Christmas Opinion Piece Favoring Windows Legislation

Voice from the Desert
December 25, 2007

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish sent the following Opinion Piece to the New York Times and the Washington Post, but she's heard nothing as of Christmas Day. With Sister's permission, I am posting it here.

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My wish for Legislators as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child - The banning of the death penalty in New Jersey coming— so closely to the celebration of Human Rights Day is— certainly something to be thankful for, "Corzine Signs— Bill Ending Executions, Then Commutes Sentences of— Eight," (12/18/2007).

We also recently celebrated the International Day of— the Child but I can't remember reading that it was— noted anywhere except on the the websites of advocacy— groups such as the United Nations UNICEF, CRIN, the— Child Rights Information Network and Amnesty— International.

If the sexual exploitation of children worldwide were— a communicable disease it world be registered as a— pandemic by the World Health Organization and it would— be duly noted by our own Communicable Disease Center— in Atlanta. But we do not as yet have anything that— would be comparable and could be applied to the sexual— abuse and exploitation of children.

This is the season when Christians worldwide celebrate— the incarnation of one very special child, the Jesus,— the Christ Child.

But does it all make any sense if we do not do— everything we can to protect the voiceless of the past— and the present as well as those of the future?— The sad fact is that the exploitation of children is a— pandemic and it can be seen in far too many— incarnations.

We have all read the horror stories in our local— newspapers - of children who have been locked in— closets as punishment, leashed like animals and kept— in cages; not in foreign countries but here in the— United States. Pommeling children's bodies to vent— frustration, burning them with cigarettes, leaving— handguns around for them to find and use have become— everyday occurrences in our own neighborhoods not in— foreign lands.

We read the names and positions of those arrested for— the downloading and/or possession of pornography and— we are shocked at who has participated in the— exploitation of men and women, as well as children.— A victimless crime? Hardly.

Children, however, are voiceless because they have not— leverage; they do not vote.

But, children grow up, they find their voices and they— do vote.

We, as a civilized society, are slowing beginning to— realize that the death penalty may not be the best way— to punish individuals, even those whose own humanity— we have serious reason to question.

Let us also realize that those who were sexually— exploited, violated, molested, abused, raped or— sodomized by any trusted individual be it minister,— rabbi, priest, imam, teacher, doctor, father or mother— also have a right to the full protection of the law.— Celebrate the International Day of the Child by— totally removing criminal and civil statues in regard— to the sexual abuse of children and provide a two year— window for bringing forward previously time barred— cases.

In that way maybe we will be able to celebrate the— birth of the Christ Child without our own moral— hypocrisy adding to our qualms of conscience. — Sister Maureen Paul Turlish—

Maureen Paul Turlish is a Sister of Notre Dame de— Namur, a Delaware educator and a victims' advocate who— has testified in support of the recently signed— Delaware Child Victims Law. She was a speaker at the— November 3, 2007 annual conference of the National— Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children in— Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a member of the— Coalition, Child Victims Voice and is on— the Board of Directors of DACOA, the Delaware— Association for Children of Alcoholics.


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