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Every denomination needs one of these...

Media reacts to 'welcoming church'

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

From North County Times:
Roses & Raspberries
By: North County Times Opinion staff -

The 'Least of My People' award

A raspberry, albeit a conflicted one, to the folks gathering petitions outside of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad last week to pressure the church into not welcoming a convicted child molester into its congregation.

Mark Pliska's admitted crimes are terrible; there is no doubting that. But the fact that he volunteered the information to the congregation should stand for something. The church's pastor, the Rev. Madison Shockley, said they were already struggling with how to proceed. They didn't need the petition drive outside their doors, organized by Vista's Jessica Muehlhausen, to arouse their conscience.

Muehlhausen's concerns are certainly understandable. Two of her children attend Pilgrim Children's Center next door to the church. She told our Gary Warth: "I think he should attend a church that doesn't have a children's center. If Pilgrim Church wants to save this man, they can do some kind of outreach at his home or off campus." She said it didn't matter that the preschool would be closed Sundays, when Pliska was attending services.

As a society, we have not figured out how to deal with convicted sex offenders who have paid their debt to society. The November passage of Jessica's Law, which would track sex offenders for life via electronic bracelets, won't apply to the men and women whose crimes were committed before Nov. 7.

But look what happened in this case: TV coverage of Muehlhausen's petition drive prompted Pliska to be evicted from his Escondido home. On Friday, he was fired from his job. Do we really think that homeless, unemployed convicted sex offenders are better for our communities than those who have tried to find shelter in a supportive church?
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, March 14, 2007


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