Church or jail? 8

Decisions, decisions!

Even felons have to make them.

This is from Fox News:

Authorities say non-violent offenders in Bay Minette, Alabama, now have a new choice: Go to jail, or go to church every Sunday for a year. …

The city judge will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

If offenders select church, they will be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and the police department.

If the one-year church attendance program is completed successfully, the offender’s case will be dismissed. … So far, 56 churches are participating.

If church is not the lesser of the two punishments, at least it takes less time.


(Thanks to George for the link.)



Posted under Christianity, Law, News by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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This post has 8 comments.

  • Liz

    This is so unconstitutional!  And if it does pass, I see a whole new crop of “born again” hypocrites coming.

    • George

      Oh yeah , make no mistake Liz , ——-all the inmates in every jail will all of a sudden be born again saints who have accepted Jesus and every jail cell will have Bibles galore and a chapel on every jail floor along with a chaplain or clergy man available 24/7 .  Of course the Bible-thumpers will be salivating and dancing in the streets and holy-roller parades to boot. Instead of house-arrest  , it will be church-arrest.   Instead of reporting in to your parole officer, a person will report in to his/her clergyman for a “sign-off”  signature of preacher approval.     Talk about opening a  “can of worms”    or  “Pandora’s box” or sliding down a “slippery slope”.  Unreal !

  • George

    I like the late Flip Wilson’s denomination — [  The Church Of What’s Happening  Now  ].   Maybe people in the church pews of Jerimiah Wright  ( Obama’s boy ) or those in the pews of The Church of The  Avenger can  IMO cater to  ( the racist citizenry )  lawbreakers  ( just to be all inclusive ) .   [ Of course I’m joking ].    Amazing , you break  into an appliance store and steal a big flat-screen TV and when you’re arrested and tried and found guilty ( it wasn’t of violence , so you get a choice )–either spend a year in the penn , or put up with some preacher sprinkling water on your forehead and ranting about some invisible imaginary Daddy In The Sky  for 1 or 2 hours each Sunday for a year.       Geeeee , they should give people a third choice and force men to go  attend a strip club every Sunday or force women to watch Chip-N-Dale dancers each Sunday which would force  people into that awful life of psychological torture.      Now that’s a punishment !

  • Harold

    Is the church attendance intended to be punishment or reformative? 

    Several points – is there a definition of “church”?  Can I start one (possibly the Spaghetti Monster Worshippers) and then apply to the court to be included in the places of worship?  Do the Scientologists count?

    It also seems wrong that the case will be dismissed if church attendence is completed – does this mean there is no criminal record?  If you choose prison, then the case will not be dismissed.

    • George

      To show my honesty Harold I am in agreement on that one.  Personally I don’t think there should be any intermingling  whatsoever regarding any church and jail time sentencing. I would also be upset if an atheist judge  made it mandatory for  secular inmate to attend a secular society meeting every month for a year.   Either simply “keep your nose clean , or do a work release program ”  or even community service.  They said if the inmate completed the church attendance , the record will be expunged but no mention that if they simply did the jail time that the same record /offense would be expunged as well.   I believe in being fair across the board.  Religion , politics and personal agendas ( even any secular “personal political” agenda  if such ) and biases should stay out of the matter altogether . Gee  , I actually agreed with Harold on this point of view———  that’s scary ( ha ha ) ! 

  • Frank

    No mosques or synagogues are participating in the program because they do not exist in the area. The ACLU has already called the program “blatantly unconstitutional.” Hi-ho, hi-ho it’s off to court we go.

  • George

    As an atheist I would choose to go to a  local Unitarian Universalist church which accepts atheists and then let the UU pastor sign off the OK of my attendance and while I’m at it , also attend the secular meetings there as well. 

  • George

    I’m wondering if this means that if you’re a Christian , you get to choose to go to church. If you’re a Muslim , you get to choose to go to a mosque. If you’re a Jew you get to choose to go to a synagogue. If you’re a Buddhist , you get to choose to go to a temple.    And finally , if you’re an Atheist , you get to choose to go to a secular freethought meeting .  Hmmmm.   This should be considered illegal IMO , because we have the state government via a court judge ordering people to choose from being incarcerated or being indoctrinated with a  religious dogma ( and particularly in this case a specific one at that ).  Am I the only one to see something  wrong with this picture ?