With Great Reluctance…

I don’t like Jim Jones. He was primarily responsible for the death of my cousins, Ronnie and Nancy Sines.

Do I want his name on the memorial? I may not like it being there, but it probably should be. I don’t have to read it if it will make me upset. All I know is that the names of Ronnie and Nancy are on that memorial. That’s all I care about.

My cousins were loyal followers of Jim Jones. Did they drink the poison willingly? I will never know. But they were loyal followers, and they – along with all the others – are somewhat responsible for what happened that day.

I think of Jim Jones Jr. and his surviving siblings. Jim Jones was their father. That is truly the bottom line. Despite everything, he was their father. And they have as much right to see their dad’s name on the memorial as I do to see my cousins’ names.

The Bible says, “Honor thy father and thy mother” in Eph. 6:1. It doesn’t say anything about who they are or what they have done.

This memorial is to remind us that on that day 918 people died. It was a horrible thing. This is to remind us and the world of those who died there. So it doesn’t happen again.

(Susan Ashby’s other article in this edition of the jonestown report is Working for My Aunt, Speaking for My Cousins.)