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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Faith-based drug rehab sparks frivolous law suit

Here we go again, another monumental waste of taxpayers money to further the God-less agenda.

The N.Y. based Council for Secular Humanism (CSH), and 2 of its Florida members, has decided to sue the State of Florida. Why? They don't seem to like the fact that the Leon County Department of Corrections is providing financial support to 2 faith-based drug rehab and housing programmes: the non-profit 'Prisoners of Christ' and the 'Lamb of God Ministries'. You know, the whole separation of church and state babble, though, don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in separation.

The Florida Department of Corrections has contracts with over 20 faith-based substance abuse and transitional housing programmes (FBTH), but I've no idea why the above 2 were singled out. The success rates for all these programmes varies, but any success is better than no success.

CSH has cited Florida State's mandate prohibiting the spending of 'State' monies that "directly or indirectly... aid..any church, sect or religious denomination or .. aid.. any sectarian institution."

I could understand taking offense if people were forced to participate in faith-based programmes against their wills, but, all programmes are strictly voluntary. The contract with Lamb of God Ministries stipulates that "all enrolled program participants shall be required to participate in program activities and abide by program rules," which seems only fair. According to FDOC spokesman, Robby Cunningham, these programmes were created for the "sole purpose of furthering the secular goals of criminal rehabilitation, the successful reintegration of offenders into the community, and the reduction of recidivism." And these groups are specifically not permitted to convert participants to any particular faith, nor are they allowed to prohibit an inmate from entering the programme based on their beliefs. Which also seems fair. A person should not be forced to convert to any religion in order to avail him/herself of social services.

Most successful drug and alcohol rehab treatment programmes, in addition to medical, emotional and psychological help, utilize some form of moral and spiritual counseling to help overcome addictive behaviour. Even Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 Step Programme is God-centered. And if religious organizations have the resources and inclination to help a population that no-one wants to or can deal with, then why shouldn't they get some funding from the Department of Corrections to help offset their costs? I assure you they are not wholly State funded.

The irony of it all, is that in their attempt to stop taxpayers from funding programmes that can and have helped inmates get their lives back on track, they're wasting taxpayers money by forcing the state to defend itself. I'd rather have my taxes pay for programmes that might potentially help someone leave behind a life of crime, regardless of religious affiliation, than pay for the defense of another frivolous lawsuit.

17 comments:

Pat Jenkins said...

good post!! obviously the focus of all should be the health and welfare of whom is being treated, and govt. i would assume might welcome all who can provide that most effectively, this seems not to be the case.

T said...

Will we help fund a Muslim-based treatment program, -even one that vows to help those addicts with Christian beliefs? (I would doubt they would help Christians, but it would be a good excuse to help make them legitimate.)

Litigate, segregate, associate?

Tough one...

Panhandle Poet said...

Tough issue. I do agree about wasting tax dollars on frivolity. Let's fire Congress.

MUD said...

If my narrow views are accurate there is no absolute law against religion being a part of Government. The Freedom is "Freedom of Religion". That means that you are free to paint yourself pink, white or striped and call yourself god almighty if that's what trips your trigger. Keep religion to you and your followers and you are free to think or say what you want. (OK, OK, you can't shout fire in a crowded theater) The Non-Profit arm of a religion should be able to provide services through Government contracts wherever and when ever they want. I am not a member of any religion and feel free to not be. I sure as heck don't fear people with religion teaching or providing Government programs. MUD

WomanHonorThyself said...

great find girl!..nooooooo way would they open their mouths if it were Musssssssssslim oriented though..sigh...........

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Good point Mud, Imprimis has an excellent piece on the issue of Freedom of as opposed to Freedom from Religion here

“Origins and Dangers of the ‘Wall of Separation’ Between Church and State”

Link: http://www.hillsdale.edu/imprimis/2006/10/

Incognito said...

Thank you all for your, as always, wonderful input.. am too tired from first rehearsal...we spent more time arguing politics and the danger of Islam... and so, outed myself today.. they were actually pretty cool... the director asked, after I defended Global Warming skeptics, talked about Carter's ineptitude and hypocrisy. It was after I started talking about the threat of Islam that the director asked if I was Republican.

I also had to defend why I thought certain things in the script needed change.. so my brain is fried.
Love y'all!

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Oh my, that is a trying day, take a long hot bath, have a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate cake. Works every time.

Old Dead Presidents said...

Big day for you! Congrats I'm sure that things at work will be different now. But, I'm also sure that it will be fine!

danny wright said...

I know that yours is a totally different world than mine, but is it odd in those circles to mention that there is a threat from Islam?

About the post: Better that people die from drugs, and break into your house and steal your stereo for more drugs than to have their minds corrupted with all that religion stuff.

Incognito said...

Good idea BCF! Though I didn't get a chance to do any of them. :-)

ODP: Actually they were fine about the politics... and most wound up agreeing with me on most of the various issues. My main concern was the challenges with the playwright and the script changes I wanted. Thank God the director agreed with me. We'll see what they come up with for Thurs.

Hi DANNY: Well, it's odd that we were wasting time discussing politics and religion, considering we don't have that much time to rehearse a new play... but actors love to dabble and bash, even if they have no clue. Unless you were referring to the fact that they might not think Islam is a threat.. and no it's not odd, because actors have a tendency to live in a fantasy world with their heads in the sand. Not sure if I answered your question or not.

And I think some people might prefer that to having them subjected to religion. Sad as that is.

Progressive said...

Why can't they fund a group that helps everyone? Using tax dollars to help a select few is the essence of seperation of church and state. Do faith group's help people? Of course. They should not though be funded using the tax dollars of everyone. There are countless cases of prisoners being turned away for help because they did not proclaim the same faith...this is what the founding fathers did not want.

Incognito said...

I'm sure they do Progressive. But according to the Fl Dept of Corrections these people have to accept anyone that is sent their way, though it is voluntary on the part of the inmate. They have to adhere certain rules and regulations but they are NOT allowed to convert these people. If it is found that they are forcing people, then the funding should be removed, but it is usually the religious non-profits that are willing to deal with those kinds of people. I guarantee you Hazelden and the other 'upscale' Drug Treament programmes are not going to take on inmates pro-bono.

And I agree, if they are turned away then no funding for them. But in the meantime, why not.

danny wright said...

thanks, you did answer my question, sorry it wasn't clear.

Incognito said...

Good, Danny. Just wasn't sure.

Strawberry said...

Great post! I agree that the lawsuit is a waste of taxpayers dollars. Allowing a portion to fund the programs that obviously help in the rehabilitation would not be. The Constitution never uses the words "Separation of church and state". What it does say is that the government may not implement a state religion, i.e. the Church of England. Why not allow God-based programs to help those when our prisons are over-crowded and the programs they have in place are obviously not making a difference in the lives of those incarcerated?!

Just a thought.

Incognito said...

Thanks Strawb. I absolutely agree. But many do not, unfortunately. I'm not sure why they think it's so problematic, as you say it's not as if the government is dictating to US citizens what religion they must follow.