What Should Society Do?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by swaimj, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
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    There is controversy in several states over the treatment of people (usually men) who have been convicted of child abuse or sexual abuse, served their time, and then been released. Some feel that, after their release, they have paid their debt to society and should not be "tagged" as an abuser in such a way that it affects where they can live or where they can work. Of course, when people who live in a neighborhood discover that a person convicted of this type of abuse is in their neighborhood, they think it should be disclosed. More than that, they think the abuser should not be able to live there. Their feelings are justified because the rate of recidivism among convicted abusers is very high. How would we, as Baptists, advise society to deal with this problem?
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I am not sure they should be allowed back into society. I am going to have to really think about this one.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Jim1999

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    They have every right to exist in society. Having said this, I quite agree with the checks placed upon them. I am sure, with modern technology, they can be tracked, and should be tracked, as has been noted, the occurence of repeat offences.

    Whilst they have a right to exist, we also have a right to protect our children from predation. Rather than disclosure, which is prejudicial, perhaps the electronic braclet system used with some parolees...at least in Canada. I am not familiar with the USA.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Helen

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    the problem with violence, murder, pornography, child molestation, etc., is that they feed on themselves. They produce a 'high' which lures the criminal heart (more than the criminal mind? I don't know...).

    It's not a matter of paying any sort of debt to anyone. There really is no repayment for what a molester does to a child. So, in my own mind, that's not part of it at all, really. The lure of these particular things seems to be like a drug for those involved -- they want more and seek that high again and again. Jail only interrupts the sequence of events. It does not stop it.

    So yes, we must know who they are and where they are, for the safety of everyone involved. This also helps the person out of jail, actually, as painful and embarrassing as it may be for him or her: the community is watching. There is a heightened accountability, and that might be of help to everyone -- including anyone contemplating that sort of thing.

    [I know that pornography is not, in most cases, considered a criminal offense. But the fact is that it is known to feed into certain types of criminal activity and is certainly a sign that the mind is not thinking about good and lovely things! The fact is, also, that it is like a drug for those involved. You can take it away, but the pictures remain in the mind, taunting.]
     
  5. HankD

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    Sunday night on 60 minutes:
    It is not only not a criminal offense but the major networks are profiting from it in one form or another.

    HankD
     
  6. Bro. James Reed

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    I don't know about the U.S. as a whole, but down here, you can look up anyone convicted of molestation or any other sex crime with a child on the state's website.

    Also, the Houston Chronicle publishes once a month(I think) the names, picture, address, crime, and age/sex of the victim in the paper, for all offenders just released into the general populace of Houston, for all to see.

    If someone here doesn't know they are living next to a convicted child molestor, it is their own fault. The information is readily available.

    The real thing that shocks me about the monthly line-up is that mot of the offenders are older gentlemen in their 50's and 60's. Too much Viagra???
     
  7. InHim2002

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    really?

    then I guess you can produce the research to confirm this?

    correlation does not and never has meant causation
     
  8. swaimj

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Consider the issue of punishment in regards to this issue. Jesus said that the person who offends a child would be better off if they had a rock tied around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. This suggests that an abuse crime or a sex crime against a child is so severe that repayment cannot be made. Therein lies the difficulty for the state in deciding what to do with these offenders. Incarcerating them is not really an appropriate punishment for what they have done. Especially when you are planning to let them out. Especially when they will have opportunity to repeat the offense and are apt to.

    On the other hand, a child molestor is the product of sin in the human heart and evil thinking which leads to evil actions. The heart can be changed. Thinking can be submitted to Christ's Lordship and sin can be defeated.

    I think this leads me to a dual strategy as a Christian. One: tougher punishment for sex offenders. Biblically, I find it hard to justify anything else from the standpoint of law and justice. Two: compassion toward the offenders that seeks to bring Christ's redemption into their lives. They are not psychos and wackos who are beyond help. They are sinners whose sinful nature is expressed in a particularly henious way.
     
