muslims next right?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by manu1959, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    Iowa Prison Ordered to Close Bible Program
    By JAMES BELTRAN, Associated Press Writer
    4 hours ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa - A judge has ruled that a Bible-based prison program violates the First Amendment's freedom of religion clause by using state funds to promote Christianity to inmates.

    Prison Fellowship Ministries, which was sued in 2003 by an advocacy group, was ordered Friday to cease its program at the Newton Correctional Facility and repay the state $1.53 million.

    "This calls into question the funding for so many programs," said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed the suit. "Anyone who doesn't stop it is putting a giant 'sue me' sign on top of their building."

    Lynn's group accused Prison Fellowship Ministries of giving preferential treatment to inmates participating in the program. They were given special visitation rights, movie-watching privileges, access to computers and access to classes needed for early parole.

    U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt called the perks "seemingly minor benefits" that constituted unfair treatment to those not in the religious program. Despite any claims of rehabilitating inmates, the program "impermissibly endorses religion," Pratt wrote.

    The InnerChange Freedom Initiative was implemented in Newton in 1999. State prison officials have said they hired the religious group to improve inmate behavior and reduce recidivism _ not promote Christianity.

    Ministry president Mark Earley said in a statement Friday that the group plans to appeal the ruling and believes its program is constitutional.

    "This decision, if allowed to stand, will enshrine religious discrimination," Earley said. "It has attacked the right of people of faith to operate on a level playing field in the public arena and to provide services to those who volunteered to receive them."

    The judge gave the group's workers 60 days to leave the prison, though he put a stay on his order, meaning the decision won't officially be implemented until the appeals process is complete.
    http://www.comcast.net/news/nationa...TIC&fn=/2006/06/03/405862.html&cvqh=itn_bible
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    We gotta protect those crooks from the evils of religion !!:rotflmao:
     
  3. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Stupid ass liberals.
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    That program has the lowest recidivism rate of ANY rehabilitation program in the nation, is completely voluntary, and uses only privately donated funds in its religious aspect. All public funds go to normal prison expenses like meals, clothes, and equipment. People keep talking about the rising prison population, but when a program comes along that acutally works, the damn ACLU bats it down via judicial fiat.

    Of course, it might have to do with the fact that Chuck Coleson, the head of CFM, is *gasp* a Christian AND a former member of the Nixon administration who started this prison ministry after finding Jesus during his own stay in prison.
     
  5. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    You beat me to it, Hobbit! :)

    I give to this ministry. They also do wonderful work with the prisoners' kids (a Christmas gift program and a summer camp program), which have been successful at healing relationships between prisoners and their kids and helping kids deal with a parents' incarceration.

    This lawsuit is a crock. They have been fighting it for years. I hope they keep appealing.
     

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