Worst Security System Ever September 5, 2009

Worst Security System Ever

The Columbus Dispatch reports on what some local residents are doing in the aftermath of a couple robberies:

Many people who encounter sudden, unexpected violence have no idea how to react.

For Melynda Workman, there was never any question.

Last September, her husband, Jack, was shot in the stomach during a robbery of the couple’s Dairy Queen on Tamarack Circle South on the North Side.

Nine months later, after her husband had recovered and the business had reopened, Workman found herself staring at the barrel of a gun wielded by one of two masked robbers.

Last fall, after her husband was shot, two men were killed in separate incidents near Tamarack Circle. Theft and vandalism are common.

“I don’t know how many other countless things have happened in this area, but we want to do something about it,” Mrs. Workman wrote. “It is time to make a stand.”

So what is she going to do? Hire security guards for local businesses? Form a neighborhood watch group? Rally at the police department to get them to patrol the neighborhood more? Those are ideas that reader Alycia feels would be worthwhile.

But you know where this is going….

The Workmans have joined with the Victorious Life Christian Center Church on Tamarack Circle North to organize a “Circle of Prayer.”

“We want to circle the circle with enough people to pray over the community,” Mrs. Workman said.

“We know that with the state of the community right now, the only thing that’s going to change it is prayer,” she said.


I’m sure the criminals will run up to join them.

Or, more likely, while the residents are off praying in a circle, the criminals will be taking advantage of their absence and robbing their stores.

(Thanks to Alycia for the link!)

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  • Amy G

    Gosh. People like her make me feel so much safer here in Columbus.

  • Gabriel G.

    Short story: religious people are stupid.

    And I don’t mean the pseudo-religious people, those who believe in the bare minimum to be able to just call themselves Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, etc. I mean the real ones, the ones who actually and without a doubt believe in the man in the sky who listens to them and protects them (when they worship him enough). Those are the stupid ones, and those are the ones who show how dangerous it is to be religious.

    Instead of doing something that could actually help (like what Alycia suggests), they do something that they think will help, but has yet to do anything substantial in the past couple millenia (or more).

    Usually I’m not like this, but whenever I hear about stories like this, I stop caring, and start rooting for the thieves (that is, if they don’t physically harm anyone). The only way they’ll learn that prayer doesn’t work is, unfortunately, by continuing to go through what they were going through before they started praying.

    Also, and this is just something I’m wondering, why wasn’t their loving and protective god doing something BEFORE anyone got hurt? BEFORE the people found it necessary to pray? (I already know the answer, it’s because God’s an asshole.)

  • Mariana


  • BrettH

    I don’t think “stupid” is a fair characterization, Gabriel G. At least about all extremely religious people, it very well might be true about the ones in this article. I grew up in one of the kinds of churches you talked about (gays are bad, young earth, etc.), but we would have been pretty irritated by groups like this. We had a joke the pastor would tell in church every once in a while:

    A man was in his house when he hear a warning on the radio about a flood coming. He knew God would protect him, so he stayed home. As the water level started to raise and the streets were covered, a man in a boat came by and offed to take him to safety. He refused, saying that God would protect him. The water rose higher, and he went up to stand on the roof of his house to stay above the water. A helicopter flew down and offered to rescue him. He refused, saying that God would save him. Then he drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked God why he didn’t save him. God said “I sent a radio broadcast, a boat, and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

    As a side note, I think I heard that same joke on the West Wing.

  • SN

    If I remember this correctly:

    A man was traveling with Mohamed and listened as he spread his message. One night, the man says to Mohamed, “Should I tie up my camel, or should I trust that god will prevent him from straying?”

    Mohamed replied, “Trust in god. And tether your camel.”

    So you can have faith. But you don’t have to be stupid about it.

    (I hope I told the story right – as an atheist/UU/ex-Catholic who read a book on Islam years ago, I’m probably not the best source.)

  • Goliath

    If I were any thief in the Columbus area, I’d start planning a burglary spree immediately after reading this. Specifically targeting those in this prayer circle while they are busy “protecting” everyone.

    That is, if I were a thief…

  • ChameleonDave

    ‘Couple robberies’? Like what, Bonnie and Clyde?

  • Richard P

    The only way they’ll learn that prayer doesn’t work

    No they won’t even learn that. They will throw on there job-ian mantle and call it a test of faith. They will create some excuse why they need to be a victim.

