As if it isn't bad enough that we have students being gunned down in schools, now in New Jersey we have cases men of two different men of the religious cloth having sex with children.

In one, Harry L. Thomas, 74, pastor of a local church, has admitted in court that he sexually assaulted four children over the course of several years, and in the other an East Brunswick Rabbi, Aryeh Goodman, 35, has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey. According to Carey, police determined that Goodman had sex with a 17-year-old girl at a hotel in town on February 1.

These men, and all others who supposedly are being led by a higher power, should be held to a higher legal standard. These crimes not only hurt the victims but their faiths as well. Just like there are tougher penalties for hate crimes, there should be tougher penalties for priests, pastors, rabbis and any other religious men who commit sex crimes against innocent children. In many cases they are taking advantage of their faith and vulnerability. This is not something that should be handled by their churches or temples, this is something that should be very publicly handled by our legal system with a stiffer penalty because of their position.

How dare they? If these people don't put enough fear in their God, maybe they'll fear our courts. One can only hope.

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