The flood of e-mails is still coming in to "DaySide" about that convicted sex offender (search) who was allowed to foster parent more than 20 kids in New York state.

As you saw on the show Friday, we had a pretty heated debate between two lawyers — a sex crimes prosecutor and a constitutional lawyer. The latter (Michael Gross) argued that the offender's true crime was really "only" consensual sex with a 15 year old, so he shouldn't be ostracized by society and barred from foster parenting. His comments set a LOT of you off:

"If you had been sexually molested in a foster home for fifteen years like I was, you wouldn't be sticking up for these creeps."
Been there
Wappingers Falls, NY

"If [this felon] were an ex-burglar, car thief, etc., the argument [might wash] that we should let him prove his reformation, but why on God's green Earth would we use children to test a sex offender's true redemption?"
Steve
Salem, OR

"I was sexually abused as a four year old. I don't think too many people understand the lifelong implications that sexually abused victims suffer. I have been treated for an eating disorder, I have been in a psychiatric hospital five times, and I have even had shock treatment.... When will the rights of us (the victims) outweigh the rights of sex offenders?"
Cathy
Las Vegas, NV

"I was disgusted to hear the [lawyer] defending the rights of the convicted rapist to [be a foster parent]...If you do some investigating with experts in this matter, you will find that sex offenders don't abuse their foster children, instead, they use the foster children to connect them with their unsuspecting friends, and they abuse them. It is insane to gamble with our you this way..."
Susan
IN

On the other side, though, there are those of you who are question whether this felon, Nick Chaney, truly classifies as a sex offender:

"...It sounds like his offense was having consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl. That is not the same thing as the rape of a child. If you don't believe [me], just take a drive by your local high school and see how these 'kids' dress..."
Tami Harper
Edmond, OK

"I'm 77, been married to my only wife for 52 years. Have 2 fine sons. I was 21 and my to-be wife was 15. We had sex. Does that make me a sex offender that should register for life?..."
Harry

No, Harry, it doesn't. But do you think there's a difference between your Romeo and Juliet situation, and that of a man who was 38 years old and having sex with a 15 year old?

Sorry, but even though girls these days can wear skin-tight miniskirts it doesn't absolve a guy from asking her if she's eighteen. It just doesn't. And what sounds particularly funny is that Chaney claimed he didn't know the girl was a minor. Huh? I'm sorry, but being in my late 30s myself, I can tell in a heartbeat if someone (boy or girl) is a minor. Chaney's crimes may not put him in the same league as the sicko who killed Jessica Lunsford, but does it necessarily mean he's someone we should allow the privilege of becoming a foster parent?

Regarding the other heated debate of the day, between the author of "Invasion Within" and the college professor. The author, Domenick Maglio, who founded a school for grades K-12, contends that liberal elites in America are ruining our kids in myriad ways, including telling us to be 'friends' with our kids instead of disciplining them; teaching 'moral relativism' instead of right vs. wrong; and demonizing religion instead of embracing it as a way to pass on moral values.

The tension between Maglio and the professor was so thick in the studio I could have cut it with a knife. Maglio was relaxed, but the professor's body language shouted that he couldn't stand to be seated next to his opponent. Here are some of the comments you all sent in afterward:

"...The author is dead on. Our nation is being subverted by leftist thinking. Our children are becoming morally bankrupt. Parents are too busy being friends to their children rather than being parents..."
Michelle Smith

"I am a Conservative and an Atheist...[but] I am offended by the attack on Christianity and by all the Liberal stuff going on that is making it harder for us to raise our children to be decent human beings..."
Erika Lee
Jacksonville, FL

"I have a restaurant in Nebraska. About 12 years ago one of my waitresses bragged about being her children's friend first and then their parent. I told her at the time that was the dumbest thing I ever heard of and she was a bloomin' idiot. Six or seven years later, after her son had spent time in county jail for theft and her daughter had had 2 kids without being married, she told me that she wished she had listened to someone at the time..."
Jim Wilkinsons
NE

"Your guest, Domenick Maglio, is correct that parents treat their kids too much like friends and that schools are full of Marxist ideas that antagonize religion and family. The anti-disciplinarian approach to childrearing is also Marxist in origin. [The professor], who blamed captialism for advertising products, was just further proof that our universities and schools are overflowing with Marxists — how does a rant against markets even contribute to the debate?"
Guinevere Nell
Edgewood, NM

There was one lone e-mail opposing Maglio, though, and in fairness here it is:

"You have a loony with a book that purports that the Commies are taking over (again), with a biased audience cheering him on. The other side, a moderate Texas professor championing critical thinking, gets a negative response from a bunch of young soldiers and Marines. The people in your audience and the [author] haven't got a clue as to what the term 'critical thinking' means... this country is in serious trouble because of our lack of respect, of critical thinking — All one has to say here is 'God Bless' and they're taken as true patriots, no matter how much their 1950s biases and bigotry are taking us down the tubes..."
Anonymous

One final thing before we all head out for the holiday weekend: I urge you to check out two Web sites: www.soldierride.com and www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Thousands of American men and women have returned from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan with serious wounds and, although the Defense Department (search) does what it can to rehab and help them, there is much more that needs to be done for these soldiers. These two websites jointly help these soldiers and do so with all their hearts. If you're looking for a good cause to get involved in, here's a great one.
Happy Memorial Day,
Linda

Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET

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