Atheist Punished in Rehab Deserves Damages

Aug 26, 2013 Full story: Courthouse News Service 8

An avowed atheist who was jailed for refusing to participate in a 12-step treatment program deserves a new trial of his civil rights claims, the 9th Circuit ruled.

Full Story

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#1 Aug 28, 2013
The 12-step treatment program they are talking about is alcohol anonymous, I can tell by the wording of the need to believe in God or as they put it belief in a higher power.
Penn and Teller did a great episode on 12-step.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...
My favourite part is Penn's reaction to the idea presented by a participant in 12 step, which was that a rock could be your substitute God. "look either there is a God or there is a God, and unlike God there really is a rock...(Penn nudges Teller at looking behind) Oh F*** there really is a rock!"
LCNLin

United States

#2 Sep 2, 2013
By Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter
August 20, 2013|10:20 am

In an upcoming Supreme Court case, the Obama administration is supporting the right of a municipal government to begin their meetings in prayer, even if most of those prayers are specifically Christian.

In Town of Greece vs. Galloway, which the Court will hear in its next term, a small New York town, Town of Greece, was sued by residents for beginning their town council meeting in prayer, arguing that the prayers violated the Constitutional requirement that government may not respect an establishment of religion. A district court sided with Town of Greece, which the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit later overturned.

In an Amicus brief filed this week, the Department of Justice backed Town of Greece in the dispute, arguing that it is that the government does not have the authority to regulate the content of the prayers.

The Supreme Court has previously upheld, the brief notes, prayers at legislative sessions. The Justice Department points out that as far back as the Continental Congress in 1774, chaplains have opened legislative sessions in prayer. The practice continues today in Congress and other legislative bodies across the country.

The Second Circuit declared the Town of Greece prayers unconstitutional, though, because they were mostly Christian prayers, making specific references to Jesus or the Trinity. This type of prayer is not allowed, it argued, because the Supreme Court has said that such government sponsored prayers may not advance a single religious sect.

The Justice Department's brief argues that the appeals court decision was wrong because it requires the government to police the content of prayers.

"The unbroken history of the offering of prayer in Congress, for example, has included a large majority of Christian prayer-givers and a substantial number of prayers with identifiably sectarian references," the brief states. "Neither federal courts nor legislative bodies are well suited to police the content of such prayers, and this Court has consistently disapproved of government interference in dictating the substance of prayers."
Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.co m,@NappNazworth (Twitter)
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ahead-of-su...

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#3 Sep 3, 2013
LCNLin wrote:
By Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter
August 20, 2013|10:20 am
In an upcoming Supreme Court case, the Obama administration is supporting the right of a municipal government to begin their meetings in prayer, even if most of those prayers are specifically Christian.
In Town of Greece vs. Galloway, which the Court will hear in its next term, a small New York town, Town of Greece, was sued by residents for beginning their town council meeting in prayer, arguing that the prayers violated the Constitutional requirement that government may not respect an establishment of religion. A district court sided with Town of Greece, which the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit later overturned.
In an Amicus brief filed this week, the Department of Justice backed Town of Greece in the dispute, arguing that it is that the government does not have the authority to regulate the content of the prayers.
The Supreme Court has previously upheld, the brief notes, prayers at legislative sessions. The Justice Department points out that as far back as the Continental Congress in 1774, chaplains have opened legislative sessions in prayer. The practice continues today in Congress and other legislative bodies across the country.
The Second Circuit declared the Town of Greece prayers unconstitutional, though, because they were mostly Christian prayers, making specific references to Jesus or the Trinity. This type of prayer is not allowed, it argued, because the Supreme Court has said that such government sponsored prayers may not advance a single religious sect.
The Justice Department's brief argues that the appeals court decision was wrong because it requires the government to police the content of prayers.
"The unbroken history of the offering of prayer in Congress, for example, has included a large majority of Christian prayer-givers and a substantial number of prayers with identifiably sectarian references," the brief states. "Neither federal courts nor legislative bodies are well suited to police the content of such prayers, and this Court has consistently disapproved of government interference in dictating the substance of prayers."
Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.co m,@NappNazworth (Twitter)
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ahead-of-su...
What's your point? What does this article mean to you? How do you use it? How is this relevant?
Amused

Lowell, MA

#4 Sep 4, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
What's your point? What does this article mean to you? How do you use it? How is this relevant?
He doesn't have a point. He apparently lacks the intellectual capacity to hold and defend any position. His contribution to the forum consists of lame sniping at atheists and cutting and pasting irrelevant articles pertaining to religion which have nothing to do with the thread he deposits them in.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#5 Sep 5, 2013
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
He doesn't have a point. He apparently lacks the intellectual capacity to hold and defend any position. His contribution to the forum consists of lame sniping at atheists and cutting and pasting irrelevant articles pertaining to religion which have nothing to do with the thread he deposits them in.
I know but the more you ask the obvious it becomes to any reader he is just a troll.
Lamer

Hopkins, MN

#6 Sep 5, 2013
You would be hard pressed to find a 12 step program that doesnt contain references to god.
Sheik Yerbouti

Furlong, PA

#7 Sep 5, 2013
This guy deserves a significant settlement. His right to freedom FROM religion were clearly violated by forcing him to attend 12 step cult meetings. Their own figures show that 12 step programs have a 5% success rate!
Amused

Lowell, MA

#8 Sep 5, 2013
Sheik Yerbouti wrote:
This guy deserves a significant settlement. His right to freedom FROM religion were clearly violated by forcing him to attend 12 step cult meetings. Their own figures show that 12 step programs have a 5% success rate!
AA actually has a slightly worse success rate than the spontaneous remission rate, i.e. the rate at which those receiving no treatment stop drinking on their own. AA members who relapse are significantly more likely to binge drink than those who quit on their own.

In any event, well before this case, it was settled law in the 9th Circuit, which includes CA that:

"In this case, it is essentially uncontested that requiring a parolee to attend religion-based treatment programs violates the First Amendment. &#8194; We therefore spend relatively little time on the first step of the qualified immunity analysis.

&#8195;Nanamori and Inouye agree that reverence for “a higher power” is a substantial component of the AA/NA program. &#8194; For the government to coerce someone to participate in religious activities strikes at the core of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, whatever else the Clause may bar.7 &#8194;As Justice Black wrote in the first modern Establishment Clause case, Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township, 330 U.S. 1, 15-16, 67 S.Ct. 504, 91 L.Ed. 711 (1947), the clause “means at least” that “[n]either a state nor the Federal Government &#8228; can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. &#8194; No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance.” &#8194; This core holding has consistently been emphasized by the Court. "
Inouye v. Kemna 504 F. 3d. 705 (9th Cir. 2007)

The Inouye decision has been cited by other courts 127 times as of today, according to Shepard's Citations. So it was hardly an obscure decision. The best that can be said for the defendants is that they should have known it was against the law, but they did it anyways. Damages, including punitive damages, are amply justified on these facts.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Atheism Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Atheists Aren't the Problem, Christian Intolera... 19 min red and right 2,628
Atheism requires as much faith as religion? (Jul '09) 56 min Uncle Sam 233,221
Why Do Atheists Ridicule Christianity? (May '11) 1 hr ChristineM 5,961
Can Atheists Know God Does Not Exist When They ... 5 hr Richardfs 179
Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038 (Apr '12) 5 hr Morse 23,279
faith & pride 6 hr geezerjock 1
A New Kinder, Gentler Atheism 9 hr _Bad Company 214
More from around the web