Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sinton, Texas

I lived in Sinton for a while a long, long time ago. Went to 9th and 10th grade there.

Sinton is the county seat of a South Texas rural county. It's a farming community, cotton and milo, but it's about 30 miles from Corpus Christi and about the same from the beach community of Port Aransas. In the 60's I had a '56 Chevy and cowboy hats and surfboards. It was a 25 mile drive to buy shrimp fresh from the shrimp boats.

It was somewhat of a typical Texas farming town but the nearby coastal spots did put a slight unique spin on it.

Residential areas where highly segregated, Mexican and Anglo, I think there was only one black family in town, and they lived in the Mexican part of town. Schools weren't segregated, because the town was too small to have two elementary schools.

I don't know if the town was abnormally religious are not, I don't think we had any religious nutcase churches but we did have a lot of churches. Not many Catholics and the two jewish families in town where members of temples in Corpus Christi. Very protestant, rural, but not insular.

Now the city is going after a local church. They're afraid of actually helping ex-cons adapt back into society. I"m disappointed. It always seemed like more of a caring, accepting community to me. I guess not.

I'm not a fan of religion and am not a fan of "faith based initiatives". But here we have a church engaged in a serious effort of community service and the town is asserting some kind of unique privilege to provide that community service, one that they have intention of providing at all in fact. They're claiming that it's illegal for a church to help ex-cons to integrate back into society, that the church can't do something that anybody who isn't a church could provide.

This is just wrong.

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