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Judge Sentences Teen Offender to Church


GeoBQn

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A 17-year-old Oklahoma boy pled guilty to manslaughter after killing his friend in a drunk driving crash. The judge sentenced him to weekly attendance of "a church of his choosing," along with other requirements and a deferred jail sentence. This is not the first time the judge has sentenced someone to attend church.

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/ok ... ories.html

Two questions:

1. While the judge said it could be a church of the young man's choosing, would he ever accept a non-Christian house of worship?

2. Does he really think that a kid will be more likely to accept Jesus if he makes church a punishment?

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Some Christians(Not all) believe that accepting Jesus will mean that the Holy Spirit will guide the individual to do good. There are also people who believe that religion, of any type, will lead a person to be a better person. The judge might also think that a church will give the young man structure and place him in the company of more mature people. I'm not saying that I agree with the judge but those might be some of the reasons that he thought church would help the young man.

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Considering the boy could have gotten ten years in prison, I'm sure he is happy to be free to attend church.

That has zero to do with a criminal court using religion as part of a sentence requirement. I get livid when DDs are sentenced to AA, rather than secular programs.

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A 17-year-old Oklahoma boy pled guilty to manslaughter after killing his friend in a drunk driving crash. The judge sentenced him to weekly attendance of "a church of his choosing," along with other requirements and a deferred jail sentence. This is not the first time the judge has sentenced someone to attend church.

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/ok ... ories.html

Two questions:

1. While the judge said it could be a church of the young man's choosing, would he ever accept a non-Christian house of worship?

2. Does he really think that a kid will be more likely to accept Jesus if he makes church a punishment?

Point 1 is probably unconstitutional on its face if there is no alternative outside of "church." I am flat-out against mandatory attendance at any house of worship as part of a judicial sentence.

On Point 2, the judge is an idiot. *rolls eyes*

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Separation of church and state does apply to a court of law, right? Then again, they do make you swear in on a Bible :roll:

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"At that moment, it sure became a reality to me that I would sentence this boy to church" to help set him on the right path, Norman, a member of First Baptist Church in Muskogee, said. "There's nothing I can do to make this up to the family.

"I told my preacher I thought I led more people to Jesus than he had but, then again, more of my people have amnesia. They soon forget once they get out of jail."

I'm taking Con Law II right now for law school. I am going to forward this to my professor and see what he thinks. My personal opinion is that it's a load of a crap.

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I would pick a Unitarian Universalist church. I'm pretty sure they'd put me in touch with the ACLU over bullshit like this.

I appreciate the judge giving the kid a break but come on- is forcing religion (even one this kid gets to "choose") legal by an elected official in the US?!

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That has zero to do with a criminal court using religion as part of a sentence requirement. I get livid when DDs are sentenced to AA, rather than secular programs.

It's obvious this teen is going to need a lot of support emotionally and spiritually. I think the judge understands all the guilt he is going to have to deal with for being responsible for someone else's death and having faith in something outside of himself could help him. I volunteer as part of a faith-based recovery program, and probation and parole officers do use our program as part of the terms of release from prison. Most addicts also attend church as well. I'm afraid you would be very livid if you lived near me.

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No....just no. Religion has no place in the criminal justice system unless a prisoner wants to seeks it out. It should not be imposed on anyone.

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This is not the first time the judge has sentenced someone to attend church.

It's kind of refreshing to see someone admit attending church is a punishment. :lol:

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Separation of church and state does apply to a court of law, right? Then again, they do make you swear in on a Bible :roll:

Actually you can choose any holy or secular book to be sworn in under... at least in any court case I have witnessed/been a part of (and sadly that's more than I care to remember.. wow). the Partner swore in under a Darwin book the last time we went to court. Here you just have to let the court officials know before the court date and they'll try their best to accommodate you. I typically swear in under just a book.. it doesn't have any pages I don't think... it just straight up looks like a generic book you'd pull from the bookshelves. I'd be interested if other courts do this as well... I can't think KY would be THAT progressive when other places aren't.

