Church or Jail: Area Pagans Speak Out

Yesterday I profiled a controversial new policy in Bay Minette, Alabama that would offer non-violent criminals a choice: jail time or attendance at a local (Christian) church for one year. Aside from the obvious constitutional issues this program poses is the fact that there are no options available for religious minorities. httpv://“Some critics say the program definitely crosses the line between church and state, with some minority religious groups shut out of participation because few mosques or synagogues exist in the area. And atheists would have no option, Rowland said, but to pick another alternative sentencing program.” Hoping to get a local … [Read more...]

Church or Jail: Would a Local Coven Count?

The announcement of a new program in Bay Minette, Alabama has garnered nationwide attention due to the questions it poses regarding the separation of church and state. Bay Minette's non-violent misdemeanor offenders will now get a choice: jail time or regular attendance at a local church. httpv://"Operation ROC resulted from meetings with church leaders," Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland said. "It was agreed by all the pastors that at the core of the crime problem was the erosion of family values and morals. We have children raising children and parents not instilling values in young people." Rowland said the idea was simple: get people who are not … [Read more...]