Jayme “Dusty” Murphy of Datum Point, a Christian metal band, went to prison in his younger days for trying to torch a church. He claims the devil urged him onto that idea but whatever. At some point during his 39 months incarcerated, some guard went and told him, ‘Jesus will forgive you if you ask him to,’
Murphy recalled. “I don’t even know if it was legal for him to tell me that, but I’m glad he did. In a jail cell I gave my heart to Jesus.”
Illegal, unlikely. It’s probably not even discouraged all that much. It would be interesting to find stats on how many prison inmates go through the same experience and how many of them do convert and what the result of that is once they’re out in the world again. Does it make a difference in terms of parole, or finding work?
Murphy, 29, of Williamstown, became an ordained Pentecostal minister six years ago. He’s married with three daughters ages 12, 7, and 5, and holds a day job as a machinist for Alstom Power in Northern Kentucky. Datum Point’s name derives from Murphy’s trade, but refers to his religion.
“In my field, on a blueprint there’s a datum point, which is a reference point that all other dimensions come from,” he explained. “If you don’t have God in your life, you’re missing the point.”
That’s debatable, but if a belief like that helps him stay on the straight and narrow, fine and dandy. It’s good that he found employment, also. I’m sure it’s a tricky thing for convicts to get decent work once they’re out.
Murphy realizes some Christians are dubious about metal music as a ministry.
“We try to avoid those people,” he said. “I say ‘judge the fruit.’ I used to do gospel, and I’m not putting down people who do it, but 90 percent of the time they’re not going to lead kids to Jesus, not the kind of kid like I used to be. Those kids will say they’re out of touch.
Use the tools at hand, in other words. Classic gospel choir crap won’t appeal to kids who’ve grown up with all their music violently loud and guitar-crazy. To thrill those ears, people have to play what those kids like and hope they’ll notice what the lyrics are preaching. And hope they’re receptive to the message bands like Datum Point are trying to get out about what kind of life to be living.
I wouldn’t have to quote this next part but I will because I wonder why the writer put it in and why the editor agreed to run it.
Murphy acknowledges he “still struggles” with demons that haunted his youth, but says faith has relieved his fears. As for the workaday world, he says the next step toward escaping his felonious past is a petition to get his gun-owning rights restored.
“I have a 12-year-old daughter and it won’t be that long before she’ll be dating,” he says. “I want to be cleaning a gun when the guy comes to pick her up.”
I know jokes go around about parents wanting guns at hand when potential beaus come knocking but this completely creeped me out for some reason. Here we have a feel-good story about belief in god turning this guy’s life around, and then there’s this vaguely threatening imagery at the end of it. Why, I ask you? I wind up thinking the guy hasn’t changed very much at all, no matter what he might say otherwise.