday to highlight safety measures that parents should know in light of Raymond Guay’s entry into the neighborhood.
“He has committed some horrendous crimes in his past,” the letter reads. “What doesn’t get reported is that since 1993 his life has been on a very different course. That year he became a follower of Jesus.”
Guay abducted a 12-year-old Nashua boy, John Lindovski, in 1973. Lindovski tried to escape, but Guay chased him down, killed him with a gunshot to the face and left his body in the woods.
Guay then escaped from the state prison nine years later and kidnapped a Concord couple, holding them in their home. He was captured and sent to a federal prison in California, where he stabbed an inmate in the early 1990s. He spent a portion of his 35 years in prison in West Virginia, before being released last September as part of his supervised parole.
As is usually the case with such sordid accounts, the most remarkable aspect of this story was not its content but the comments beneath. Most were contemptupous, but here’s a sampling of those which were not:
“Thank you, Pastor, for your faith in God to direct you to help this man and supporting him. You are a true Christian! My prayers are with not only you but the people who are arguing so against this man.”
“AMEN. Prayers are more powerful that hate, meanness, worry and fear.”
“you would not be afraid if you too believed in jesus.he died on a cross between 2 thives for all of you.pray for this man and the pastors family.they are good people .”
“Perhaps God has a purpose for Guay in Chichester. I remember a story about a former murderer who repented and came to know Christ. He later saved a man’s life via heroic act.”
“this man was placed here by God and for good reason. We need to listen to our Lord and listen clearly. I have over thirty five years in and around the treatment and criminal justice systems. I know first hand that the institutional programs do not work. However, I also know that anyone can find the Lord and turn their lives around.”
“Ray is a humble, gentle man that loves Jesus. Obviously I didn’t know him before Jesus changed him, but his description of his former self made me cringe and even fearful. But after meeting him and listening to him share his story tonight, I am convinced he is genuine.”
“He is a great asset to our community. He is making a change and doing the right things to move foward with his life.”
“I really think it would be wise for you to pick up a bible and read about Jesus and what kind of man he was. Guay has served his time and although that can never replace the life he took he has paid for it according to our laws. Everyone makes mistakes.”
Also as usual, he most basic, sane, and pointed comments are completely ignored by these nutcases. A commenter named Marc asked succinctly:
“You think the boy said a prayer as he was chased through the woods? How’d that work out for him?”
A perfectly reasonable query, of course. But the looniest of the born-again types simply talk over or brush aside these questions, repeating the “Jesus saves” line with all of the gravity and comprehension of a parrot on ecstasy. I really worry about our citizenry, and not merely because there are Raymond Guays roaming freely through it.