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.