Do you believe in redemption?
That is the question. It shouldn’t be a hard question. Of course, you must believe in redemption or you probably would have shot yourself a long time ago.
This is a sensitive issue because of the crime at hand. But the question then becomes, do you believe that a pedophile can be redeemed. Do they deserve the chance at redemption? There is a strong movement that thinks that pedophilia should be punishable by death. I can respect this logic more than the general populace that believes that the pedophile should have to walk door to door, go to the sheriff’s office and register themselves, and so forth. I’ve always thought it interesting that we don’t make murders do this. We don’t make con artists do this. We don’t make burglars do this. We don’t make people with AIDS get branded or something to prevent the spread of the disease. At least the people who call for death are being consistent. They have determined this group of people do not deserve to rejoin society, and they should be killed.
So, let’s go into justice. Who is the justice for? Let’s limit this down for simplicity sake. In this case, Josh molested his sisters. If the sisters call for forgiveness, do you overrule them? Do you say that the sisters were wrong and punish him? What if this causes them the pain of missing their brother for years out of their lives? Do the victims get any say? Or do you say that this cannot be allowed because the sisters are damaged. That is, society, not the victim, has the say in the punishment.
I will say this: Josh Duggar has advocated the death penalty for incest. This makes him a hypocrite, and in this case, it wouldn’t break my heart if he did get the death penalty. It would be what he deserves. In some weird way, I have more respect for a NAMBLA member. At least they’re not hypocrites. This is little more than Eliot Spitzer frequenting prostitutes with taxpayer money while he was throwing hookers and johns in jail.
Of course, people will say that the difference is that the perpetrator has caused the victim harm that will never be healed. Is that the case then? The drunk driver that paralyzes someone causes them harm that will never heal. The father that walks out on their children may cause them such harm that they cannot have healthy relationships. Someone whose house gets burglarized may become terrified of being home alone. Someone that was mugged may became afraid to leave their homes. Shall we talk about the horrors of war?
My point is that there are HORRIBLE things that happen to people that harms them, scars them for life. This is unfortunate. But only in this one set do we seem to accept a premise of “Well, if that happened to them, I guess they’re screwed up for life. Hell, they should probably kill themselves.” That really is sorta the feel. Like “Well, you had your whole life ahead of you, and now it’s over. Damn. Sorry, kid.”
Our justice system is supposed to be centered around rehabilitation. That’s supposed to be the goal with any and all crimes. If we go away from that, if we go away from redemption, the only other solution that makes any logical sense is the extermination of anyone that commits a crime, ie, consider Sharia for your system of law.
I do not condone Josh’s actions. However, he brought it to his parents attention. They attempted to make amends. Supposedly, there have been no further instances. Under these specific set of circumstances, I’m willing to forgive if the victims are.
Long Live the Constitution!