Everyone deserves a second chance. If there is some manner of illness, maybe more than two. If it's mental illness, how about some kind of help; therapy can do wonders for folks looking to get their mental illness under control. Personally, I've known way too many people with this type of illness and medications have been quite helpful to them.
Unfortunately we immediately consider sex offenders to be merely violent criminals that deserve to be locked up or banished from society with no further question. I'm not a doctor or law enforcement official, but I wonder how many sex offenders suffer from some type of mental illness, like obsessive/compulsive disorder? Could these people be rehabilitated through therapy and medication? Could they be closely monitored and return from their banishment into a productive life of citizenry? Yes, we all agree that sex offenders have done some pretty horrible acts to innocent people, but is it at all possible that some of these people are acting beyond their own control and would benefit from psychological intervention?
In Georgia, these people are just pariahs. Exiled from any life they may be able to eke out by some of the most strict sex offense laws in the nation. I wouldn't have been struck by this Associated Press story in today's
Chicago Sun Times if I hadn't read this particular line: "...Georgia law, which bans the state's 16,000 sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks and other spots where children gather."
Churches? Really? Churches! Yes, religious organizations get special rights and privileges
. These folks not only DON'T pay taxes, they get all kinds of special laws protecting them from everything and all kinds of people. Is there some reason that churches need protection from other people? What is so bad about churches and religious folks that they would need such special consideration? And what about the Church of Pedophilia? Do they have to stay away from themselves in Georgia? How can a state legally make such laws respecting all religious institutions in this manner if the First Amendment of The Constitution of the United States forbids any government, local and national, from making any law respecting religion or the free practice and expression of religion?
What I find to be more appalling than all of these special laws protecting religion is that they are not reciprocal. Religion and those who lead these heinous organizations are free to denounce, mock, lambaste, and HATE everyone around them. They engage in political rhetoric and fear mongering, they press for politicians to favor them, and they argue for more and more and more privilege and special laws to keep away the heathen masses who simply wish to worship, or not, in a way that doesn't agree with them. Americans who identify with religion is on the decline. Yet these people still see themselves as special and truly believe that everyone should worship as they do, even if it means via legislation. Yet if someone chooses to hate them back, those people could be breaking the law. If you wish to NOT HIRE a religious person because they belong to such a hateful group, you are breaking the law. If you express disdain toward religious organization in a physical way, you break the law.
While I agree that physical violence against any person or thing is wrong, I find it disturbing that the laws protecting religious property and people from this require stronger penalties against the perpetrator. Why? What is it about churches and religious people that demand such intense punishment? Surely it's not because religious people are so good and wonderful and blameless that acts against them are so much worse? They can't possibly think that they are so undeserving
of disgust and hatred that any negative act against them is shocking and unwarranted
? But, alas, they really do consider themselves special and deserving of privilege.
I think we should abolish ALL LAWS that protect the religious institutions and their hateful bunch. Let them reap what they have sown on their own. Why should they get special treatment while folks who may be working very hard to atone are thrown out into the muddy cold of exile? How many pedophile catholic priests are in that camp in Georgia? I'd venture to say not many. These people are special, they spread the love of their own warped and weird version of a god. So they are exempt from following the laws of everyone else. I'd say "fuck your god" to those folks, but I'm sure they already have.