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Cultural Clash

We live in a time of the clash of cultures. Tectonic plates of culture are shifting and it’s not just in America. British laws have changed too, now the first born of the royal blood can ascend the throne even if that child is a daughter.  American values are evolving. The US Military has accepted the reality that heterosexuals and homosexuals equally want to serve their country.  Over fifty years ago our nation mandated equal treatment for African Americans and Native Americans first in the military and later in the voting booth.

Yet despite the fact that Roe v Wade has been established law since 1973 there remain opponents who refuse to accept change. Some would even turn back the clock on contraception. We have Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who believed that young women deserve education just like young men, but the Taliban chose to disagreed with bullets.  Must the full weight of the law fall on an adolescent because of clashing cultural and religious values?

Is justice really served when harshest penalties of law are called to drag an adolescent student from her home and place her most intimate feelings and relations under the glaring hot lights of the law court and the media? Is it Just, that she face jail and a criminal record because of a mutual relationship begun when both students  were underage. I understand there are those who will claim that were the relationships heterosexual, they would face the same legal scrutiny. I say, yes there is Law and there is Justice but they are not always identical.  How can the subtleties of adolescent emotions benefit from the examination and analysis of the law court? When you think back to your own teenage years, would you apply the labels “lewd and lascivious” to your own first love?

Must charges be made that will stain her whole life  because of a clash of cultures. Did no one consider a family to family conference? Declaring her to the law, getting Kaitlyn Hunt removed from Sebastian River High School in the last few months of her senior year, was this not enough. Still need that pound of flesh? Do your religious values find no room for forgiveness for youthful indiscretion?

Hopefully the men and women of our civil system can find more compassion in their judgement than those who would insist on the cold calculus of the remedies of law. How young Ms Hunt became the subject of the ungentle attention of the law is a sad example of the damage the clash of cultures can wield in a young life.  Let her be persecuted no more!

The state attorney’s office has offered a plea which includes two years house arrest and a year of probation, which would stay on her adult record and limit her career opportunities. Florida  which recently threatened an honor Chemistry student in Barstow with terrorism charges for a chem-lab experiment that went pop and emitted a harmless puff of smoke must carefully consider the remedies of law.  We need to insure that sober thoughtful justice be achieved and not vengeance for cultural clashes that bruise but do no one harm. The relationship in question began when both students were underage, hopefully the ticking clock does not  launch a wrecking ball. Let justice be tempered with mercy.

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