Alabama town: Church or jail

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by yg17, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    So this is what theocracy looks like:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/26/alabama-town-to-offenders-go-to-church-or-go-to-jail/


    Yes, that's the solution. Make everyone love Jesus and there will be no crimes, because no one has ever killed in the name of religion :rolleyes:
     
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #2
    The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
    Article VI of the U.S. Constitution:
    So much for the the right respecting the values of our founding fathers. :rolleyes:
     
  3. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    #3
    This is the first I've heard of this. That's terrible, on so many levels.
     
  4. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
  5. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    I don't know, the idea behind this isn't so bad, but the execution sucks. Any diversion program to keep people out of jails, teach them skills to make better decisions and stay away from drugs and crime is a good program. I have a problem with the execution requiring a limited set of Christian services, without alternatives for those who don't believe in that particular faith.

    Anyway, instead of eliminating this program through a Constitutional challenge, I'd like to see it expanded so that it is inclusive (and monitored better - this is a perfect opportunity for well-heeled clients to buy their way out of punishment).
     
  6. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    So if you expand it to all faiths, what about Atheists? There's no Atheist church. I don't want to go to any religious service, be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc.
     
  7. CorvusCamenarum, Sep 27, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

    CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #7
    Actually, I don't find it terrible at all, based on the following:

    1) It's a program for misdemeanors only. No felonies. Besides, I thought prisons and jails were overcrowded.
    2) It's 100% voluntary. You don't have to participate. If you do, you stay out of jail. If you don't, then you go serve your sentence as you would have anyway, and nothing is changed for you.
    3) The program lets you choose where you go. You're not assigned to church X.

    Granted, I'm not a diehard Christian or anything, very far from it actually, but it seems shortsighted to poo-poo something out of hand because it might involve Jesus.

    This is actually a fair point, but you have clearly never been to Bay Minette, AL. I could probably count the number of synagogues and mosques there on one hand and have most of my fingers left over. Also, for all we know, a synagogue or mosque was approached and declined to participate. the article is unclear on that, perhaps for the author's own reasons. Since this is a pilot program, I'd be fine with expanding it at some point, maybe reaching out to nearby Mobile, which has a larger and more religiously diverse population, so more options are available.
     
  8. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    Again - what about Atheists? Where do they go? Or are they forced into jail?
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    Atheists have the same choice: church or jail. They aren't being forced into jail. They are there because they were convicted of a crime. This is just about how they will serve their time.
     
  10. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #10
    Think about it. If you were an atheist and they found out you were one, they would send you to church without the option of going to jail.
     
  11. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    Simple, a program run by probation. It's simple to create a system that makes use of options available in the community that could cater to everyone, including athiests.

    On a side note, the program should not require church attendence, but participation in some church activity that is non-religious in nature, like volunteering or working at a food bank. The requirement to attend services is likely to be struck down.
     
  12. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    #12
    And they aren't forced to believe either. If you don't want to go to jail, go to church and space out, problem solved.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #13
    This is a bunch of garbage. Religion and government are NOT supposed to mix in this way. Time for a court challenge.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #14
    Right? As in "never"?
     
  15. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #15
    This is a ******* disgrace. Here we go again with religious nutjobs trying to spread their BS beliefs on people who have no interest in them, this is total black mail. "Don't love jesus? alrighty then jail for you!"
    Again, only in the south. This is completely unconstitutional. I mean, if they at least had options for non-christians, i would be somewhat ok with it. But clearly the whole point of this is to make people christian, even if they aren't.
     
  16. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #17

    VERY..

    That law certainly violates the separation of church and state under the constitution.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #18
    Jail sucks (my impression). I'd choose church and keep my wits about me. ;)
     
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #19
    That violates the 14th Amendment (equal protection), the First Amendment, and quite possibly the 8th Amendment if one or more of these churches decides to begin preaching to LGBT inmates that they are "wrong" (which of course could never happen in the Deep South).

    Anytime the law advances one religion over another (in this case 56 christian churches), it's subject to strict scrutiny, meaning it has to be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.

    Avoiding criminal recidivism is certainly an important goal, but it's hardly compelling since this program is restricted to misdemeanors. The law is also not narrowly tailored at all. It's a blanket approach; acknowledge Christianity or rot in concrete for 9-12 months.

    You have to really have a low opinion of others to think that you have the right to control what they believe.
     
  19. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #20
    My question is this: What level of enforcement is applied for church service attendance? Is there an officer of the court watching to make sure you show up? Then, what if you bring Mark Twain's Letters from Earth, or perhaps an iPad and headphones to watch Harry Potter movies? Do they watch you to make sure you are paying attention or just assume that Jesosmosis is an irresistible force?
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #21
    It does not change the fact that the theory and idea behind it is very sound and honestly a great idea.

    The excution of said idea sucks and is bad but the theory is very sound and I support the theory behind it but do not support how it is done.
     
  21. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia.
    #22
    Didn't Jesus sort of say "It wasn't you who came to me, but me who came to you." John 15:16

    I just concerned about introducing proven criminals to Christianity and then these miscreants using it as a vehicle for their lies, deceit, greed and manipulation. It's great for the more aggressive evangelic churches because that is exactly the type of person they need for leadership roles, but no so good for us mortals who have to endure these powerful psychos in public discourse.

    My apologies to anybody genuinely offended by this thread. I think the gospels have a wonderful message and I'd love to believe but I can't.
     
  22. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #23
    Everyone gets the choice, no one has to take it. But to be fair, it's a pilot program, and you can't expect it to be perfect right out of the gate.

    Lesson #1 in How to Avoid Jail - don't commit crimes.

    One year in jail is roughly 8,800 hours. Assuming church is 3 hours on a Sunday, that's 156 hours spread out over a year. I know which one I'd pick.

    Although the article is a bit unclear, I'd assume that if you don't like church #1, you can find another one on the list. Who knows, maybe visit a few different denominations and widen your perspective a bit. I know the outside view is to treat all Christian groups the same, but most of the fire.and.brimstone.we.hate.all.not.like.us seems to come from a few select groups (Southern Baptists are notorious for this). And it actually says a lot of the 50+ churches that did sign on to this program that are willing to reach out into the community and try to help some people rather than just writing them off.
     
  23. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #24
    How can one keep their wits if they go to church?
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #25
    But we should expect it to be legal.
     

Share This Page