I understand that I just find it an odd punishment and this wasn't the only reason.
I don't agree with a judge imposing this as a hard and fast ruling. I am okay with saying some sort of community involvement and allowing church and church based activities (volunteering etc.) but not saying...here go to services. Weird.
And you think that church should be punishment?
Is AA punishment? Going to therapy?
Well if the person is unwilling to go I suppose so and I'm okay with that. AA and therapy aren't supposed to be a special time which I feel for me personally is a relationship with Jesus and God. When I attended church, I went because I wanted to and enjoyed my time. I want all of those that are worshipping to feel the same.
I guess that there is a part of me that still holds going to church to be sacred and something one wants to do to feel closer to their spiritual community and to the higher power they believe in. It's a special and wonderful relationship when you want to be there. I just find it odd to be okay with sending someone there in a negative fashion.
I love to read books about the Old West. It was a fascinating ara to me. I think this was a very normal common place judgement in that time. If a person would go to church, or get married they could be pardoned. I think it was a way of becoming part of the community. I know then is not now, but I do not think it hurt then and I do not think it hurts now as long as they are given a choice between that and something else that is comparable if they are uncomfortable with church.
Why would atheists have a church? Why would we have an organization based around something that we *don't* believe in? That would be like people having special clubs that they attend regularly based on not believing in aliens or unicorns or Big Foot or whatever it is that you don't happen to believe in.
Lillie, I'm sorry you find atheism so offensive, but I don't see how any of that justifies violating this kid's constitutional rights, or anyone else's.
If these are atheist activities, why are they set up by a chaplain? I can't imagine any atheist would hear that and not think that it is an attempt to convert them. I'm not saying it's not a nice gesture, but I wouldn't think it was truly a fun night with no religious leanings. That's the chaplain's job! lol To teach and bring god to people.
It seems to me you only hear from atheists that are the loudest and harshest. This is like only paying attention to the christians that shoot abortion clinic workers or the crazies you hear on the news that are doing something evil in god's name.
No one ever make should assumptions that *ALL* christians are evil and want to bomb abortion clinics and shoot gay and muslim people, or make assumptions that *ALL* atheists are one way or another.
The only thing that can be said about *ALL* atheists is that we believe in no god or higher being. Just like the only thing that can be said about *ALL* christians is that they believe in Christ being the son of god.
I don't find atheism offensive; we have 6 people in my office and 3 are atheist. One is polite about religion, the other two are assholes about it. I just don't think you should be allowed to complain about not being included in something if you don't put forth the effort to make yourself included. I would think if Atheists are going to whine about not having a "church" to be sentenced to, they'd understand why a group would be beneficial.
Susan, the military chaplains job does not include converting people to their faith. They can't do that because there are entirely too many faiths and since we can't have a chaplain for each one, they are not like normal preachers. If they say there is no religion involved, there isn't. We went to a marriage retreat completely organized (including fundraising so the cost to us was minimal) by the Chaplain and God/prayer wasn't mentioned once in the entire weekend. So when I think about the people who insisted we needed the Atheist group and then didn't even take the time to go after they put all the work/effort into organizing the crap, I do think they should be ashamed of themselves. I know I'm not explaining this clearly, but again, our chaplains don't just cater to the people that practice their religion.
Alissa, just for the purpose of being around people that *don't* believe the same as you? For the reason that people go to religious churches? To have a sense of community and be able to discuss things that you tend to have the same views on. If you lived in an area where the vast majority of people believed in unicorns, the non-believers would probably tend to feel isolated if they didn't have other people to discuss this with or spend time with and that would lead to the lashing out at the unicorn believers because they don't feel like they belong. However, if the unicorn non-believers knew they weren't alone and could enjoy the same comradery that the unicorn believers had, then maybe they unicorn non-believers would be less likely to belittle the unicorn believers as long as the unicorn believers didn't tell them the unicorns were going to send them to hell.
His constitutional rights weren't violated. Dude was already attending the Unicorn meetings.
eta- the one who is nice about it was complaining that we didn't have an Atheist group; when I told him when it was, he stopped talking about it.
Last edited by wlillie; 11-20-2012 at 12:36 PM.
I don't think anyone was saying that it wasn't fair because atheists don't have a church to be sentenced to. At least, that wasn't what I was saying.
It's funny how we went down the atheist rabbit hole. My main point isn't even really about atheists, although I guess they illustrate the best how the government really isn't in a good position to legislate when and how often and even whether people go to church/practice their religion or practice their lack there of. As far as I know, no atheist has even been sentenced to church, so that's all hypothetical. I actually believe that the judge violated the rights of this kid, the Christian teen who actually got sentenced to church. The teen may not mind because he was planning on going to church anyway, but that doesn't mean that it's not a violation of the Constitution. You can have your legal rights violated and not mind. I don't think that the government has a right to tell anyone how they have to practice their religion.
Again, I'm not dissing church or saying that it definitely won't help this kid. It may well help him, and so good for him if he chooses to take advantage of a church community. I just don't think it's the government's business to sentence (as in, it will be a violation of his probation if he doesn't go!) anyone to any religious institution.