Back to Top

September 2011

Go to Jail or go to Church

Sep 23, 2011 - Tags:

If that title sounds like a joke, let me assure you that it's deadly serious. It's also outrageous and just plain wrong.

In Alabama, offenders found guilty of a non-violent offences are being given a choice to either go to jail and pay a fine or (wait for it) go to church every Sunday for an entire year. The theory, in theory, is that going to church will put you on the right path and turn you into a better person. Which is utter nonsence. Religion doesn't make you a better person and checking in with your local shaman once a week is hardly a proper form of rehabilitation. It's total nonsense.

Don't get me wrong. Far too many people are incarcerated for petty crimes as invariably happens when prison is a for-profit institution. But in sanity's battered name, let's put these minor criminals to work doing community service. Let's not have then sit through a service.

The full story, including the video, can be found on the CBS site here.


I'm a very hard-line, angry atheist. Yet I am fascinated by the concept of devotion.

Joss Whedon