© Pavel Constantin

Century Marks

All are welcome? Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, California, recently voted to admit a registered sex offender into its membership. Pilgrim, which prides itself on its inclusiveness, was initially torn apart by the man’s request to join the church as part of his effort to integrate with society. Parents of children and victims of abuse were the most concerned about welcoming him into the church. The sex offender, who acknowledges his wrongdoing going back to the 1980s and 1990s, has agreed to be escorted at all times at church. One member who had been molested as a child argued in support of inclusion. “To have said no to this request, for me, would have been like giving the person who abused me in my childhood power over how I could act and how I could live out my beliefs,” she said (ABC News, May 7).


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