NC sheriff bans sex offenders from church

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Graham County Sheriff Danny Millsaps told sex offenders about his decision Feb. 17, according to a letter the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times obtained Friday (March 6).

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Sheriffs' Association

Graham County Sheriff Danny Millsaps told sex offenders about his decision Feb. 17, according to a letter the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times obtained Friday (March 6).

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(RNS) Sheriff Danny Millsaps said he understands the Constitution gives everyone the right to religious freedom. But he said he's standing by his take on North Carolina law blocking offenders from places where children are present.

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  • Tricky one. I can see sheriff’s point of view. However, not all sex offenders are pedophiles. Pastors need to serve all of us who need church, and need to keep children safe. Don’t think this letter helped anything — except raise the issue.

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  • Ben in oakland

    Awwww. I bet the good sheriff is an even better Christian. After all, gotta protect the children from them thar sexual predators. And keep those people away from the saving grace of Jesus. Use the power of the state– and the power of the stooopid and feeeer to keep “those people” away.

    Except for one little problem.

    Google “youth pastor sex crimes”. 870 THOUSAND hits. Google “Catholic priest sex crimes”. 3 MILLION HITS. Scroll through the results and count the actual number of perps. You can give up after page 10. And then do some research on who actually molests children. 50% of the time, it’s the father or step father. 25% of the time, it’s a relative or family friend.

    Somehow, I think the occasional sex offender who occasionally attends church is not the real problem.

  • Yes – out of church and away from children.
    This is a rational policy. But the resistance will come from Christians who think they are doing good – yet another example of the failures of Christianity.

    Jesus said,
    “Forgive not seven times but seven times seventy” (Matthew 18:22)

    This is profoundly terrible and immoral as a command. People need to discern these things responsibly for themselves.

    Ignorant people from 2000 years ago like Jesus can be excused for not knowing a damn thing – but modern people know that psychopaths, sociopaths and pedophiles are not to be forgiven.
    They are to be monitored like evil children and kept away from innocent victims.

    Christianity is full of terrible theories like “compulsory forgiveness” which are simply an encouragement to be irresponsible. Nothing has brought more misery to the world than this man made nonsense.

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  • A Smythe

    Give this man a medal. At long last someone with real influence gets just how much damage child sex offenders can do!

    Don’t be fooled, child sex offenders rarely go to church to find God, they go to find children!

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  • A Smythe

    Give this man a medal, at last someone is acting against child sex offenders who prey on children amongst the naïve churchgoers.

    Don’t be fooled, child sex offenders don’t go to church to find God, they go to find children!

  • Earold D Gunter

    Perhaps a better solution would be to allow sex offenders to attend church as this demonstrates an attempt, albeit one that is akin to “out of the frying pan and into the fire”, to make a change in the behavior that got them a sex offender status in the first place. Keep the children out of church so that they can develop into adults without being subjected to the terrible process of brainwashing them into believing anything based on faith alone. The molestation of the mind being equally egregious, if not worse than the molestation of the body.

    Besides, the law down there has better things to do, like hunt down moonshiners.;-q

  • Retired

    What do Christian personal beliefs have to do with firefighting?

  • Greg

    The article mentions that these men are permitted to attend the faith programs at the local prison. I believe that is fair.

  • ben in oakland

    And here I thought that the saving power of Jesus could save anyone, even a child molester.

    I guess not. Jesus can’t grow an amputated limb, can’t turn gay people into heterosexuals, and can’t change a child molester.

    He doesn’t appear to be able even to turn people into Christians.

  • Keith

    My first thought is that this is a violation of Constitutional rights, but I digress. Felons loose certain rights following a conviction such as voting, so I can see that this could be a debatable issue, but the other side is that religion stands for forgiveness and a sex offender needs to be forgiven of his/her sins. Why does the Sheriff and the local government not get together with the religious leaders and work out a service for adults only once a week or something to that effect? Denying one the right to religious salvation due to a crime defeats the purpose of rehabilitation. Whether one believes in God or not, we can all agree that most religions teach good values and to respect the law and the people.

  • Keith

    He did invite them, but religious service there are not the same as in a firmly planted church. Each religion has it’s own set of rules and it’s own path to salvation, attending a service is not the same as attending a church, being a member of a community. Rehabilitation includes forgiveness, though in some situations monitoring is needed. I would think allowing them the opportunity to sit through the service times where children are not present (such as Sunday morning adult services) once the sermon has ended the offender should leave before the children enter the sanctuary.

  • Ben in oakland

    Some Christians claim they don’t have to follow the law if it conflicts with their religious beliefs, because “render unto Caesar” was just a suggestion.

    Judge roy Moore, Baronelle stutzman, Elaine hugenin, Matt Staver are just a few of the names that pop to mind.

  • Greg

    I’m not sure what the best approach to this is, but pedophiles and other sex offenders need to be kept away from children, and potential victims, especially where they most vulnerable. Conversion is a slow process, and temptation should be minimized. Maybe join an all male monastery in the middle of nowhere?

  • bobby crisp

    danny millsaps from graham county north carolina the only reason he did was he was put up to it by an old sheriff who name is steve odom who was moore crooked than danny millsaps will ever be i’m praying they can remove danny millsaps from offfice

  • manofGod

    A former sex offender myself, I do not want to see any child or young adult hurt. The problem is we as a society teach sex is for pleasure. We give contraceptives out to our kids in school and teach that its fine to go out and have sex. This is how I was taught in school and hope one day we will wake up and teach our youths the meaning of what sex is. It is between a man and a woman in a marriage and unite themselves with love. Love is what is missing in sex now. We say we love someone, but do we? Only knowing God is love can we fully comprehend the meaning of this sacred act of ultimate intimacy. We are all made in the image of God, why must we think the power and blood of Christ cannot bring us back? God Bless you all.