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Actually you can choose any holy or secular book to be sworn in under... at least in any court case I have witnessed/been a part of (and sadly that's more than I care to remember.. wow). the Partner swore in under a Darwin book the last time we went to court. Here you just have to let the court officials know before the court date and they'll try their best to accommodate you. I typically swear in under just a book.. it doesn't have any pages I don't think... it just straight up looks like a generic book you'd pull from the bookshelves. I'd be interested if other courts do this as well... I can't think KY would be THAT progressive when other places aren't.

You can definitely skip the Bible as part of a swearing in here in Jersey as well. Got to throw my own agreement with everyone else who says that a judge has absolutely no business sentencing anyone to.........religion.

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Guest Anonymous

It's obvious this teen is going to need a lot of support emotionally and spiritually. I think the judge understands all the guilt he is going to have to deal with for being responsible for someone else's death and having faith in something outside of himself could help him. I volunteer as part of a faith-based recovery program, and probation and parole officers do use our program as part of the terms of release from prison. Most addicts also attend church as well. I'm afraid you would be very livid if you lived near me.

I would like to register my involuntary shudder of disgust.

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I would like to register my involuntary shudder of disgust.

What are you disgusted with? Some people do well and don't relapse; others need more time and quit attending the recovery program as soon as they are off paper.

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It's obvious this teen is going to need a lot of support emotionally and spiritually. I think the judge understands all the guilt he is going to have to deal with for being responsible for someone else's death and having faith in something outside of himself could help him. I volunteer as part of a faith-based recovery program, and probation and parole officers do use our program as part of the terms of release from prison. Most addicts also attend church as well. I'm afraid you would be very livid if you lived near me.

Counseling and support groups would also help him with guilt, without endorsing religion. According to the article, that was part of the sentence as well, so adding the church requirement has no purpose other than trying to coerce him into joining a church.

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Guest Anonymous

1) Foisting religion onto vulnerable people ("You're starving? Here's some bread... also, JESUSJESUSJESUSJESUS!")

2) Dicking the separation of church and state

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Counseling and support groups would also help him with guilt, without endorsing religion. According to the article, that was part of the sentence as well, so adding the church requirement has no purpose other than trying to coerce him into joining a church.

We financially sponsor our people with professional counseling. Not counseling with a pastor. We provide support,

encouragement, and an action plan to maintain sobriety.

ETA There is a secular run program in our city as well. Our people make a choice to attend a faith based program.

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I volunteer as part of a faith-based recovery program, and probation and parole officers do use our program as part of the terms of release from prison.

Our people make a choice to attend a faith based program.

So which is it?

Do probation and parole officers require your faith-based program or do the people choose it themselves?

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The legal system requires them to chose between the two different kinds of programs. I know one person who is participating in the other program who seems to be doing better there than with us. This person had to get the ok to change from the probation officer. For me, it is rewarding to see people do well, stay sober and led a good life.

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The legal system requires them to chose between the two different kinds of programs.

Then how is that the same, at all, as a judge who is requiring a faith-based program?

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Since you are rabidly anti-gay, CC3, does your organization teach that being gay is a sin?

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Since you are rabidly anti-gay, CC3, does your organization teach that being gay is a sin?

Wow, CC3 is rabidly anti gay? I must have missed/forgotten about that. That's even worse. But forcing someone into a religion as a punishment is just wrong, and my first thought was how is that legal? And the idea that people need spiritual help, which CC3 claimed, is just ridiculous. What if that teens an atheist? Attending church does not make you a good person, and not attending church does not make you a bad person. I'm of the thought that attending church as part of a sentence isn't going to change your behaviour at all. Finding Jesus or whatever doesn't change someone's behaviour. People may believe it does, but I've come across enough horrible people who are devoutly religious to realize that's not true. I really hope this isn't legal and the judge is never allowed to do it again. I do find the idea that people being forced to attend church as a punishment producing sincere converts to be laughable.

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