I don't know if Trent Crumble resided in North Minneapolis.
Crumble, 24, died in a drug related shooting in St. Paul at the hands of a dirt bag named Joshua Michael Bystrom, a resident of St. Paul.
But Crumble had some kind of connection to North Minneapolis through his family's church, First Community Baptist...
When Crumble's killer was sentenced this Monday, Pastor Darryl Spence of First Community Baptist said the four year sentence was too light, and believed race was a factor in the sentencing. (Click here for the article)
And then--while the Pioneer Press reporter was taking notes, or possibly even recording the conversation, Pastor Spence must have grown enamored with the melodious sound of his own voice, because Spence proceeded to put his foot into his mouth in a truly epic fashion.
Spence said that "in our community" people don't shoot one another in the back. Oh, no. Rather if you're going to take somebody's life, you "look him in the eye."
Wow. Sounds like there must be some pretty exciting Sunday sermons at THAT church. But I must take issue with the Reverend in two...no, make that three...different ways.
First, what do you mean by "in our community"? Is that a geographic community like North Minneapolis? Or are you talking about race and socio economics?
Second, do you really think it's theologically wise to be giving lessons like this? I am not familiar with any particular scripture (and, yes, I've studied scripture in quite some detail) stating or even implying that God is somehow more pleased, or less displeased, if murderers look their victims in the eye. God had plenty of opportunity to discuss this matter with Cain in the Garden of Eden, and yet I see no record of it.
Third...and I'm rapidly realizing I disagree with you FOUR different ways, Reverend...I don't think your statement about the "community" (however you define it) is even TRUE.
Bystrom is hardly unique in the fact Bystrom didn't look his victim (Crumble) in the eye. This happens all the time.
Besides, shouldn't Bystrom get spiritual credit for the fact the "victim" was packing heat, as well? Isn't there an "except if he's packing heat and pointing the gun at your friend" exception to your rule of "eye looking before murder?"
Fourth and last, let us examine the circumstances, here. Crumble was involved in a drug deal where parties on both sides were armed. This wasn't a courtly gentleman's duel in the 19th Century.
That's why Bystrom can't even plead "defense of another's life" for shooting Crumble, because this happened in the course of a DRUG DEAL. But the plain and simple fact is Bystrom got the jump on Crumble, so Bystrom does four years while Crumble is in the grave.
And yet here's the Reverend trying to "Monday morning quarterback" the gun battle and say Bystrom should be penalized for, (seriously!) not looking his victim in the eye.
Writing from AFGHANISTAN where I sit six inches away from my SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE, I would like to point out that no serious teacher of firearm skills tells students it is, in any way, essential to "look your victim in the eye." No, the most important thing is to be the one left alive. Yes, dirt bag drug dealer Joshua Bystrom deserves scorn and criticism for a number of things, but "not looking his victim in the eye" isn't one of them.
Really, Reverend, I think you're playing that whole "preacher from the streets" thing a little over-the-top and you've blundered yourself into territory where it's obvious you really don't know what you're talking about.