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Fri May 28, 2021, 08:07 AM

Only Christians could apply for jail chaplain job in Prince George's County, federal lawsuit says

Source: Associated Press, via the Baltimore Sun

Only Christians could apply for jail chaplain job in Prince George’s County, federal lawsuit says

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS | MAY 28, 2021 AT 1:27 AM

COLLEGE PARK — Applicants for a chaplain’s job at a Maryland county jail had to sign a statement affirming that they are Christians, a Muslim man claimed Thursday in a federal lawsuit accusing the county and a contractor of religious discrimination.

Lawyers from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, sued Prince George’s County on behalf of Edrees Bridges, who has been a volunteer chaplain at a county jail in Upper Marlboro since 2018.

Bridges, 49, learned in April that the county was hiring a paid chaplain. He asked for an application but couldn’t complete it because all applicants were required to sign a “Statement of Applicant’s Christian Faith” that would force him to abandon his religious beliefs as a Muslim, his lawsuit says.

Prison Ministry of America, which also is named as a defendant in the suit, has a contract with the county to provide religious services to jail inmates. The statement on its job application says Prison Ministry of America employees are “committed to a lifestyle of Christianity and agree with our statement of faith.” ... It also asks applicants to affirm that they “believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe,” that “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit” and that “the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word.”

{snip}

Read more: https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/bs-md-jail-chaplain-suit-religion-20210528-zugwwdohwjgd7mg5vabbaegfs4-story.html



Hat tip, WTOP

19 replies, 2468 views

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Reply Only Christians could apply for jail chaplain job in Prince George's County, federal lawsuit says (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 2021 OP
mopinko May 2021 #1
TreasonousBastard May 2021 #2
mountain grammy May 2021 #3
RKP5637 May 2021 #4
Blue Owl May 2021 #5
efhmc May 2021 #6
Sibelius Fan May 2021 #7
Grins May 2021 #16
Solly Mack May 2021 #8
Backseat Driver May 2021 #9
bucolic_frolic May 2021 #10
barbtries May 2021 #11
erronis May 2021 #12
lonely bird May 2021 #14
Iggo May 2021 #19
Pacifist Patriot May 2021 #13
The Mouth May 2021 #15
jmowreader May 2021 #17
janterry May 2021 #18

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 08:21 AM

1. when i worked on a hospice unit our chaplain was a rabbi.

it's a different job than parish priest.
this is just stupid.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Fri May 28, 2021, 08:44 AM

2. Military chaplains tbe same way. Rabbis minister to...

Christians, priests to Jews, and etc.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:09 AM

3. Wow, these are public funds.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:17 AM

4. Incredible!!! Freedom of Religion, yep ... FFS! n/t

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:18 AM

5. Fundamentalist Christianity leaves no room for other religions

It's them or hell!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:19 AM

6. Even as a person who tries to follow the teachings of Christ, I would not truthfully be able to sign

that statement. It stinks and seems to be very illegal to me.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:22 AM

7. Christians - imposing their belief in make believe at every turn.

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Response to Sibelius Fan (Reply #7)

Fri May 28, 2021, 12:27 PM

16. "Christian privilege!" NM

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:26 AM

8. Not surprising but still fucked up.

Seriously fucked up.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 09:45 AM

9. Seems well qualified for this contract gig

https://icjs.org/2021-justice-leaders-fellows/

Says he's an ambiguous Special Agent, Dignitary Protection Division??? Is he attached to the State Dept? Capitol Police, Other state or federal agency? Merely certified by coursework for some other brand of private protection service org?

There are several videos on youtube in which he, if this is indeed the guy, addresses issues of faith.

I guess it would be "tipping his hand" to a possible lawsuit and/or damages sought if he'd line out language in the application and affirmation by reason of his personal not educational background. SMH that he'd done the job for a while as an unpaid volunteer addressing the spiritual needs of prisoners, HAH! And I guess there's precedent for opening up the firm separation of Church and State for paid government contract occupational positions under a guise of compassionate services at every level? I guess next I ought to research the leadership of this contracted Christian org and just who they won't serve, huh?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 10:52 AM

10. BCD's need not apply

Buddhists, Celts, Druids

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 10:58 AM

11. 100% unconstitutional.

fuck this shit.

in fact, fuck religion.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 11:09 AM

12. The Prison Ministries was started by Chuck Colson after Watergate

He said he found god and a way to make money. Once a scumbag, always a scumbag.

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Response to erronis (Reply #12)

Fri May 28, 2021, 11:46 AM

14. He found God?

Huh, I didn’t realize He was lost.

Grifters all. Anyone who claims they are a person of God is lying.

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Response to lonely bird (Reply #14)

Sat May 29, 2021, 05:49 AM

19. Only 'cause god didn't see him coming. (n/t)

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 11:44 AM

13. I could not officially join the volunteer chaplaincy team at our county correctional facility...

when I was a UU minister for just that reason. And the asshole coordinating the program did not make my information available to inmates who wanted non-traditional chaplaincy. I got rare calls because of word of mouth referrals, but was never allowed to do the programming I wanted to do there. Glad to see this law suit.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 12:19 PM

15. We shouldn't be spending one cent on any invisible sky fairy

in court, in the army, in prison. Not one cent to promote, promulgate, preach, or in any other way even acknowledge the existence of same.

All religion is worse than useless, it is insanity. And malignant.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #15)

Fri May 28, 2021, 01:17 PM

17. Chaplains come in handy in the military

They’re used as the unit’s counselors. Most of the ones I dealt with didn’t beat the Bible - the chaplain is supposed to respect the soldier’s faith or lack of same. (We had a Baptist one who was positive Catholics are all going to Hell and told that to anyone who would listen...which is not a career-enhancing belief when the battalion commander is devoutly Catholic. That guy wound up in a different unit and was replaced by a chaplain everyone liked.)

I remember this one chaplain who was a bit TOO helpful. This poor guy believed everyone had problems, which is probably true. And he came up to me one day on shift and wouldn’t stop asking if I needed help...so finally I said I did. We had a position called Watch Support Center, or WSC (pronounced “whisk”). The job was pretty easy: you pulled traffic off these two teletypes we had and stuffed the messages into boxes for the different sections. I taught the chaplain how to WSC and left him back there for an hour. Somehow he didn’t want to talk to me at work after that, but when we started the unit newspaper we became good friends. He did an article he called Top Sacred, and he introduced me to the rest of the chaplains who had me make forms for them.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #15)

Fri May 28, 2021, 02:15 PM

18. Prisoners often find them a comfort

The chaplains office in the prisons I've worked in were very popular. All religious services are coordinated through him/her. Even more 'spiritual' practices (not formal religion) are organized and meet in the chaplains building.

Not only were they available for inmates who were struggling with their own issues - they provided enormous support when they had a death outside. They coordinated phone contact with other family members - and could hold a memorial 'service' inside the gates.

FWIW, I don't think many inmates would want to lose that programming.

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