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Alabama Judge Gives Criminals Choice: Go to Jail or Go to Church

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posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:51 PM
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A small-town judge in Alabama is giving non-violent offenders a choice at sentencing: go to jail or go to church. Under a program dubbed "Operation Restore Our Community," the city judge in Bay Minette lets misdemeanor offenders serve time and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year, according to WKRG.com. If offenders choose church, they can pick the place of worship as long as they check in weekly with the pastor and police. After a year of Sundays in the pew, the offender's case will be dismissed.


I've got real mixed feelings on this. I don't think that the State should be making or encouraging people to go to church. Granted, you get to pick the church and it saves a TON of money but something about this just feels wrong. What about the Atheist or Agnostic or...? I suppose I could support this measure if community service or something along those lines were also implemented. There's no sense in locking someone up if they don't pose a danger in my opinion. We waste far too much money incarcerating people that really don't need to be in jail.

What do you guys think? Fair enough or should there be some changes?

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posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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Look at the first 3 of the 12 steps of AA.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become
unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to
sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
understood Him.

This is how countless people who OBVIOUSLY NEED A CRUTCH for the rest of their lives attempt to gain a crutch. Think abou thtis. We b**** and moan that only the mentally weak need a God construct. Guess what it takes to be a repeat offender? So, even at the most snarky and derogatory base mean way of looking at this, it still remains a great thing....as long as it is an active program, much further than plunking your butt in a pew.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


I'm having a hard time understanding what you're saying. I haven't eaten yet so I'll get on that. Would you mind rephrasing so I get it?



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


For nonviolent offenders, especially drug cases, I'm all for church and a treatment/support program. What can it hurt? From what I've seen with various family members, friends, etc. I don't believe jail time rehabilitates drug offenders. I mean honestly, they can get drugs in prison and it's a training ground to learn new methods and ways in breaking the law. This made me think about the movie Fried Green Tomatoes when Iggie says, "I don't know what's worse, Church or Jail.

edit on 23-9-2011 by queenofsheba because: spelling



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


Same here. I have problem with the how the first amendment could be interpreted here:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Congress is understood as all bodies of law, including the judge made case law (Yes, it's true).

Ok, let's look at the establishment clause: "no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
Respecting an establishment of religion...
Those words are key in this situation. As the judge is giving the option for the criminals a choice to go to Church as a form of compensation to the state, we see that a "respect for an establishment of religion" has occurred in not so vague terms or conditions. It's quite clear that this is a breaching of the establishment clause, and by a court no less.

However, even though this is the case, we must remember that it is an option...a lenient option. The judge could have chosen not to provide offenders with this choice and could have easily slapped on the jail time. If one were to argue this case into the ground, they would take away an option that isn't jail from offenders.

I'm not one to place my faith in religion, but I'm not a strict enforcer of the constitution as a dead document. I study this document by profession, and I don't find this to be a problem. I'm not one of those anal people. I say, let be. I feel weird about it, but it's not a big deal. It would be another thing if the church sentence was forced upon the individual, but in this case it is not.

So, my final words are: Let it be. It's not a big deal.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1

A small-town judge in Alabama is giving non-violent offenders a choice at sentencing: go to jail or go to church. Under a program dubbed "Operation Restore Our Community," the city judge in Bay Minette lets misdemeanor offenders serve time and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year, according to WKRG.com. If offenders choose church, they can pick the place of worship as long as they check in weekly with the pastor and police. After a year of Sundays in the pew, the offender's case will be dismissed.


I've got real mixed feelings on this. I don't think that the State should be making or encouraging people to go to church. Granted, you get to pick the church and it saves a TON of money but something about this just feels wrong. What about the Atheist or Agnostic or...? I suppose I could support this measure if community service or something along those lines were also implemented. There's no sense in locking someone up if they don't pose a danger in my opinion. We waste far too much money incarcerating people that really don't need to be in jail.

What do you guys think? Fair enough or should there be some changes?

Link


Jesus Christ is exactly what these men need. He alone can free them of their desires to commit crimes and make them better people in the process while he saves their souls all at the same time. Theres too much godlessness in the world and thats the problem.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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I see it as him giving them a choice of one torture or another. Besides, he could always choose a Unitarian Universalist church, which is pretty secular from my understanding.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


i pick jail
because if i have to go to church, ill end up getting charged with a violent offence lol



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


This is a separation of church and state totally being violated.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by TheOneElectric
 


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think as long as we're giving more options that this is no big deal. If these people were being forced into church, that I would have a real problem.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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Thanks for posting this. It's the funniest thing I have read all day.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


Basically, looking at the situation and still getting a positive. What is one of the base reason those who despise or look down on Christianity and other religions for being? An unnecessary crutch that makes people into backwards hicks. Keep this thought in mind, and then reread what I said.
May fault for not attempting to reread and see what thoughts I managed to skip.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1
I've got real mixed feelings on this.

I understand your mixed feelings on this...especially on the constitutional angle. But the other side is that it would likely re-engage the offender with the right side of the tracks and (re-?)introduce them to a new community. Church is more than worship, it also a moral compass and a civic organisation.

Up here, First Nations offenders can, in many cases, opt to be 'tried' in the community. Similar thing.

All in all, not the best answer for every case, but I'll give the judge credit for trying to get offenders out of an unfortunate cycle.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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why does it have to be christianity
seems like this judge is pushing his personal beliefs over the general idea
shouldnt they have the choice of commiting to any religion? as they all have the same positive aspects
and what about counselling or something like aa?
you could easily get the same benefits from joining a church in any community of people



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:30 PM
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oh come on

jail or church?

who wouldnt pick church your not going to be locked up and you dont have to listen stick your fingers your ears

locked up with people worse than they are?

still tho over reach of power cant argue that it is



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


What constitutes as the right side of the tracks?

It's all subjective my friend, because objective truth...that's something you can't live by. If one did, one would cease to walk amongst men.
edit on 23-9-2011 by TheOneElectric because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:32 PM
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This is Alabama we're talking about, here. The choices are Baptist, Church of Christ, or ICP .
Seriously, the majority of the counties are dry counties because the overwhelming majority of folks in Alabama are Christians. Most wouldn't know that another faith exists.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1
I've got real mixed feelings on this. I don't think that the State should be making or encouraging people to go to church.


Ya think?

I'd rather go back to join the military and stay out of jail. Depending on the type of crime - of course.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by CynicalDrivel
This is Alabama we're talking about, here. The choices are Baptist, Church of Christ, or ICP .
Seriously, the majority of the counties are dry counties because the overwhelming majority of folks in Alabama are Christians. Most wouldn't know that another faith exists.

insane clown posse?
haha



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by CynicalDrivel

This is how countless people who OBVIOUSLY NEED A CRUTCH for the rest of their lives attempt to gain a crutch. Think abou thtis. We b**** and moan that only the mentally weak need a God construct. Guess what it takes to be a repeat offender? So, even at the most snarky and derogatory base mean way of looking at this, it still remains a great thing....as long as it is an active program, much further than plunking your butt in a pew.


My brother was in AA.

They did not use the word God. They did use Higher Power - - - which was explained could be anything that had meaning to you.

My brother who is on a ski patrol used the mountains as his highest power. God is not required.



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