February 2, 2011
The proposal (and most like it) seem to violate the rights of the accused. Because most are just accused, not convicted. If they are just accused, then that is punishment with out trial or conviction.<br><br>The problem with waiting until conviction is that often that takes one or two years.<br><br>Just does not seem like a useful tool.
I agree with Adam. I just don't see the sense of it, and I think it has the potential to cause some privacy issues.
Great article. I work in the restorative justice field and we talk about the difference between "stigmatising shame" and "reintegrative shaming". This type of proposal only produces the "stigmatising shame" that distances people from the community, pro-social relationships, and I would say the love of God. The "reintegrative shame" is what we feel when we face our Saviour and recognise our own sins and powerlessness. That only comes from acts of love that allow us to recognise our needs and issues and see hope for changing behaviour and moving to a better future. <br><br>There are definitely better ways of dealing with harmful behaviours such as drunk driving. The shame caused by publishing offender photos doesn't help.
What power has love but forgiveness?<br><br>In other words,<br><br>by its intervention<br><br>What has been done<br><br>can be undone---<br><br>What good is it otherwise ?<br><br> ---William Carlos Williams<br><br><br>Using FB or the internet for such purposes (Chicago newspapers do similar mugshots on-line) is akin to the humiliation afforded by the stocks or the pillory.
I've been following ideas like this for years now. Ever since the Rocky Mountain News wanted to put pictures of sex offenders in it's paper. That was back in the mid 90s. <br><br>I agree that shame has its place, but I think policies like this are there more to give the victims of a crime a more concrete representation to vent their anger and rage at than to actually do anything to curb the real problem.<br><br>I've never been drunk once in my life (though, I do enjoy a good beverage). But I know people that struggle with alcohol, some of them are good friends. They need support and accountability - not people putting them on a pedestal so that they can be mocked. <br><br>I just don't think that we can agape and have policies like this.
Posting a photo of an offender on Facebook is not a violation of privacy rights, but it could very well be unethical. Because Facebook functions as a public forum, the same rules apply. A police force publishing a picture of an offender is different than say, a personal vendetta. It's arguably serving a public service. The part that gets hazy is the lasting effects of being able to recall information from years ago at the touch of a button. The question becomes one of the lasting effects of stigmatizing people caught breaking the law (regardless of prior infractions). If the Church is taking a moral position on this, it must be one that looks at how we respond to the world's idea of shame - and whether or not that changes our call to love. Shame is about being labeled as an "outsider." What are Christians doing to bring those outsiders in rather than condemn the world for pushing them outside in the first place?
I recently worked with a sex offender who was being released back into the community. He came to church with a state paid escort and was followed everywhere he went, church, work, restaurants, the library. They "monitored" his behavior and if it was wrong, it was one step backwards. He walked with his head down most of the time. <br><br>When he was initially released into the community, they posted his picture in the neighborhood and told people what block he lived on. A dj from a local radio station even told where he worked. <br><br>He was booted out of that neighborhood and had to find a different place to live. Then they did the same thing.<br><br>How can people live new lives when their old sinful lives are constantly being shoved in their faces?<br><br>If Jesus were to post our faces in the sky every time we sinned ... instead He posts His own face by taking on our sin.<br><br>Let's lift them up and show them God's love. We all fall. Romans 3:10 "There is none righteous, no not one."<br><br>The sex offender raped 15 women when he was a young man. I was assaulted twice as a young woman. <br><br>Yet, I continue to lift him up to God. God's grace is sufficient for him too.<br>
A punishment without meaning serves no one. It becomes revenge. <br><br>Would publicly outing and shaming your child for doing something stupid stop them from doing it again? Or would it foster hostility, resentment, and anger, creating distance in your relationship? They might even adopt the identity of "the child who does things wrong". <br><br>As a Christian counselor I see this in my office and it's such an easy pit to fall in as an enforcer of the rules. You want to make the behavior bad, but you end up making the individual bad along with it.
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