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Wed Jun 10, 2020, 08:23 AM

Lawsuit Says Atheist Parolee Spent 5 Months in Jail for Not Going to Bible Study

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/06/09/lawsuit-says-atheist-parolee-spent-5-months-in-jail-for-not-going-to-bible-study/




Lawsuit Says Atheist Parolee Spent 5 Months in Jail for Not Going to Bible Study
By Hemant Mehta, June 9, 2020

In 2015, atheist Mark Janny was released from jail. (The reason he was there is irrelevant to this story.) His parole officer, John Gamez, told Janny that if he wanted to remain out of prison, he would have to live at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian homeless shelter.

That shelter’s rules required residents to participate in worship services, Bible studies, and faith-based counseling, none of which Janny had any desire to join. Nor should he have had to! It’s not like he was hiding his atheism. The courts should never have forced him to attend a Christian anything as a requirement of his parole.

Janny actually suggested an alternative: staying at the home of some family friends. But that was rejected. So Janny went to the shelter… but didn’t participate in the religious activities. And because of that, Gamez revoked his parole and sent Janny back to jail for five more months.

(snip)

The groups are asking the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case, saying that the earlier court “wrongly dismissed Janny’s case, which asserted violations of his First Amendment rights.”

Under no circumstances should anyone be forced by the government to go through a religious program in order to fulfill some legal obligation. There were alternatives available in this case, and even if there weren’t, making someone practice Christianity in order to avoid prison time is beyond reasonable. Everyone involved in prolonging Janny’s imprisonment should be penalized for their actions.


Religious Privilege on display.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Lawsuit Says Atheist Parolee Spent 5 Months in Jail for Not Going to Bible Study (Original post)
NeoGreen Jun 2020 OP
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #1
progressoid Jun 2020 #19
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #20
Ferrets are Cool Jun 2020 #2
bucolic_frolic Jun 2020 #3
SCantiGOP Jun 2020 #4
bucolic_frolic Jun 2020 #5
SCantiGOP Jun 2020 #7
lagomorph777 Jun 2020 #11
sarge43 Jun 2020 #12
Warpy Jun 2020 #13
barbtries Jun 2020 #14
Susan Calvin Jun 2020 #6
azureblue Jun 2020 #8
DBoon Jun 2020 #21
fleur-de-lisa Jun 2020 #9
Wounded Bear Jun 2020 #10
keithbvadu2 Jun 2020 #15
marble falls Jun 2020 #16
LiberalLovinLug Jun 2020 #17
Dopers_Greed Jun 2020 #18
BrightKnight Jun 2020 #22
I_UndergroundPanther Jun 2020 #23

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 08:43 AM

1. I wish I could say that this was not true. I have clients that have been sent to these programs

There needs to be justice reform in this area. It sets people up for failure. I work in mental health. I don't know about this program in the article, but over the years, I have worked with clients sent to such programs. They typically do not allow them to take psych meds.

They believe that praying and religion will fix addiction and mental illness. When I worked inpatient - unfortunately due to homelessness, some clients chose to go to these programs. Substance abuse sometimes goes hand in hand with mental health issues. Not taking meds is a set up for a relapse.

Now that I work in out patient, I see people released from jail and on probation and parole and are being sent to these " re-entry programs" - It is frustrating and abhorrent.

Same for some group homes.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:59 AM

19. Grrrr....

I have a relative who is a psychiatrist. She often works with patients who are or have been incarcerated. She too is frustrated by this.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 11:46 AM

20. It is extremely frustrating. This is part of the broader conversation we are having now

Defund the police and re-direct some of that money elsewhere.

I hope this gentleman is successful and many more will follow suit.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:39 AM

2. So very wrong. There is SO much wrong with this country.

Does it all come back to the voters? I wish it was that black and white. Maybe it comes down to lawsuits.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:44 AM

3. "a religious program in order to fulfill some legal obligation"

you mean ... like a marriage license?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:47 AM

4. A marriage license is civil

It’s like registering a vehicle. It does not require and is not related to anything religious.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:50 AM

5. So then you don't need a marriage license to get married in a church, right?

Since they're not connected, I mean.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:54 AM

7. Not really

You have to have a license to be recognized legally as married for purposes of tax, property ownership, inheritance, etc.
It does not require any religious ceremony.

When I got married we went to the county office and got a certificate. It has to be signed by someone authorized - in our case it was a friend who was a jusge. It could have been signed by a minister or notary public instead. Once it was filed, we were married.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:07 AM

11. I suppose that would be up to the church involved.

That has nothing whatsoever to do with the Government's First Amendment responsibilities, and the church ceremony has nothing to do with the legal obligations and rights of marriage.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:14 AM

12. Nope.

Two witnesses and someone authorized by the state to officiate. A member of the clergy, authorized, not required. In our case, a JP. Witnesses and official ink the license, good to go.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:42 AM

13. Horse, you got your cart on backwards

The marriage license, when signed by an officiator, grants a domestic partner full legal first degree relative status.

The officiator doean't have to be in a church. It can be an atheist judge or Justice of the Peace or somebody with a valid mail order clergy card who doesn't believe a word of the religious hooey, it can be a ship's captain.

So you can get the license, nip down the hall, find a JP with a free few minutes, have him read some soppy poetry and sign the license, and you're done, no god bothering involved.

Personally, I think the marriage should be legal as soon as the parties involved sign the license, some sort of ceremony being the icing on the wedding cake.

But this is what the OP meant about alternatives, you don't need a church or a preacher to get married. There are alternatives and it doesn't matter what they say, as long as they sign the license and signal the deed was done.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:42 AM

14. If you do that,

you have to get married at the courthouse for legal purposes.
Many couples, my son and DIL included, had their wedding officiated by a person who was not clergy or an officer of the court, and then later on went to the courthouse to seal the deal.

You can get married in a church and handle both at once that way though, which is what i think most couples do.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:50 AM

6. How on Earth did you get the idea

That a marriage license is a religious document?

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Response to Susan Calvin (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:55 AM

8. obviously

he doesn't know what he's talking about and has never been married.

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Response to Susan Calvin (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 05:29 PM

21. My wife was a lawyer

she says, "Marriage may be a sacrament in the eyes of God, but in the eyes of the law it is just another contract".

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:59 AM

9. Jesus!

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:00 AM

10. Disgusting. Without freedom from religion there is no freedom of religion...nt

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:43 AM

15. Perhaps he could choose a particular Christian religion that they would not like.

Perhaps he could choose a particular Christian religion that they would not like.

Like Mormon or Jehovah's Witnesses.

They would be in a position to officially disallow freedom of worship.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:45 AM

16. I'm a convinced Lutheran and I know that's just plain wrong. Whoever is responsible ...

needs to do some Bible reading. Jail might just be the place for it.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:50 AM

17. Nothing says faith like physically forcing your beliefs down others throats to MAKE them believe too

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:55 AM

18. Christo-fascism

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 05:43 PM

22. Forced conversion is not in scripture but free will is.

Real Christianity is fundamentally about love. You can’t have real love if someone is coerced. What they are doing is not Christian. Not everyone that identifies as Christian is.

The USSR coerced people of many faiths to be atheist.
The Nazis coerced people to change their faith.


As a Christian I agree that it is very wrong. I don’t agree that it is Christian or that is something unique to people calling themselves Christians.





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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 07:37 PM

23. Juviniles

Wanting to not live on the street,or to receive help for problems like abuse etc. Get put in residential Christian hellholes. And it's paid for by the state.

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