In all of the Internet, I could find only one more article on the Pilgrim United Church of Christ decision on whether or not to allow a convicted sex offender membership in their congregation previously featured in MMM.
The article appears in the San Diego Union-Tribune online site SignOnSandDiego and written by Logan Jenkins whose expressed opinion is entirely pragmatic as opposed to spiritual.
I don’t hold out much hope of the media letting us in on the final decision. Either way, it probably won’t be as “newsworthy” as the congressional investigation into the firing of the seven U.S. Attorneys who serve at the pleasure of the President, anyway. Or as “important” as gas prices. Or as “sexy” as O.J. Simpson being asked to leave Ruby’s Steakhouse. The decision, nonetheless is an important one.
A bouquet “ the What Jesus Would Do award “ to the Pilgrim United Church of Christ for taking a giant, yet judicious, step toward welcoming a sex offender into its flock.
In approving a safe-church policy, this inspiring Pilgrim progressed from initial shock and dismay to the majority’s acceptance of a counter-intuitive paradox:
A church’s children are safer in a culture that embraces repentant sex offenders.
Those church members who were abused as children might might never agree “ some of them left Pilgrim United “ but it’s true.
Naturally, controls must be in place. If he’s to be allowed to join the congregation, convicted child molester Mark Pliska will never enjoy absolute freedom of movement. He’s a marked man, if you will, a Cain-like status he appears to accept.
Much more worrisome than Pliska, however, are the sex offenders who have not been convicted but are nevertheless religious. Their guilt can draw them to churches where they’re exposed to potential victims, completing a vicious circle.
In the long run, a church that publicly acknowledges sex criminals within its midst is better equipped to protect its children from pious predators.
© 2007 – 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.