The small Alabama town of Bay Minette is telling people convicted of small crimes to choose church or jail. They can either do their time in jail or go to church once a week for an entire year. Personally, I’d probably enjoy jail more…
Critics are pretty pissed as the 56 churches who are taking part in the initiative are all Christian churches, not a single mosque or synagogue, surprise surprise right? Starting to sound a little more like recruiting than rehabilitation. They must be running a little low on sunday mass participation and need to fill those pews.
Atheists clearly come up worst considering they have to completely compromise their beliefs, which makes me wonder. What would happen if the option wasn’t a religious initiative but an atheist one. Wouldn’t there be uproar over that in the south from criminals and general public alike? But seriously, what if instead of sending people convicted of small crimes to church (or jail) we send them back to school, or even to university if they’ve graduated high school.
I bet if you looked up the stats you’d find people with a tertiary education are much less likely to commit crimes than even people who go to church, let alone compared to a member of the general public.
Though when it comes down to it I’m sure the residents and law enforcers of Alabama would much rather let the criminals completely off the hook than allow them to enhance their capacity for critical thinking. I mean, worst case scenario they’d have educated, rational atheists roaming the streets… No one would be safe.
Edit: I did actually look up literature on religion, education and rates of crime.