  9. LauraB

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    As a parent myself it is very hard to have a Christ like mind on this one.
    The Bible has taught that the wages of sin is death, and in my opinion a person who could commit such acts on a child should not be free to live anywhere in society!
    They should be put to death! And the government ( an we all know how they operate) feels that a year or so sentence in jail with murderers, pedifiles, rapists, thugs etc... is a healthy inviornment for these people to be healed!

    But they do let them loose back into society, and they are not satisfied or grateful for that, now they have to scream and cry because we make them have a mark on them so that everyone knows who they are! TOO BAD! If they don't like it they should not have committed such a crime. I, for one, want to knwo if I am living next door to a child abuser. I do not want my kids to be vulnerable in this world of deciet.

    Well I have already stated what I think should be done with these people, but it won't happen, so I should also think they should be forced to live together. Dedicated somewhere on this earth for them and they be sent there to live the remainder of their miserable lives. Make it so that if they try to exceed their city limits they get electricuted!

    I know what I am saying seems very harsh, but I just in my heart can not find a soft spot for somone who would take an innocent child and deliberatly hurt them. There is no excuse for it at all.

    Then I argue on the other spectrum, all sins are created equal according to the bible. So that little white lie we may have told someone is equal to murder and child molestation. I find that hard to swallow, but I have to believe it is true because I do believe Gods word. I guess it all comes down to this: We all should be put to death, and we will in our time.

    But while I am on this earth and alive, I will not give people who commit such horrible acts sympathy. They deserve far more than what most of them get.
     
  10. Dragoon68

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    Well young fellow, not to take anything away from the seriousness of your posting and the subject matter, you need to understand that not all "older gentlemen in their 50's and 60's" need Viagra! We do just fine without it! [​IMG]
     
  11. I Am Blessed 24

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    In my state, most child abusers serve a sentence of 10 years in prison with a parole of 20 years after that.

    They receive intense counseling for at least three of the years they are incarcerated.

    When a sex offender moves into any community, they must register with the police department and that information is readily available at the police station and the Internet.

    These men will never have a normal life; for most of them, it would have been better to have a millstone around their neck...they will suffer forever.

    Many of them DO repent and become fine citizens. That does not mean you should have them babysit your children. But kill them? Send them to a 'lepers' island? Please! They already feel like they are living on an island no matter WHERE they live...

    Did Jesus just have compassion for SOME types of sinners or for ALL types? God can change a man's heart no matter WHAT kind of sinner he is...

    You are right, they can never repay the debt they owe. Could we?

    "I had a debt I could not pay. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe".

    [​IMG] §ue
     
  12. Jim1999

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    One thing about threads like this is we sure learn a lot about the efficacy of Christianity in the daily life.

    Sad, sad, sad

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Major B

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    We need to make a distinction here between forgiveness and trust. Based on all research by experts of every philosophical position, the recidivism rate among pedophiles is extremely high. A convicted pedophile should never again be trusted; to do so would be to endanger the innocent. The current situation with the missing coed in the midwest is a perfect example.

    Charley
     
  14. RomOne16

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    When I was 9 years old, I was the victim of a pedophile who had supposedly paid his debt to society 20 years earlier for molesting some other child.

    I had to tell my mother what happened. Then I had to tell a deputy what happened (in detail). Then I had to tell the district attorney what had happened (again, in detail). Then I had to go into a courtroom, take the stand in front of the monster who had done these terrible things to me, and answer questions from the prosecution and then the defense. Not only did I have to recount all of the details again, I had to endure questions from the defense such as how was I dressed that day, and was I wearing a bra, etc. I was only 9 for petes sake!

    I will never forget any of that. It is with me always and has even affected my relationship with my husband in some ways. Thankfully, he is understanding, and we have worked through it.

