I would write this headline another way. Sex Offenders Sue for Second Chance to Molest.
The Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of the 15,400 sex offenders on Georgia’s state registry. Georgia already has one of the nation's toughest sex offender statutes, and the center is hoping to stop the added measure, set to go into effect July 1.
The new provision would make it illegal for sex offenders to sing in adult choirs, prepare for events or cook meals in church kitchens. Violating the law could spell a prison term of 10 to 30 years, which sponsors said is a vital addition to help keep children safe.
How outrageous! Why would we want to keep sinners out of church? Oh wait, that is not what is happening. This law prevents sex offenders from working in a church. That seems like a good idea.
But some religious leaders say the law would undermine the positive effects of religion.
"Thieves, robbers, murderers — we give them all a second chance," said Mark Hanson, senior pastor at New Beginnings Tabernacle, a small evangelical ministry in Buchanan, Ga.
"It seems like under the sex offender law you’re banned permanently from society," he said. "Without forgiveness and mercy, how do we expect anyone to start over?"
Mark Hanson - I can tell you why it's a bad idea to let child molesters hang around kids at church. Just read my Hypocrisy Watch posts. You will find ample reason to use more caution. Besides, your sinners can still attend church. The law prohibits activities that may place them in contact with children but does not preclude church services.
Here's an ideal. You can have a special sex offenders service. With fifteen thousand registered offenders and god knows how many Baptist pastors in Georgia, your service will be standing room only. Just keep the kids away.