The fact that they will ban a Christian program to rehab hardened criminals, that results in a tiny recidivism rate because it violates the mythical “Church-state separation” clause in the Constitution, means we don’t deserve to survive as a Republic.
At the same time, the ACLU and these nitwits on the court PROMOTE and PROTECT militant Islam being practiced in our prisons and We the Taxpayers PAY FOR Korans and Prayer Rugs for Muslims in our prisons.
Remember the goals of Atheistic Communists that were entered into the Congressional record by Albert Herlong in 1963?, #27 stated: “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
I’d say they can check off that action point as “mission accomplished”.
Of course today – the perversion is that Atheists wrap themselves up in the mantles of Freedom and Constitutional Liberty while walking around like Secular Pharisees banning and running religion out of the nation – demonstrating the kind of tyranny they say the religious are engaging in.
Despite the fact that this ruling does specifically ban private donations to operate prison ministries – look for the next shoe to drop: the precedent this case sets to demand that Christianity be banned from prison ministries altogether.
I imagine the briefs to be filed are already being typed.
DES MOINES, Iowa – A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the state of Iowa cannot fund an evangelical Christian prison ministry program because doing so advances or endorses religion, violating the Constitutional separation of church and state.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt’s June 2006 ruling that a Prison Fellowship Ministries Inc. program at the Newton Correctional Facility was unconstitutional if paid for with taxpayer dollars and should be shut down.
Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based advocacy group Americans United For Separation of Church and State, which brought the lawsuit, said the ruling would have major implications for the Bush administration’s policies of allowing faith-based groups to offer services to government institutions.
“This is an enormously significant case on the whole question of how government can, or in this case, cannot aid religious ministries,” Lynn said.
“I think this has implications far broader than a prison in a single state because the basic framework of this decision, the way they reached the conclusion is that government can’t pay for these religious social services nor can they turn over functions of government essentially to religious operations,” he said.
Prison Fellowship Ministries, which contracts with InnerChange Freedom Initiatives Inc. and other organizations to conduct faith-based programs, must repay about $160,000 to the state for money received between June 2006 and June 2007, said Mark Early, the group’s president.
He said the ruling would clarify how faith-based programs could work with government agencies.
“We’re pleased because in this opinion there are some clarifying guidelines to help us and other faith-based organizations working in government settings, such as prisons, to be able to fashion a program and make sure they do comply with current understanding of constitutional law in this area.”
Prison Fellowship operates nine programs in six states: Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas. All are now privately funded through donations from individuals and foundations, he said.
The 24-hour a day, seven-day a week program at Newton immerses inmates in evangelical Christianity. Inmates who complete the 18-month program also get help after they’re released from prison.
Fred Scaletta, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, said corrections officials were reviewing the ruling with the attorney general’s office to determine how the state would proceed with the operation of the program.
Bob Brammer, a spokesman for the Iowa attorney general’s office, said attorneys were reviewing the ruling and considering whether to appeal.
An appeal could include asking the three-member 8th Circuit panel for clarification on issues or could seek consideration by the full 8th Circuit Court. The ruling also could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.