Yes, the problem has to be framed as religious organizations refusing to help needy people because they don't like our laws. It's the religious groups who are uncharitable due to their inflexibility, not the taxpayer who was kind enough to foot the bill.
It's much easier for a church group shut up about Jesus while working on the taxpayer's dime than it is for the voters to repeal the First Amendment to accomodate rigid Christian volunteers.
Wow. I had no idea something this extreme was going on. Shocking.
I like the special privliges for trying to improve oneself. I hate that it's because of Christianity (and I am - nominally at least, and for want of a better term - a Christian, because I really like the teachings of Jesus, real or not, divine or not.)
Why can't they get the special privliges if they are maintaining a certain GPA towards a GED or college degree? My Iowa high school had a similar policy towards honor students and use of the student lounge.
Nice post, Sarah.
Just to clarify, once these programs are struck down by a judge, are the religious organizations really given the right to overhaul the programs and keep them going? You suggest that that's what they should do, but I wonder if these rulings shut the programs down completely. It would be a real shame if those facilities at Newton went unused.
This is a very good post,
I agree that there is a fundamental flaw in assuming that someone who has accepted Jesus into their hearts has actually improved as a person. It seems to me that these programs are rewarding prisoners not for being prepared to re-enter society but rather for the ability to speak in tongues (the mark of a stable citizen!) But I guess the goal of American prisons isn’t to rehabilitate anyway.
Maybe the State should just fully fund secular rehabilitation programs and not leave it up to religious nut jobs. If religious groups want to go into prisons thats fine, as long as it open to all groups and no coercion is used.
Alex:(as he sets down to read a Bible in the libray)
It had not been edifying indeed. Not being in this hell hole and human zoo for two years now, being kicked and tolchoked by brutal warders and meeting leering criminals and perverts ready to dribble all over a lucious young malchick like your storyteller. It was my rabbit to help the prison Charlie with the Sunday service. He was a bolshy great bastard, but he was very fond of myself. Me being very young and now interested in the big book.
I read all about the scourging and the crowning with thorns and I could viddy myself helping in and even taking charge of the tolchoking and the nailing in. Being dressed in the height of Roman fashion.
I didn't so much like the latter part of the book which is like all preachy talking than fighting and the old in-out.
I like the parts where these old yahooties tolchok each other and then drink their Hebrew vino and getting on to the bed with their wife's handmaidens. That kept me going.
Kubriks 'Clockwork Orange'
If these religious groups were really concerned for the prison population, then after the court strikes them down, they would seek a source of funding to continue their operations. They would become a volunteer effort coupled with some sort of funded element if necessary. They didn't need a federal grant to start prison ministries. They just wanted to grab some money and entrap people into following their idea of the word of God. How very unchristian of them.
I can't imagine the court ruling in any other way than to strike down state funding of these types of programs.
Less clear: there are a number of Christian programs that are NOT funded by the state. They are funded by various Christian organizations and/or run by volunteers. No state funding involved. Prisoners are highly incentivized to participate. Not only do they get added privileges, sometimes they get reduced sentences. Pledge yourself to Jezuz = get out of jail sooner.
So, if the state isn't paying for it, if there is no cost to taxpayers, does that make it okay?
I would still argue that it violates the Constitution, even if the state doesn't pay for it. By offering better living conditions and reduced sentences, the state is, in effect, sponsoring religion, regardless of whether the program is funded by tax dollars or not.
Fine my boy. Absolutely fine.
You see ladies and gentlemen, our subject is impelled toward the good by paradoxically being impelled toward evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feeling of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude. Any questions?
Choice. The boy has no choice has he? Self interest. The fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self abasement. It's insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be wrongdoer. He ceases also of being a creature capable of moral choice.
Padre, these are subtleties. Were not concerned with motives. With the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime, and relieving the ghastly congestion in our prisons. He will be your true Christian, ready to turn the other cheek. Ready to be crucified, rather than crucify. Sick to the very heart of the thought of even killing a fly.
Reclamation. Joy before the angels of God. The point is that it works.
And the very next day, your friend and humble narrator was a free man
So, these organizations are basically teaching prisoners how to be better liars. Become a good enough liar to convince us that you've accepted Jesus and we'll give you better living conditions and recommendations for parole.
I agree, programs like these blemish the Republican party in an obnoxious way.
There isn't enough clearasil in the world to clear up the "blemishes" of the Republican party.
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