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[AKidsRight.Org] Discipline of Lent: Why should we cry as parents? / Lowell Jaks arrested.

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org)
Date: Fri Mar 19 2004 - 20:41:23 EST

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Good People & People of Faith,

The last message was about Faith and Sacrifice and what is needed to
change people's hearts?  I mentioned some of the Civil Rights movements
of the past and asked, "What about us as parents?  What should we be
willing to sacrifice?"  I hoped to have some answers to share with you
-- but I don't.

History seems very clear about the struggle and effort involved in
getting a "BIG right" recognized...

Are we ready to sacrifice for the "right" to be parents to our own
children?  Do we even know what sacrifice means?  I'm afraid a lot
of people see it as a "contract",  I do this & I get that - OR - I've
already been beat up the system, isn't that sacrifice - OR - my kids
have suffered, surely that is sacrifice enough?

If I asked YOU, a parent, would you step in front of a bullet to save
the life of your child?  Yes or No?  Sound pretty easy?  Now how about
if I tell you there is only a 10% chance that bullet will kill your
child, but if you step in the way, a 100% chance you will die.  Now
what about that???  Easy?  Need more time to think, maybe you need
some more information?  Bullets travel pretty fast!

Sacrifice, it is what we are willing to give up (and it is gone) for
something we feel is of greater value (with no guarantee of receiving).

"Sacrifice - Your role may be thankless, but if you're willing to
give it your all.  You just might bring Success to those who outlast you."

What Mental Attitude
What attitude do we have?  I'm a lector at my local church.  At the
beginning of Lent I did the reading, it started with a good line:

"Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning..."   Joel 2:12

How many of us have cried and mourned over our kids?  But that is not
what is called for.  How many of us have cried for ourselves when the
indignity and the pain we've been though was just too much?  But that is
not it either.  What returns us to God -- returns us to reality?

The realization of how much pain we have caused by our own faults.  The
times we acted without Faith, Love, or Hope.  When we took the easy way
out.  If you read some of the stories on our Hall of Shame page,
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/shame.htm -- do you wonder how they (us) got
started -- more interested in getting our "groins tickled" than in
creating a child?  We didn't realize what he had -- until it was

I once did some lobbying with a single parent who had lost a teenage
daughter to Child Protective services.  The parent had called social
services for help with a 'wild' child, and the social workers took the
side of the child....  As we lobbied the parent would explain that their
daughter's 'wild' nature was some genetic inheritance from the other
parent (who was VERY undisciplined!).  Later as we talked I discovered
their child was a 'latch key' kid.  The parent took a job hours out of
town for more money, but the child came back to an empty home after
school..... Could that have had anything to do with it I asked?  An
explosion -- "don't even go there," I was told.  Imagine that!

Which of us cannot look back with that perfect 20/20 hindsight -- and
have ideas for a happier ending?  Fast, and weep, and mourn -- EMBRACE
your faults and failings.  Your imperfectness, your humanity.

I'll be very honest -- it has made all the difference in the world for
me.  When I reflected on my own 'stupidity' and felt forgiven, I
certainly was more accepting of what others did.  I got past that hurdle
and it gave me the confidence to act and to risk a small amount of

But please -- this is not a "guilt trip."  The prophet does not call us
to despair or defeatism....

"Defeat - For every Winner, there are dozens of Losers. Odds are --
you're one of them" --

Don't you love the above line!  Don't you secretly know it's true?  Why
try so hard for reform, why sacrifice?  It's not going to matter.  The
dirty ba$tards will win in the end!

But having faults and failings alone does NOT make us a bad person. We
are human. We fast, we weep, we mourn -- we acknowledge the POWER we had
to make things better, but didn't use.  Hopefully, as we embrace our
failings, our hearts broaden to those 'dirty ba$tards' also.... our
former spouse or the Judge was not perfect either-- is that news?

That is the other funny thing in the Hall of Shame, almost every NCP (Non
Custodial Parent) is in anguish, and what is the solution?  Make the
other parent an NCP -- they TRULY deserve it.  We are so 'perfect.'

Focus on the REAL problem
If the problem is "bad people", we get rid of the bad people and the
system works as designed -- but hopefully most of us agree what we have
is a "bad system" -- which makes good people do bad things.  A brief
news item:

----  From Wilbur Streett <>
News from the San Joaquin Valley Associated Press Posted on Wed, Mar. 17,

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - A parents' rights advocate from Ridgecrest
has pleaded innocent to charges of child stealing.

Lowell Anton Jaks, 52, was arrested Feb. 27 in the Dominican Republic on
a $100,000 warrant. He entered his plea Tuesday and is due back in Kern
County Superior Court on March 29.

Authorities alleges Jaks took his 10-year-old son, Alec Jaks, as the boy
was riding his bicycle to school.

Jaks founded the nonprofit Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents Rights
in 1994.

What about Lowell?  When he took "his" child, was he thinking about the
pain it might cause his former spouse?  She deserved it!  What a stupid
and foolish thing to do -- an action without Faith, Hope or Love --
desperation.  What happens now, more separation, jail time, MORE pain
for his child.

Is Lowell a bad man - NO!  Is he a bad parent - NO! Perhaps many of us
have thought about doing the same thing at times, but didn't.  Not
because we were any 'better' -- but because we were just cowards.  His
actions probably can't be defended (I don't know all the details), but
they should motivate each of us to fix this system of ours that makes
parents do crazy things like this.  And obviously the "crazy" things
just don't include Lowell, but probably his former spouse who found
advantage in the 'system' of playing 'keep away' with their child.  Who
also didn't recognize the value of Lowell to their child....  what an
awful system!    Is any of this in the "child's best interest?"

The readings for that day ended with another great line:

"In an acceptable time I heard you and on the day of salvation I helped
you.  Behold, now is the VERY acceptable time, behold, now is the day of
salvation."  2 Corinthians 6:2

YOU want to see change happen and quickly.  We can change hearts by showing
OUR willingness to sacrifice to regain our right to be an EQUAL parent to
our children.

There is another route, and as they say, "it is broad and well
traveled."  The media seems fascinated with suicide bombers (actually
murder/suicide bombers).  They make it sound like sacrifice, but it's no
great act to take your enemy with you....  You can always lash out in
anger, hurt a few other people first, and THEN make your so-called
sacrifice..... I don't have a doubt if we got a few thousands parents in
a loud demonstration, some would love to riot, roll over cars, break
windows -- GET SOME MEDIA ATTENTION.  Then, spend some time behind bars
-- it was worth it!!!!

P.S.  Tomorrow I fly out west to pick up my Son Domenic and return here
for a week of Spring break together.  We are both looking forward to it.
Then, April 1st (no fooling), I'll return to the Federal Building and some
time. http://www.AKidsRIght.Org/actionc_syr

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/

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