March 16, 2013 “A Vision for the Nations”

ILLUSTRATION – Fifty years ago last week an event occurred in New York City that most of us never knew happened, and yet if affects our lives today. On March 13, 1964 Kitty Genovese got off work at about 3am, drove home, parked her car and walked toward her apartment door. Immediately she was met by a suspicious man. She turned to run, but the attacker caught up with her and stabbed her. Kitty screamed for help, and one neighbor heard her and yelled for the attacker to stop. He stopped the attack momentarily, but then returned to attack a second and third time. It wasn’t until about a half-hour later that the police were finally called. As it turned out 37 people witnessed the murder of Kitty Genovese and didn’t call the police. The event shocked New York City. The question was asked, “What’s wrong with our city that 37 people could watch a murder and not do something to stop it?” The attack, and the investigation after it, caused psychologists and sociologists to coin a phrase called the “Genovese Syndrome,” a term that describes the phenomenon that people are less likely to take responsibility for an action or inaction when others are present. The theory is that people assume that someone else is responsible for taking action, or that someone else has already done so.


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  • Bio & Introduction

    Dr. Michael Dean has been the senior pastor at Travis Avenue Baptist Church since 1991, having also served churches elsewhere in Texas and New Mexico. He and his wife Nan are blessed with two married children and three grandchildren. With a keen sense of calling to shepherd the flock of God entrusted to his care, Michael longs to see people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. His hobbies include long-distance running, golf and hunting.

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