Should Sex Offenders Be Barred from Kid-Friendly Churches?

North Carolina is a proud member of the so-called Bible Belt of states that take their religion seriously. So some eyebrows were raised when James Nichols was arrested for attending church.

His offense? Nichols, a convicted sex offender, had chosen to worship at a church that has a nursery where kids play while their parents pray. Now Nichols, 31, who only recently got out of prison, is fighting back, challenging the legality of a new law that took effect in December prohibiting registered sex offenders from coming within 300 ft. — nearly a football field’s length — of any facility devoted to the use, care or supervision of minors.

As more states have adopted laws regulating where sex offenders can go, it was only a matter of time before the noble goal of protecting children butted heads with the sacrosanct First Amendment right to worship where and when you choose. Which takes precedence?

time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1929736,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

Its a tough question, and I don’t know the answer. Do such laws actually do any good? Have they reduced sex offenses against children?

Kid-friendly church? What exactly is that?

If you are taking a poll…my answer is yes. I would rather err on the side of protecting a child, than to put one in harm’s way. I am not saying the church should not minister to a sex offender, but by law, he/she cannot come into contact with children…they must avoid temptation in all ways.

Its a fair question. I think it refers to churches which offer child care or have nursery, although it may also include churches with large numbers of children.

No one should be barred from the great Physican and Lover of our souls.

I thought they might have meant that but almost every church is at least open to children, and I don’t see how having a nursery automatically puts kids at risk, as the caregivers would be screened. And what would make a church not kid friendly you know.

Should he be allowed in the Church, I think so however he should be supervised at all times, Peodiphilia is akin to a mental illness, would you leave a recovering alcoholic in a room with lots of alcohol,

Nobody should be barred from attending any church by the government. Obviously, the church should be notified and made aware of the persons sex offender status.

If a person is so dangerous that they shouldn’t be in a church, then they should be kept off the streets completely and in prison. Our system is just ridiculous.

Agreed. Looking at recidivism rates among actual sexual predators (I don’t mean a guy who had sex with the 17 year-old who looked 25 and used a fake ID), it is pretty insane we EVER let them out until there is convincing evidence that they are cured. There is very little evidence 5 or 10 or 15 years in prison does anything to lessen the likelihood they will harm again.

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