When is caution taken too far? I have asked myself this question on many occasions since, oh, I guess it would have to be September 11, 2001 when as a rather ignorant and naïve college student I was forced to start paying attention. In recent years immigration has brought this question to mind, particularly in a post-9/11 world where safety and security by means of national defense is a way of life. But always lurking in the back of my mind is the Christian response to paedophilia.
A Guardian Unlimited article this week talks about “chemical castration” as means of control over sexual predators. In some cases they are talking about using satellites in order to monitor these people. I am convinced, as most everyone else is (hopefully), that “There are very few crimes more horrific than sex offences against children.” My concerns today, however, lie in what a Christian response might be.
I am not sure that I have any answers. But David Wilson's comments are interesting. He writes, “So too have I worked with those who have been chemically castrated - metaphorically had "their balls cut off" - but who still harbour desires to do awful things to children, because ultimately what motivates them has much more to do with psychology than physiology, and therefore what they can't achieve physically they can none the less achieve with …” Well, you can use your imagination as to what might be used.
This is an issue of privacy and information. I think the intentions of law’s like Megan’s law or Sarah’s law are attempting to do something good. But what are the implications? What are the implications of forcing someone out into the public without giving them a place to go? The problem lies deeper than physics, deeper than law. It is a moral issue that the current culture is not equipped to handle. I am convinced that this problem will increase if the Church does not create space in their communities for these people.
Of course the next question is one of space-making.