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What Happened to Accountability in Our Society?

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Message Debby Bodkin
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As a cradle Catholic, the Saturday afternoons when my sister and I would attend confession so we would be in a state of grace for Sunday Mass and communion are still mirrored in my mind today. How simple life was back then. As an adult, it is difficult to understand "What Happened to Accountability in Our Society?"

Think about it - as a child did you think about calling an attorney when you made one of those life errors? Back then, we held ourselves accountable with guidance from our parents and the clergy. Making a mistake was not a crime -- and life as a child was a path consisting of many lessons and experiences. We learned to resolve conflict, apologize for mistakes and move on.

Social justice, equal rights, immigration reform and caring for those who struggle caring for themselves were automatics and definitely didn't require the hiring of an attorney. Please do not misinterpret my concerns. Attorneys are needed desperately in our society and take an oath to protect the laws of our country. However, is it easier to call an attorney for advice then to hold ourselves personally accountable? Are we abusing the legal process to escape consequences? Any type of abuse leads to chaos. Some thoughts....

* Clergy sex abuse crisis. Sex abuse by anyone is a crime and mandated reporters must report any crimes committed against a child. Are we demanding accountability for crimes committed against children or are we abusing the judicial process to escape moral, financial and legal consequences?

* Immigration. Immigration laws have been in effect for many years in the U.S. In fact, other countries have immigration laws that work but yet, suddenly in 2006, we find our society's basic foundations crumbling because they cannot support the large numbers coming to the U.S. Do we continue to change laws each time old laws not enforced, lead to chaos?

* Terrorism. September 11, 2001 was horrific and as we fight against future terrorist attacks, we hear blame - blame - blame throughout the media. What happened to working toward the common good of all persons? Are we demanding accountability from ourselves to assist in efforts to bring peace?

* Basic Freedoms. The laws relating to wiretapping have been existent for many years -- there is a process. However, we now find outselves urgently scrambling to pass new laws that grant immunity from breaking the old laws. If laws were violated, face the consequences and move on -- we have enough laws in the U.S. to last a lifetime.

* Privacy. American citizens are now victims of data mining by large and powerful corporations. Our finances, our employment history, our insurance needs, who we should or should not hire and whether a prospective employee has the "credit" history that will make him/her worthy of being employed. If this isn't a civil rights violation, I don't know what is.

Laws, when enforced, bring justice and peace. The common good must be preserved in the interests of all persons living or wanting to live in the United States. Attorneys protect laws but are not required to eat, sleep and raise families. Life may never be as simple for our children as it was for us back then -- unless of course, we bring that gift back to them with accountability for our own actions and life choices.

Our children deserve to live in a world that is free from chaos, abuse and non-accountability and I would bet my life savings (!?#) they are confused about what it means to live without the advice of an attorney, with guaranteed freedoms and the pursuit of happiness.
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As an amateur writer, mother, wife and legal secretary for the past 25 years, my passion for the courage of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and mandated reporters, who made a choice to protect children, before their own career security and (more...)
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