Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Religious group threatens lawsuit over Kentucky policy banning anti-gay comments at juvenile jails | Faith & Values |

Dan Arel offers some excellent commentary in reference to Ken Ham's asinine reaction supporting Liberty Counsel's filing.

Restricting the free speech of a Baptist minister is a violation of the federal and state constitutions, Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast Jr. wrote to Hayter. As he counseled young offenders, some of whom had been sexually abused or were sexual abusers themselves, Wells would tell them what the Bible said about homosexuality, Mast wrote.

"It is not 'hatred' or 'bias' to lovingly point out the harms of homosexuality, and the power of Christ to change lives, should the occasion require it," Mast wrote.
Yet there is nothing unconstitutional about the policy because the prison is government run. They can dictate what volunteers and employees can and cannot do. This is not a religious test, they are not barring Wells from volunteering, but if he wants to volunteer, he must abide by policies put in place to keep these youth safe. Calling them names does not keep them safe is not a religious right.
What Wells wishes to say inside his own church is his business, but he is not allowed to walk into a government facility and say whatever he pleases if he wishes to be a volunteer.
Wells was traveling Monday and could not be reached for comment. Pastor J. Dale Massengale of Pleasant View Baptist Church, in Breckinridge County, said Wells leads his church's ministry at the detention center, where they counsel children as young as 8 and 9 years old. The church has been active at the detention center for 13 years without any previous complaints, Massengale said.
,,,By reaching out to homosexual youth who are struggling through life and already in the prison system and then to call them abnormal, deviant, etcetera is only going to hurt the well-being of the juveniles in the state’s care.

This is once again, a religious plea to be allowed to oppress, discriminate against and shame those they do not agree with,,, 
Many youths in custody are sexually confused and need to be educated about "unnatural affection or, as it's cataloged in the Scripture, sodomy," Massengale said.

"We're dealing with juveniles who have been prostituted since they were infants because their mothers needed money for drugs, or who have been sodomized all their lives. They feel like this is the only life they've ever known," Massengale said. "Under this policy, we can't even go in there and read the Bible to them to give them a message of hope."
As one comments notes,  "Volunteers should be banned from religious proselytizing to minors/prisoners unless it's some sort of Sunday-service and the youths go voluntarily."
As the article notes, and something Ham et al ignore, 
"There are no other state agencies with a policy on this issue because DJJ is the only agency with facilities that house youth, and therefore it really is unique to us," Flooden said. "There are other states that have similar policy."

Although individuals ordinarily have the right to free speech, including religious expression, that's not always true if they work at a state or federal institution and might be seen as speaking with the government's voice.
Religious group threatens lawsuit over Kentucky policy banning anti-gay comments at juvenile jails | Faith & Values |

From Raw Story we have this as well, 
Speaking up in defense of Wells, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver complained, “Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes. Pastor Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands. Without it, they cannot provide healing.”

The letter went on to state: “The Bible explicitly prohibits any expression of sexuality outside of the confines of man-woman marriage. It recognizes that every person, regardless of personal proclivities or attractions, is separated from God because of sin, whatever form that sin may take. Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes, and Mr. Wells must be able to discuss the Bible and matters of sexuality with inmates, and he therefore was unable to sign the form.”
Who the fuck gives a rat's ass what the bile teaches,
Let the pastor consider how he would feel if a non-Christian counselor were to tell all the young offenders who are Christian that Jesus was a fraud because that's what he believes. His right to speak as he wishes to would be that person's right to speak according to his desires.

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