'We Are Not Our Behavior'

"We are not our behavior...."

The line jumped out at me as I read a recent article on sex offenders. The quote from an offender began, "I... realize there is goodness in me, that God doesn’t make crap." It seems, however, that many would disagree.

I'm well aware that there are a plethora of feelings out there in regards to the topic of sex offenders. Clearly, if one views criminals as the scum of society, then one probably sees sex offenders as the fungus that feeds on the scum (to partially quote from My Best Friend's Wedding). And society is afraid of this fungus.

That's exactly why I bring up the topic again. Society deserves the truth. It's time to squelch the fearful myths of the public and shed some light on this dismal topic -- both for our benefit, and for the benefit of the offender.


And how about how family members of sex offenders are treated? As the girlfriend of a registered sex offender (his offense 21 years ago was a false accusation of rape, followed by prosecutorial overreaching and a very frightened young man). Anyway, what have I and the hundreds of thousands of other family members done to rate having OUR addresses, vehicle license numbers, and other personal identification information on the internet?
My brother is currently serving a 30 year sentence for three counts of sexual battery on a juvenile. He will be in his early seventies when he comes out. The prisons are unairconditioned and the temperatures have been over 100 degrees lately. I was there when he was sentenced and the judge specifically said that he believed my brother would reoffend and that he had to protect society. So the bottom line is my brother was sentence based on public hysteria not the facts. I have searched every where on the internet and can’t find any statistics that support the public perception that sex offenders are incorrigible.
Faith, thank you so much for posting this! My younger brother is a sex offender. I worked as a civilian in law enforcement for close to a decade and cannot count the times I said that all sex offenders should be taken out and shot on conviction; we were taught by "experts" within my major-city department that sex offenders are incurable. Then I found out about my little brother! He himself was victimized during elementary school; he was molested by my best friend. Let's not forget that most of these sex offenders are themselves victims, of a predator,of our over-sexed, pornography-filled society. The hysteria over sex offenders is such that, in the state where my brother is living, a man suffering from the early stages of dementia, who forgot to zip up his pants after using a public restroom, is labeled a sex offender and a man who had to urinate at the side of the road in an area where there were no bathrooms and very little cover has also been convicted. The registries do not differentiate among offenses; a young man who had premarital sex with his teenage girlfriend is required to register next to a repeat rapist and a one-time child molester who had contact with a same-sex victim, a family member or close friend. With no differentiation, the registries increase the hysteria, making it appear that there is a predator on every block and that every child is a potential kidnap/rape and murder victim. Church support for the offenders is practically nonexistent. Since generally they are barred from any contact with juveniles, they cannot even attend regular church services. And many state-mandated "counseling" actually serves to increase the offenders' despair at regaining a normal life since they are brainwashed into believing the popular image. In fact, it appears that there is only ONE Christian-based sex-offender counseling program available,anywhere in the U.S., run by a psychologist who is on staff with Focus on the Family and happens to run a counseling service on the side as a ministry. Pornography is not only pervasive, it is invasive,becoming mainstream, increasing the number of potential offenders. According to my brother, the one common denominator among the members of his counseling group, is pornography addiction. Pornography objectivizes the chosen gender,cheapens the sexual relationship and is addictive. As any addict will tell you, after a time, he requires more and more of the "drug" or more and more excitement, to get the same result. Take this far enough, and you can see where it leads. Our first thought when faced with a sex offender, today, must be, "but for the grace of God, there go I."

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