Your Home is Not Your Castle

OK, this is going to be a little bit controversial but I want to assure everyone that my opinion wouldn’t change even if the subject of the story were a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Martian. It has less to do with being an atheist and more to do with being an American and a human.

That’s Wachs, yo!

Ellenbeth Wachs is weird.
However, she has the right to be. She had apparently just come home from having chemotherapy and was trying to rest while a neighborhood boy (10) was playing basketball outside of her house. She asked the boy to stop. When the boy refused to quit, Wachs allegedly made moaning noises simulating sex, calling out, “Oh John!” from inside her home and was arrested on a charge of simulating a sex act in front of a child.

Now, I’m no expert but noises from inside a person’s home – even if the windows are open – shouldn’t count as a sex offense. What gets me about this is the precedent it sets. If Wachs can be convicted on this charge, then virtually every parent in the world could be arrested as sex offenders and have their children taken away for the same thing. I know my kids have heard my wife and me having sex before. Think about it, you put them to bed and tuck them in and you close their door. They don’t really want to go to sleep so they lie awake for a while. You close your door, get naked and it’s business time (I mean, come on, when you’re married you have to seize opportunity by the gonads)! I don’t care of what material your doors and walls are made – if you make a peep or your bed frame squeaks, you’ve just become an offender. Hell, a large portion of kids have walked in on their parents having sex. Not only is that traumatic to everyone involved but it raises the bar on the type of offense!

Mommy, daddy, make it stop!

Secondly, bringing this back to atheism, I feel that things like this are a setback in our campaign for acceptance. A lot of religious people already think atheists eat babies, dance naked in the woods, are addicted to pr0n, do lots of drugs and might be child molesters since we don’t have that Moral Compass™ their deities give them. A story like this only gives these people more fuel for their fire, allowing them to wag their fingers at us and say, “See? We told you so!” I don’t like it. The problem with prominent atheists being involved with something like this as compared to prominent Christians is that there are relatively so few outspoken, prominent, public atheists that one of them getting nabbed represents a significant percentage. When a Christian trips up, there are 4 billion more to minimize the effect.

Watch that first step!

What do you think? Do charges like this make sense? Is Wachs a sex offender now? Should you be able to do whatever you want in your own home?



  1. I think the decision to charge her is a correct one.

    Yes: we are afforded extra liberty and privacy protections at home, but these rights shouldn’t afford the home-owner immunization for everything done form the home.

    The problem is that Ms. Wachs’ sex noises, not only extended out of the home, but was produced specifically to be broadcasted such. It should be just as illegal for Ms. Wasch to blast the audio track of her favorite adult DVD from her home through a megaphone. It should be similar illegal for Ms. Wasch to prance around naked in plain view from her street even if her feet happen to be within her property lines.

  2. @Celestial_Teapot – While I agree with your main point I disagree with the equivocation of making sex noises (and her attorney is saying she was moaning because she needed her medication) to running around naked in plain view of children. One is clearly wrong while the other sits in a very ill-defined gray area. I think it’s stupid to have retaliated against an unwelcome basketball game with moaning and yelling, so Wachs obviously exercised poor judgment and irrational behavior but is it a crime? I’m not entirely sure.

  3. @CoderHead – … I disagree with the equivocation of making sex noises (and her attorney is saying she was moaning because she needed her medication) to running around naked in plain view of children.

    If Ms. Wach’s moaning was medical and beyond her control, then I don’t think it would be illegal even if it were in public.

  4. Yeah. I think there’s a clause, especially if you’re in an altered mental status because of meds or lack of meds, or something to that degree.  Depends on the state, county, on so forth.