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Faith Based Prison Program in Florida

Shocking! Outrageous!

Reader Dave sends a link to an article about Florida's new faith-based prison program. The reasoning behind the program is that faith-based rehabilitation will be more effective at reducing recidivism. This program will operate from a state facility at taxpayer expense.

No, no, nononono NO. That is totally unacceptable.

Long-time readers will remember that I was split about the Ten Commandments Monument case in Alabama, in moral agreement that the government shouldn't promote religion, but finding the legal argument against the monument very weak.

However, the legal status of this prison program in Florida is absolutely open-and-shut. Section 3 of the Florida Constitution reads (emphasis added):

There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution. [source]

This prison program is a brazen overreach of the government's authority. It will — or ought to be — quickly stopped by the courts. (I wish the courts had the power to stop abuses like this before waiting for them to come to trial.)

I hope the Florida voters have the good sense to hold their elected officials responsible for this outrage.

To quote one of my favorite lines from Thomas Jefferson, "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical."

It doesn't matter if the faith-based programs would be successful at reducing recidivism or not. It's wrong to compel taxpayers to fund them.

Tiny Island