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June 25, 2008

Complaints about Georgia's efforts to keep sex offenders away from church

This interesting article in the Altanta Journal-Constitution discusses a new litigation front in Georgia efforts to keep sex offenders from holy activities.  Here are a few excerpts:

A Georgia law banning sex offenders from volunteer work at churches should be struck down because it "criminalizes fundamental religious activities," a court motion filed Tuesday says. The motion is the latest legal assault on the controversial state sex-offender registry law, one of the toughest in the nation.  A new provision says no registered sex offender shall be employed by or volunteer at a church.

This makes it a crime for sex offenders to sing in adult choirs, prepare for revivals or cook meals in a church kitchen, said the motion, which seeks a court order halting enforcement of the provision before it becomes law July 1. 

It was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta as part of ongoing litigation that seeks to declare the law unconstitutional. Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights, said punishing registered sex offenders for volunteer work at a place of worship will do more harm than good.  "Certain people on the sex-offender registry should not work with children in a church setting or elsewhere," said Geraghty, one of the lawyers who filed the court motion. "With this law, the state of Georgia is driving people on the registry from the faith communities and depriving them of the rehabilitative influence of the church."

So, the Supreme Court says you cannot send child rapists to death row, and the Georgia Legislature is trying to keep them from getting closer to God in a different way.  Talk about being damned.

June 25, 2008 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The famous statement from the police Captain in the movie Casa Blanca comes to mind: "Round up all the usual suspects." A sex offender who offends adults is less likely to be a threat than those that prey on children. The pedophiles, and not all automobiles are Fords, are found in the boy scouts, churches, choirs, schools, playgrounds and grade schools. It makes sense to keep convicted pedophiles away from any of those potential crime scenes. To take a First Amendment position that a church is exempt from pedophile exclusion is a bit of a stretch. We probably will not hear a peep out of the Council of Bishops of the Catholic church on this issue.

Posted by: MPB | Jun 26, 2008 6:31:15 AM

MY FATHER WAS CONVICTED BACK IN THE MIDDLE 90'S,A WOMEN SAID SHE WAS RAPED. SINCE THEN MY DADDY HAS CHANGED HIS WAY OF LIVING. HE HIS VERY ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH. OUR PASTER TOLD HIM HE COULD NOT DO ANYTHNG ELSE IN THE CHURCH BUT CAN AND SIT IN THE CHAIR AND THEN GO HOME.HE ALSO SAID THAT THERE WAS NOT A BETTER MAN IN OUR CHURCH THAN HIM.I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WERE CONGRESS GOT ALL OF THIS MESS FROM. YOU CAN KILL A PERSON AND BE OUT OF PRISON IN LESS THAN SEVEN YEARS.I WONDER COME JUDGEMENT DAY WHAT THEY WILL SAY TO THE GOOD LORD. THEY MUST REMEMBER WHAT JESUS DID WHEN HE WAS HANGING ON THE CROSS WITH THE TWO MEN BESIDE HIM. HE TOLD ONE OF THEM HE WAS FORGIVEN AND HE WOULD LIVE WITH HIM IN HEAVEN. IT HA SCOME TO A SAD TIME IN THIS WORLD WHEN WE CAN NOT GO TO CHURCH AND DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED US TO DO.

Posted by: bambi lawson | Jul 3, 2008 10:27:55 PM

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