June 1, 2005

Crime and Religion

The U.S. Supreme Court's recently decided to uphold the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Essentially, this legislation protects prisoners' religious freedom by granting them special rights. One implication of this ruling is that it separates theists and atheists, giving the former expanded legal rights not enjoyed by the latter. Besides the possibility that this will pressure non-religious prisoners to become religious, it is simply wrong to grant special treatment because someone believes crazy, superstitious crap.

This got me thinking about a closely related issue - the manner in which parole boards use the religious conversion of an inmate as a positive factor in support of parole. I'm sorry, but someone who becomes a "born again Christian" should be viewed with contempt for the idiocy required by such a conversion. Such an individual is not only not more deserving of parole but possibly less deserving for this example of gullibility! Okay, maybe that is overly harsh. Let's just agree that one's religious beliefs or lack thereof are completely irrelevant to this sort of decision.

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