The SCRAM Bracelet

Published 12:50 am Sunday, February 11, 2007

There is such a thing in Seattle. It is fondly called a “Booze Bracelet” and it monitors people charged with and convicted of drunk driving. SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, and it’s worn on the wrist or the ankle moinitoring the person’s sweat every hour 24/7. If that person has any alcohol in his system, his sweat will spill the beans and a judge will get an email that the person has been drinking. (Domestic violence convicts or defendants also get a bracelet.)

Consider, the feature story on WLOX about “The Revolving Door” which has been an in-depth study on why convicted felons or petty thieves keep landing back in jail. One of the inmates said, “I’m 56 years old and I don’t want someone telling me what to do…that I can’t drink a beer in my own home.”

He implication was that he was old enough to decide for himself about his freedom and his rights in his home. Perhaps the problem isn’t with just one beer, perhaps the problem is not being able to stop at just one. That leads to some questions about real freedom.

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Where is the freedom in having to find a place every 30 minutes to an hour to smoke a cigarette? Where is the freedom in restricting one’s choice of going to a party or not because the hostess will let you smoke? Or what about choosing parties that only serve alcohol and discarding the invites to the ones that don’t?

Where is the freedom in spending money on drugs for an artificial high to the point that it steals from the spouse and children and skids into losing one’s job, one’s home, one’s life just for a temporary, artificial high? Key word here is temporary.

Where is the freedom in waking with a lousy head and vacant memory after a night on the town?

Where is the freedom in stealing a few moments of temporary, perceived pleasure in viewing pornographic material, temporary pleasure in someone’s company that is not one’s spouse… ducking into dark places and hiding the relationship?

Where is the freedom in hours stolen from family to pursue unhealthy internet friendships, or grabbing more material wealth?

There are many more things in this world that are slave-makers because we allow them to keep us in bondage… …Things like anger, bitterness, hatred, greed… the list goes on and on. Those are joy and peace killers.

I have heard people scoff at me for being a slave to Christ but they do not understand what being a slave to sin actually means.

That yawning hole keeps begging for more things and more stuff and more of yourself until there is nothing left to stuff down the hole and still the hunger pangs pierce the soul. There is nothing in this world big enough or satisfying enough to quench the thirst and hunger forever. It always comes back. King Solomon found that out.

We do things because we want to, not because we have to. We want to keep our job so we obey the requirements and policies of the job. We want to lose weight so we restrict our diet and exercise more, etc. It is all about priorities and how we stack them, not about rules or restrictions or infringement of rights.

Everyone has freedom of choice. Mostly, it boils down to making a decision to a course of action, whether that is to quit doing something or to start doing something, Unless we decide to commit to the change in direction, we are still a slave to those slave-makers or, to be politically correct, habitual behaviors.