I just saw this today. Houston Judge John Clinton just started his job four months ago has found another option for convicted criminals to serve their time. He has offered criminals an option to do bible study than do community service.
He has order them to either do community service or read a bible study book. The book is called Heart of the Problem: How to Stop Coping and Find the Cure for Your Struggles by Kerry L. Skinner and Henry Brandt. Both authors are Christian counselor and Dr. Skinnner (I assume a Doctorate of Theology) is a associate pastor at a Baptist church. It’s basically a Christian self help book that uses the Christian god as a way to help people out with problems.
The problem I have with this is that he is violating the “Establishment” clause of our Constitution.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”
The Judge is basically endorsing the Christian religion too the criminals. “All I was trying to do was help,” he said. “I was told about the book. I received the book. I read the book. I thought, ‘Hey this is a great book.’ Again, me thinking based on my faith, not thinking in general.”
I am glad that the judge decided not to do this again and he admitted that he used his faith to cloud his judgement.
I have always believed that religion should have no part of government. Religion sometimes always clouds the minds of those who are in power. They believe they are doing the right thing, but in reality they are doing the wrong thing by forcing others to endorse their beliefs. Gays have been hurt by religious in government and women who want to keep their reproductive rights. Religious morality and dogma should never be used as a basis of law. It will cause suffering of others who don’t share the same views. I just hope this is a good lesson that changes things, but I believe this will not be the case. There will be others in the future who will do this, but there will others to remind them.
“Nothing could be more dangerous to the existence of this Republic than to introduce religion into politics” – Robert Green Ingersoll