Friday, August 3, 2007

Get Saved or Get Busted

Traditionally religious groups and churches have a tendency to help out their communities in the human service sector. Many churches sponsor homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and even provide help for recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. But I think I found a church group movement that has crossed the line.
The Rev. Doug Abner, pastor at Community Church -- whose slogan for a 2004
anti-drug march was "get saved or get busted" -- said the presence of Court
Watch volunteers puts "mild pressure" on judges "to do the right thing." The
volunteers collect information for a database and look for trends in drug

According to a CNN article, this Court Watch movement doesn't nothing to evaluate the root causes of drug use or assist those struggling with drug use to get into treatment. No, they would rather put them in jail. And to make sure that judges are "tough on crime" they sit in the court room with their legal pads and take notes - "monitor judges overseeing drug-related cases" (i.e intimidating judges).

When will they ever learn that scare tactics don't work? Fortunately, The program concerns some other people of faith, who say it cuts against Christian values.

"The churches have traditionally been the humanitarian influence in
society," said the Rev. John Rausch, director of the Catholic Committee on
Appalachia. Churches should focus on drug counseling and ministering to inmates,
he said, citing part of the Gospel of Matthew (25:36) concerning the final
judgment: "When I was in prison, you came to see me."

"It isn't 'I was up for charges and you made sure they threw the book at
Rausch said.

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