    As Helen said, there is no little jail sentence or counseling session that can pay that debt. I know that in Gods eyes sin is sin and that Jesus can change anyone. But if someone who has done something so terrible truly accepts Jesus, then they should be the first to understand why society SHOULD NOT, and for our childrens sakes CANNOT, trust them.

    Register them in a database and let parents know who they are and where they are so they can protect their kids!
     
  15. I Am Blessed 24

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    (I apologize, in advance, for the length of this post. The following letter was sent to the editor at our local newspaper by my Pastor. I thought it fit in with this discussion - just some food for thought)

    There is help for sex addicts

    An advice columnist described how she felt a woman's boyfriend was "addicted" to pornography. He excused it as being normal. The columnist indicated to the lady, "There are plenty of men who would rather have the real thing."

    The question is, "What is the real thing?"

    As a counselor and pastor, I have met people with many different types of addictions. Including adult-child sex, sex with corpses, immoral behavior with people of their own sex.

    NONE of these people are born this way. And none of this behavior is normal. These people tried this behavior and became addicted to it, just like any of the rest of us also has the potential to become addicted to any strange or unusual sexual behavior with which we experiment.

    Our bodies were evidently designed for male/female relationships. Such relationships, when kept within the boundaries of marriage, are potentially satisfying, guiltless and fulfilling to anyone. It is also the evident way planned to continue the race and provide the best atmosphere possible in which to raise children. It is indeed the "real thing".

    The problem with saying that any sexual substitute outside the boundaries of male/female marriage is right opens the door for people to think it may be normal to experiment with that type of behavior. That behavior, for many, becomes addictive and difficult to break, whether it is pornography, adultery, adult-child sex, group sex, homosexuality, sadomasochism, bestiality or necrophilia.

    Should we discriminate against these people? NO! Should we fail to accept these people? NO! Are we better than these people? NO! Should we care about these people? YES!

    But we are not doing them or our society as a whole any favors by telling them they are born that way and therefore CAN not and NEED not help themselves. We also should not legitimize the perversions they have chosen by making them religious leaders or passing gay rights legislation.

    There is help for ANY sexual addict. But ONLY when he is willing to admit he needs help.

    The Rev. S.M. Davis
    Park Meadows Baptist Church
     
  16. Dina

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    Sue, I read what your pastor sent to the newpaper. On the whole, it seems nicely put. But-I'm sure you knew that was coming-I have to disagree with him on a few points.

    &gt;&gt;Should we discriminate against these people? NO!&lt;&lt;

    I guess that would depend on the viewpoint of discrimination. Would I let them babysit my kids, NO! Should they be teachers? NO! But some will say that is discrimination. I would say that is not putting the fox guarding the hen house.
    Main Entry: dis·crim·i·na·tion
    1 a : the act of discriminating b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently
    2 : the quality or power of finely distinguishing
    3 a : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating *categorically rather than individually* b : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment &lt;racial discrimination&gt;
    synonym see DISCERNMENT
    Main Entry: dis·crim·i·nate
    1 a : to mark or perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of b : DISTINGUISH, DIFFERENTIATE &lt;discriminate hundreds of colors&gt;
    2 : to distinguish by discerning or exposing differences; especially : to distinguish from another like object
    intransitive senses
    1 a : to make a distinction &lt;discriminate among historical sources&gt; b : *to use good judgment*
    2 : *to make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit* &lt;discriminate in favor of your friends&gt; &lt;discriminate against a certain nationality&gt;
    Main Entry: dis·cern
    1 a : to detect with the eyes b : to detect with senses other than vision
    2 : to recognize or identify as separate and distinct : DISCRIMINATE
    3 : to come to know or recognize mentally
    intransitive senses : *to see or understand the difference*

    Using the definition, it behooves me to "discriminate" against these types of criminals.