    I would also beg to differ with this.

    religious people are stupid

    They are not stupid, they are delusional. They are trained to add the imaginary into their reality. It is a core part of their beliefs. It is not stupid, just wrong. They do do stupid things, but that is just because of the gap in their reality.

  • DreamDevil

    Really? Praying to make the bad men go away?


  • Demetrius Of Pharos

    @SN –
    I don’t know the story but there is an old Arab proverb that uses that line – “Trust in God and tie your camel.”

    Interestingly there is another proverb that I believe is Russian that is the same idea with different words: “Trust in God and keep rowing to shore.”

  • It’s sad when people seek comfort in fairy tales and useless rituals rather than truly helpful action.

  • Alz

    Every citizen should be given a text-pager and when the gov needs something done, the pager will beep giving every citizen instruction of what to pray for. With such a weapon (every citizen praying for the same thing at the same time), anything is possible.

  • BFD

    That’s a great plan. Don’t deter further armed robberies by getting a firearm, or taking a self-defense class, or just putting up some security cameras … go ask the invisible sky wizard to provide your defense.

    At least they aren’t demanding the taxpayers defend them through the PD. If the shop owners aren’t willing to help themselves, maybe they need to be culled.

  • ninel

    Prayer won’t get an armed thug out of your DQ forever. A .45 sure as hell will.

  • Revyloution

    Reminds me of a liqueur store in San Fransisco. The owner was robbed, then robbed again. He wasn’t a christian though. Instead of prayer, he bought a Colt 1911 .45. The next robbery, he shot dead the intruder. Then it happened again. After two deaths, the thugs left him alone.

    When its that bad, and the police don’t help, sometimes just arming yourself is the best of all terrible options.

    I hate to bring that up, as most atheists I meet are anti gun. I just see humanity as a naturally violent animal. I wish it were otherwise, but wishing is just as bad as praying. Hope that humanity can achieve peace, but own a well oiled piece.

  • I thought you were going to say they needed Chuck Norris.
    Worked for a Croatian bakery:

  • Twin-Skies

    @Demetrius Of Pharos

    In the Philippines, there’s a saying that goes “Nasa diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”

    Which basically means “Mercy belongs to god, action belongs to people.”

  • Delphine

    Why must you keep destroying my faith in humanity???

  • Meanwhile the atheist businesses are prospering in a less violent area.

  • CWNC

    Out of this large group of people praying, at least a few of them will continue to experience violence, and be less likely to continue praying.

    Even if they keep building up rationalizations for their actions, eventually they’ll have to face the cold, hard fact that the reality they live in doesn’t play by these rules.

    People can pray all they want, but reality doesn’t listen to prayer. It listens to action.

    Even complete idiots figure this out on their own, if you give them enough time. Leave them alone, and offer help when they ask for it.

  • Wet Mogwai

    My biggest client is about a mile from there. We already have security problems. I hope this doesn’t encourage the criminals to be more bold in an area protected by nothing.

  • BFD

    I hate to bring that up, as most atheists I meet are anti gun.

    Say what?
    Most rational people I meet are anti-crime. Being anti-gun is just stupid, because guns don’t have any motivation of their own, you know. They don’t self-animate and start killing kids at random, they must be loaded, aimed, and fired by a human being, who bears all responsibility for the results.

  • muggle

    What ever happened to the good old fashioned American (? I think it was American but don’t really know its source, heard it all the time until the Regan takeover of America) saying “God helps those who help themselves.” They’d do well to keep that in mind, interesting as it is. (I often use how interesting a fact that is in arguing against blind faith.) Still, these folks would be well advised to follow it.

  • Gordon

    Being anti-gun is just stupid, because guns don’t have any motivation of their own, you know. They don’t self-animate and start killing kids at random, they must be loaded, aimed, and fired by a human being, who bears all responsibility for the results.

    I wouldn’t want a gun in my house in the same way as I would not want my electrical wires to lack insulation. Neither are agents with their own volition, but both are a tragedy waiting to happen.

  • James H

    Is this really any worse than people holding a secular candlelight vigil?

  • BFD

    Gordon, so you are afraid of inanimate objects? Do you fear a gun going off for no reason? Or do you just not trust yourself with tools?

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