elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
elf ([personal profile] elf) wrote in [community profile] debunkingxian2011-09-26 11:08 am

Church or jail?

The city of Bay Minette, Alabama has a new option for some misdemeanor convicts: attend church for a year to stay out of jail. This saves the department $75 per day per inmate, and they hope it will "change the lives of many people heading down the wrong path."

56 churches in the county are involved. (The city has ~8000 residents.) I couldn't find a list of the churches. Want to guess how many are Jewish, Islamic or Pagan? (Hint: the AU couldn't find any.)

Even the Christian Post notes that it's problematic, reporting that the policy advisor for AU says "the ROC program is offensive to nonreligious people as well as people of other faiths, since offenders are not given a choice that represents their beliefs." So, apparently, "church" means "Christian church."

AU is in contact with them, so I won't step on their toes trying to find out the list of churches. I'm sure that if it's a public-info document (it should be; participation in gov't funded programs is kind of a public thing), we'll soon get a list of the churches involved.
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)

[personal profile] herlander_refugee 2011-09-26 07:15 pm (UTC)(link)
What a crock of crap. I think I'd prefer to cost them $75 a day.
serpentrose: It's all fun and games until somebody rolls a one. (Default)

[personal profile] serpentrose 2011-09-26 07:57 pm (UTC)(link)
One of my twitter people (@rharron) pointed out something interesting: it's worth noting that that law says "you must attend church", not "you must attend church without your ipod and bag of cheesies"
serpentrose: It's all fun and games until somebody rolls a one. (Default)

[personal profile] serpentrose 2011-09-26 08:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Anyone who thinks anything is "Obvious and normal" isn't looking at the real world, what's "normal" for me and the people I associate with is far different than what is "normal" for certain other groups.

While I do like there being alternatives to jail for certain crimes, I do not believe obligatory church attendance is a good one for several reasons.

1: It must either allow any church, which would include some that encourage anti-social behavior. OR it infringes on religious freedoms, as it would require government approval of certain churches and not others. (And this isn't getting into the freedom to ditch the whole religion thing altogether.)

2a: It changes church from somewhere to go for spiritual fulfillment and community support to a punishment.

2b: Having people present who are there under duress undermines the sense of community. (This is one of the reasons I resent churches that use social pressure to enforce attendance.)

There are some other things that I'm not quite sure how to verbalize at the moment, one of which has to do with my viewing attending and pretending to believe as "Lying to god", which is unethical.
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)

The Best Rejoiner

[personal profile] herlander_refugee 2011-09-27 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I desperately needed someone to put this in perfect snarky perspective. And someone did!
Edited 2011-09-27 16:19 (UTC)