Constitution is with atheist druggie re-jailed for “disrupting” religion-based rehab… strict construction

Filed in Gather Health Essential by on April 18, 2010 0 Comments

Sacramento Bee, Saturday, April 17: “Judge backs Redding atheist who balked at religious anti-drug program

Barry A. Hazle Jr. served a year in prison on a drug charge. After he got out, his parole agent sent him back for being an atheist.”

Wel-l-l-l… sort of.  What he got sent back for was his “passive/aggressive disruption” of the rehab program and his constant reiterations of his objections to it, including “presenting Crofoot (his parole officer) with a written appeal on April 3, 2007.”  The folks who ran the program also sent the parole officer a report that said, “been disruptive, though in a congenial way.”

Crofoot got tired of it and…”called Hazle out of an Empire treatment class, arrested him on a parole violation for not participating in the very program he was attending, and booked him into the Shasta County jail.“  Hazle was then returned to prison, where he spent another three months, and finally filed an appeal in federal court.

The State argued that Hazle had actually been returned to jail for being disruptive, but Judge Burrell was having none of it.  “Instead, the judge found that Hazle’s forced participation in the program ran “afoul of the prohibition against the state’s favoring religion in general over non-religion” and violated the rights guaranteed him by the Constitution.” {emphasis mine)

In other words, EVERYBODY’S right to freedom FROM religion has to be respected… even prisoners’.  In my (NEVER humble) opinion, we need to STOP this self-righteous, sanctimonious insistence on tossing somebody’s god at every problem, and getting pissed when people object.

Rehab doesn’t depend on a “higher power” any more than winning a football game does.  It may be helpful for believers, but for the rest of us, it’s just a distraction.  In fact, I’ve read that THE MOST DIFFICULT chemical dependency to kick is nicotine, and I managed to kick THAT without a “higher power.”  People oughta be able to kick lesser addictions without one as well if they prefer.

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...but I'm a WAY better listener than most people think, and a better advisor than anyone knows.

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