Monday, January 5, 2015

Homeless ministry, Salvation Army get failing marks in treatment of those on the sex offender registry

First post of the new year, and my fury-level is high.

I just read this: "True Vine Ministries on Morganton Road to offer shelter for homeless on 'white flag' nights."

"White flag nights" are nights when the outside temperature in this part of North Carolina is expected to go below the freezing level. According to the article, the week between Christmas and New Year saw "multiple" white flag nights.

My fury went from 0 to 10 when I read this sentence: "Anyone can seek white flag shelter regardless of their status with the Salvation Army unless they are sex offenders, have previously assaulted Salvation Army staff members or residents, or have been terminated for having a weapon in the shelter."

Unless they are sex offenders.

I dashed off this response on their comment board:
" 'Anyone can seek white flag shelter...unless they are sex offenders....' Just to be sure I have this straight...a murderer, a dope dealer, and an arsonist are all welcome. However, the man who is on the registry because he had underage sex ten years ago at 18 with the woman who is now his wife will be turned away. Yeah, makes sense. Will his wife and child be allowed in and only he left to freeze outside? Just wondering...."
But that isn't sufficient. This CANNOT be tolerated. How dare an organization--a church in partnership with the Salvation Army--one that is unarguably doing good deeds, one that claims to be doing God's work, one that has to have the safety of those it serves as their primary motivation, just disallow, with those five words, a segment of society based on nothing but their inclusion in a group who are as diverse in deeds and character as--well, as any other group.

Unless they are sex offenders.

I had just read another article before this one. It tells of a Virginia state trooper who was charged with and pleaded guilty to a multitude of sexual crimes against a child. A kindly judge is allowing him to serve only 30 days jail time and two years probation of a nine year sentence and--the kicker--he will somehow not be required to register on the sex offender registry. The crimes to which he pleaded are, the article points out, "almost identical" to those for which this same judge not long ago--and not nearly so kindly--sentenced another man to 66 years in prison and--of course--he will be subject to registration should he live long enough to get out.

So this man, this law enforcement officer, would have no difficulty whatsoever seeking and being granted shelter at the True Vine Ministries should he find himself homeless on a frigid night; he isn't on the public registry; therefore, he isn't a "sex offender." But the man I referred to in my comment on the article, the man who as a high school senior had pre-marital sex with his sophomore girlfriend and was put on the registry when her mother reported their activity, the man who has been married to that
girlfriend for close to twenty years, not ten, as in my example, the man who is raising four children with her, not one, the man who will be on that registry until he dies, would be turned away to freeze.

This CANNOT be tolerated. This MUST not be tolerated. Those on the registry, as a random group, pose no greater danger to the safety or well-being of their fellow human beings than any other random group of homeless citizens seeking refuge from the elements.

I hope that no registrant, being turned away from True Vine Ministries, dies as a result. However, if he should, I hope that the organization, along with the Salvation Army, will know that his blood is on their hands.


  1. More proof that the all-righteous Christians are nothing more than a bunch of hypocrites caring only about their own entry into Heaven.
    Funny how they try so desperately to claim they care about everyone and even try to convert homosexuals to go straight so that they too can get into Heaven but if you committed a MAN-MADE CRIMINAL ACT against someone, even tho it was a consensual act, you're not welcomed into their facilities.
    This is why I am sick of religion.
    BTW, do these bumbling idiot puppets realize that the precious "virgin" Mary was 15 or 16 when she gave birth the Christ and that her "husband" Joseph was a grown man in his mid to late 20's? Do they know this? Perhaps not. Perhaps they should stop taking a man made law so seriously since the legal age of consent is a MAN MADE DECISION by lawmakers and changes from one area to the next.
    Or perhaps they should just wait for THEIR judgement day to come. :)

  2. To be fair, Maestro, and to play devil's advocate just a little, let's not condemn all claiming the Christian faith out of hand, even as we become incensed at those who condemn those on the registry as a group. Not all who adhere to Christianity are hypocrites.

    I think Bible scholars place Mary at the age of 13 when she became pregnant, 14 when Jesus was born. And according to the Bible, entry into Heaven does not depend on the good works one does but on faith alone. I personally am most happy to leave judgment to God.

    And yes, age of consent laws are man-made and arbitrary, but so are many of the laws we live by. Many though do have their root in Biblical law, i.e., the Commandments.

  3. Apparently the "Salvation" army would not have kept truck with the Nazarene who ministered to the sex offender of Gerasenes. And since the "Salvation" army has no room for the least of these, they obviously know nothing about Jesus, who, by his own choosing, was tried and found guilty of the most egregious crime of his day, and, as a convicted felon, was crucified alongside of the most despised people in all of Judea. Where registered people are not welcome, neither is Jesus Christ...of this, I am entirely certain.

  4. This is terrible. To turn one away because of a label. But this is not the first: Under a law, signed by our former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2005, registrants are barred from using public shelters (Schools) in the event of a hurricane in the state of Florida. Oh, but he is not heartless (Sigh) he said registrants will be allowed to go to prisons to weather out the storm!

    They will stay in visitor/meeting rooms. Registrants will also be required to sign a form that outlines instructions, wear an ID badge, and they can be searched by authorities at any time. The policy says it only affects sex offenders under state supervision who are not allowed near children but that is not true because, due to state law, no registrant (charged after 2003) can reside within 1000 feet from a school. Yes, Jeb Bush. The man that wants to be our President bans Florida registrants from shelter during a hurricane..SMH.

    I have shopped salvation army stores for deals, but I think I will now scratch them off my list of places to shop.

  5. "I think Bible scholars place Mary at the age of 13 when she became pregnant..."

    Well, there ya go! I was on the right track that she WAS under what our legal age of consent is for all 50 states. And that was my point.
    Elvis Presley is another good point - Elvis; 24, Priscilla; 14. But since no one ever pressed charges against Elvis, he will forever be famous and remembered (especially today Jan 8th, his birthday) forever by fans and the music industry.
    And since law enforcement and SO treatment provider like to call people "victims" of consensual relationships, let's as Priscilla if she felt victimized by the King of rock and roll. You know, since, as they say, "life long trauma the victims go through.." blah blah blah

    In response to the Anonymous poster:
    "The policy says it only affects sex offenders under state supervision..."

    Exactly! Only those on supervision (such as Probation). Probation eventually comes to an end and even tho the offender may still face laws as a registrant to not LIVE near a school, he/she will no longer have to worry about being NEAR children and having to report such contact to a probation officer. That means, once off probation, no more worrying if you can go to your friend/relative's birthday party for fear that someone might have their minor children present at the event.

  6. I was very disappointed with my Salvation Army. I was receiving a monthly senior food box, became familiar with the staff, & grateful. I became a volunteer. As a SO on parole, my PO informed me that I needed to inform the Salvation Army of my status. When I did, in a private chat with the Captain, I was informed that I could no longer be a volunteer.

  7. "Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."


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