    &gt;&gt;Should we fail to accept these people? NO!&lt;&lt;

    Again, the viewpoint of acceptance varies. I can accept that they exist. I can accept they have *issues*. But, if acceptance, once again, means putting them around a group that they chose past victims from-NO!
    Main Entry: ac·cept
    1 a : to receive willingly &lt;accept a gift&gt; b : to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added) &lt;a surface that will not accept ink&gt;
    2 : *to give admittance or approval to* &lt;accept her as one of the group&gt;
    3 a : *to endure without protest or reaction* &lt;accept poor living conditions&gt; b : *to regard as proper, normal, or inevitable* &lt;the idea is widely accepted&gt; c : to recognize as true : BELIEVE &lt;refused to accept the explanation&gt;
    4 a : *to make a favorable response to* &lt;accept an offer&gt; b : to agree to undertake (a responsibility) &lt;accept a job&gt;
    5 : to assume an obligation to pay; also : to take in payment &lt;we don't accept personal checks&gt;
    6 : to receive (a legislative report) officially
    intransitive senses : to receive favorably something offered -- usually used with of

    Again, using the definiton, it is my duty as a parent to NOT accept these criminals.

    &gt;&gt;Are we better than these people? NO!&lt;&lt;

    Well, if we aren't the ones going around committing these awful crimes, I would say, in some degree YES!
    I'll save you the MANY definitions of better, but, I will provide the link where I was getting the definitons from, which is Merriam-Webster Online:http://www.m-w.com/

    &gt;&gt;Should we care about these people? YES!&lt;&lt;

    Here, I will agree, but with a stipulation. Yes, I care they are here. Yes, I care they have *issues*. Yes, I care that they need help. But again, I stress I can CARE without putting them around the victim group.

    As someone who has done TONS of research into Criminology, Psychological Profiling, and other aspects of Crime, I can honstly say that the "jury" is still out as to whether they "born" this way. Perhaps they were not supposed to be born this way, but due to habits of mothers during pregnancy it "altered" them. Most can not tell you why they do it, or what about it attracted them to it in the first place. Most also gave similar "indicators" in their childhood that there was a problem. And, most of these types of crimes do not have a "holding pattern" they are crimes of escalation. The criminal committing those crimes becomes bored, and devises new ways to bring back the thrill. A majority end up becoming serial killers if they are not *discriminated* against and remain *accepted* by society.
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

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    We are not any better than these people because they're committing a vile crime. We sin everyday and, in God's eyes, sin is sin...period.

    I don't believe my Pastor advocated having these 'people' babysit anyone's children or allowing them to be around the youth in the church!

    And, in NO way, were people born perverted!!!!

    To say that God cannot change ANYONE'S heart is just plain wrong. If He changed mine, He can change anyones. They should certainly not be ostracized from attending church or be made to feel unwelcome or less than human.

    We must never forget that God loves these people every bit as much as He does you and I and Jesus would have died for any one of them...

    [​IMG] §ue
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    Way to go, Major B ! [​IMG]

    Incidentally, last night I watched a segement of "the Defenders". It was about a pedophile who got a slap on the wrist kind of sentence( for raping an 8 year old who lived two blocks away) after he took a plea bargain.

    After release, he decided he'd live in the same neighborhood where the crime happened. The girl's father gunned him down. He went on trial, and the jury wouldn't come up with a verdict, would not convict him. He got a three year sentence for possession of a loaded unlicensed gun, nothing on the murder.

    Pedophilia should be punsihable by death, legally. It's much kinder to the criminal, and more beneficial for the community.
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I doubt many of these criminals OR their families would agree with you.
     
  20. Jim1999

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    After release, he decided he'd live in the same neighborhood where the crime happened. The girl's father gunned him down. He went on trial, and the jury wouldn't come up with a verdict, would not convict him. He got a three year sentence for possession of a loaded unlicensed gun, nothing on the murder.
    _______________________________________________

    And you call this justice????

    Perhaps repeat offences happen because the gaols are filled with people who need help and they don't get it inside, and then are turned loose to re-offend. It islike taking a dog off a chain and expecting it to behave indoors differently to what it has been taught outdoors.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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