Three Stories

Three Stories: I Didn’t Know

Three Stories: I Didn’t Know

Series, Three Stories
Of the three defenses examined in this series this last one is perhaps the easiest to excuse. While “I didn’t mean it” says I know what I did wrong but I wasn’t paying attention. And, while “I was only joking” knows they are stepping over the line and sees no problem with it. This last excuse of “I didn’t know” is the most understandable and justifiable of the three. Consider: Joey had just moved to Springdale, a small town on the edge of the prairie. One warm summer night he was skateboarding around the small downtown area. While practicing moves in the parking lot between McPherson’s Drugs and a defunct five and dime a police car drove by. Joey didn’t think much about it until the car pulled into the parking lot and a young officer stepped out. Joey rode up to him and said, “Hi, I’m J
Three Stories: I was Only Joking

Three Stories: I was Only Joking

Series, Three Stories
There is a place for humor. Comedy, humor, and jokes not only evokes laughter but can also drive an idea past our natural defenses and into our hearts. A few days ago a third grader came up to me and asked, “What do dolphins eat with their peanut butter?”  “Um, I don’t know, strawberry jam?” I guessed. “Jellyfish,” he responded with a chuckle. Ok, its a groaner along the lines of Laffy Taffy. But humor made memorable that dolphins do eat jellyfish. Humor also has its dark side; when it is used to hurt, mock, and damage someone else. Consider: Bob stared at the Facebook post in horror. The post showed two shirtless men, one of them with his face, raising a glasses of beer behind a sign that read, “Coming Out Party.” The poster of the apparently altered photo was Carl, a classmate in the
Three Stories: I Didn’t Mean To

Three Stories: I Didn’t Mean To

Series, Three Stories
The first defense often deployed when we realize we’ve made a mistake, done something wrong, or committed a sin is “I didn’t mean to…” Common law recognizes that there is a difference between 1st degree murder, when someone plans and shows intent to kill someone, and lesser forms of murder and manslaughter where intent is not clear. However, guilt and punishment is attached to all. Saying “I didn’t mean to…” does not change the consequences of our actions. Instead it supplies a way to escape or blunt the guilt we feel. For example. Marie was minding her own business when she noticed the red and blue lights in her rearview mirror. Instinctively she lifted her foot from the gas pedal and glanced at the speedometer. “Oh dear,” she said to herself as she realized how far over the speed limi
Three Stories, Three Sins

Three Stories, Three Sins

Series, Three Stories
Marie was minding her own business when she noticed the red and blue lights in her rearview mirror. Instinctively she lifted her foot from the gas pedal and glanced at the speedometer. “Oh dear,” she said to herself as she realized how far over the speed limit she was going. Once stopped on the shoulder the officer, a State Trooper, walks up and taps on the window. “I’m sorry officer I wasn’t meaning to speed. Could you let me go with a warning?” She pleads.   Bob stared at the Facebook post in horror. The post showed two shirtless men, one of them with his face, raising glasses of beer behind a sign that read, “Coming Out Party.” The poster of the apparently altered photo was Carl, a classmate in the same dorm.  Bob ran to Carl’s room and pounded on the door. “You idiot, take down that