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National

IN: Bill would limit sex offenders’ time at church schools

When Boone County law enforcement officials sent a letter telling registered sex offenders they couldn’t go to church where there were children’s programs, three of the letter recipients filed a lawsuit.

The men claimed they couldn’t exercise their religion for fear of being arrested. They won their case with the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Now, a state senator is trying to set a time limit under which sex offenders can attend churches when children are present. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. AJ

    If at first the Constitution gets in the way of your hysteria, try, try again…. This law will get slapped down just as easily as the other. What if the RC is a church official and must be there 31 minutes before services, or 31 minutes after? What if the RC wishes to attend Bible study classes that are held prior to services? Toss in that I’m pretty sure that, outside a priest with a parishioner, there probably is no proof or even indication of a problem in this setting.

    At what point do courts start telling the legislatures their laws are no longer based on reasonableness or rationality? (I know, they’re starting to.) At what point do these fear-driven/fear-mongering legislators realize the truth is other than what they gin up?

    • New Person

      These restrictions are an attribute of serving the state.

      The registry in an every day compulsory service to the state upon a free person, or involuntary servitude. People just think it’s only in-person registering, but it isn’t. It’s complying with all the rules and restrictions to serve all the time. You’re on the registry everyday. You’re on the IML everyday. In this Indiana case church case proposal, you must “serve” the restriction under penalty of law everyday.

      The registry isn’t punishment, but it was levied after a conviction. Involuntary servitude is prohibited unless to punish a crime. In laymen’s terms, if it isn’t punishment, then it cannot be enforced because it’s unconstitutional.

      • AlexO

        Well that’s the crux of the registry: It’s legally not punishment. As far as the law is concerned, its no more burdensome than changing and applying a new speed limit on a street. It might be “a slight inconvenience”, but that’s all that it is.

  2. CR

    A major problem with the way laws are established is that State and Federal lawmakers are free to pass any law they desire, and these laws are presumed to be constitutional until they are challenged and proven not to be. In many cases, tens of thousands of RCs can be harmed by such laws before a successful challenge can be mounted.

    If RCs do not fit the definition of a disfavored class of persons, it’s hard to imagine what group would.

    • AJ

      @CR:
      Aside from the months and years of having to live under the law before it’s struck, don’t forget the financial burden to fight the law(s) in the first place. It’s my firmly held belief that legislators know they can get away with all sorts of things because the average Joe cannot afford to fight.

  3. Facts should matter

    “”It’s our responsibility to protect children.”

    Yeah, well.. there’s nothing “proactive” about witch hunting people.

    • Dustin

      Maybe I’m an idiot, but I always thought protecting children was a parental responsibility, not a government one.

      • R M

        @Dustin Me too (no pun intended). I thought it was a parent’s (and guardians) responsibility and furthermore, I think parents (and guardians) should be held accountable for their children (children taking guns to schools, children playing in a neighbors yard, children buying/selling drugs, children this and that). Make the parents responsible for taking care of their kids and a lot less children will get into situations where they pose a risk to themselves. In the case of churches, the leaders of the church are supposed to be the children’s guardians and should be held responsible for watching them.

        • Dustin

          To caveat the point, given government’s track record on nearly every other social issue they’ve ever addressed, I wouldn’t want any government office or agency “protecting” my kids.

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