Sex-Offender Laws Often Harm Families

August 8, 2014

Friends,
Yesterday I wrote a post inspired by my time at City Hall the day before. I’d gone there with a friend of mine to show our nonsupport regarding more restrictive laws being proposed against registered sex-offenders, their families, and their friends. (Yes, the families and friends become restricted too!) Here is my response to the two people who commented at my comment page last evening:

I got tears in my eyes reading the heartache within both your statements. Truly, there are so many sad, awful, and unfair stories out there, and ones which could easily have been avoided if laws were considerate and just. I believe it would be about the worst thing a person could go through –to have a member of the family labeled, or to have oneself labeled, a sex offender and then have that label displayed for all the public. How tragic when the charge is false, or when the truth has been twisted, or even when the charge is true. For has not every human being committed sins they would hate to have exposed for all the public to know? Then why the added humiliation-procedures, attaching them to people even life-long? And where is the graciousness and compassion toward the family members who have already been slapped with the massive and surreal nightmare it is of watching a loved one be accused? –And who have been raked over with questions by police, lawyers, school and church staff, and others?

I have watched several different friends involved in sex offense cases. Some have been the accused and some the accusers. The devastating and horrifically unfair procedures have been shocking, especially considering that in spite of the enormous lack of evidence, once accused of a sex crime, the “criminal” becomes guilty overnight. In other words, instead of the laws supporting “innocent until proven guilty”, they seem to support “guilty until proven innocent” and “even then you’re still forever suspect”.

Beautiful families and good law-abiding people have been splintered –their relationships, their dignity, their hearts, their careers, their finances, their health, their whole being and lives– due to insensitive law-makers and their laws.

I concede that law-making has its complexities. But when authorities decide upon laws, they should always do their utmost best to think about each and every person that that law is going to effect, and then, genuinely, put themselves into the shoes of every one of those individuals. They should also think back about their own sins and how those sins would appear before their spouses, before their children, and before God –the Judge who sees even one’s thoughts. Only then should law-makers choose how big of a stone should be thrown, if at all. (See John 8:1-11 about Jesus, the teachers of the law, and the woman caught in adultery.)

Of course society needs laws to maintain order and justice. But that’s just the point. Society’s laws need to be effective in these, not causing more devastation and havoc.

Again, I encourage everyone to read at Texas Voices For Reason And Justice and send their link on to others. Here it is: http://texasvoices.org

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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