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Religion In Prison


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I don't know if anyone has seen it here, but MSNBC has a show where they go into prisons. On almost every episode, there is some guy who is a repeat offender waving a Bible or Koran talking about how he found God and when he gets out, he's going to change his life.

 

I know a few dudes who "found religion" in prison and they just keep getting in trouble, getting out and living the same criminal lifestyle. Whenever they mess up, they say the Good Lord will forgive them and they can start over again. Then they mess up again.

 

It was when I noticed this pattern I started realizing what a joke "finding religion" is. You either fix yourself or you don't and Jesus has nothing to do with it.

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Whenever they mess up, they say the Good Lord will forgive them and they can start over again.

 

To most fundies this is a habit and an acceptable part of life.

"I can do whatever immoral act I want because when I pray God will forgive me"

 

Back in my schoolday (unfortunately ending up in a very intolerant, closed-minded christian school) I was a witness to this.

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Whenever they mess up, they say the Good Lord will forgive them and they can start over again.

 

To most fundies this is a habit and an acceptable part of life.

"I can do whatever immoral act I want because when I pray God will forgive me"

 

And they have the audacity to accuse us of having no morals :crazy:

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You either fix yourself or you don't and Jesus has nothing to do with it.

 

Damn skippy :)

 

It's all about us, and always has been. We're at the heart of any progress we make, as well as our failures. There's no magic spook guiding it all.

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My cousin has apparently converted to Islam since he was in prison. I've not actually talked to him about it, but I have to admit I doubt his seriousness. I'm no Qur'anic scholar, but I'm pretty sure that Allah isn't too keen on his followers subscribing to softcore porn magazines or getting family and friends on the outside to smuggle weed in for them. :HaHa: And yet, he can't have aftershave with alcohol in it. :shrug:

 

Which reminds me of the first thing I said when I found out: "He does realise they're not allowed to drink, doesn't he?! :twitch: "

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It is easy for them to fix themselves in prison, and even think Jesus or Allah helped, because they have a rigid structure supporting them. They are not out in the free world, having to make all decisions on their own...and so, upon release from prison, they are faced with all the problems they had before they got in, and having to deal with the loss of that rigid daily structure telling them what to do. It is no wonder most criminals go back to jail, they were never provided the tools to learn how to become more responsible for their own actions (in fact, with religion, whatever responsibility they may have felt has been conveniently taken out of their hands).

 

An example of rigid daily structure: when I was in college, I had all my meals prepared for me, and since I was on the fencing team, all my exercise requirements were also met. I was by the time I graduated in the best shape of my life, able to run for miles at a time without stopping and eating healthy.

 

Then I graduated. Lost that support system (ie lost those telling me what to do when and how) and I gained all my weight back, and much, much more, and stopped eating right and I have not exercised consistantly since.

 

I did not realize at the time (and really not until just recently) that it was always up to me to be responsible for my health (exercise and eating right). I let others control that part of me, never took the steps to make it PART OF MY PERSONAL CHARACTER, then blamed my failings on not having that support group to be in control.

 

I see a similar process, albeit more socially troubling process, with our current prison system.

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I don't know if anyone has seen it here, but MSNBC has a show where they go into prisons. On almost every episode, there is some guy who is a repeat offender waving a Bible or Koran talking about how he found God and when he gets out, he's going to change his life.

 

I know a few dudes who "found religion" in prison and they just keep getting in trouble, getting out and living the same criminal lifestyle. Whenever they mess up, they say the Good Lord will forgive them and they can start over again. Then they mess up again.

 

It was when I noticed this pattern I started realizing what a joke "finding religion" is. You either fix yourself or you don't and Jesus has nothing to do with it.

It looks good at the parole board hearing. That is what it's for. It isn't about whether you've undergone any spiritual transformation, it's what will get you out of lockup sooner.

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My cousin has apparently converted to Islam since he was in prison. I've not actually talked to him about it, but I have to admit I doubt his seriousness. I'm no Qur'anic scholar, but I'm pretty sure that Allah isn't too keen on his followers subscribing to softcore porn magazines or getting family and friends on the outside to smuggle weed in for them. :HaHa: And yet, he can't have aftershave with alcohol in it. :shrug:

 

Which reminds me of the first thing I said when I found out: "He does realise they're not allowed to drink, doesn't he?! :twitch: "

 

Islam in prison is almost a bigger joke than Christianity in prison. I've known a couple "converts" who read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, went two weeks living a muslim lifestyle then they went back to the stupid crap they were doing before. It's ridiculous. If it wasn't for the occassional prison convert who goes terrorist, I'd laugh.

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I don't know if anyone has seen it here, but MSNBC has a show where they go into prisons. On almost every episode, there is some guy who is a repeat offender waving a Bible or Koran talking about how he found God and when he gets out, he's going to change his life.

 

I know a few dudes who "found religion" in prison and they just keep getting in trouble, getting out and living the same criminal lifestyle. Whenever they mess up, they say the Good Lord will forgive them and they can start over again. Then they mess up again.

 

It was when I noticed this pattern I started realizing what a joke "finding religion" is. You either fix yourself or you don't and Jesus has nothing to do with it.

 

 

I've known more then my fair share of EX-CONS that were changed by the lard and went back to the pen. I have been an out of the closet Atheist for about 4 years now and most EX-CONS seem to look at me with their heads half caulked to the side like they can't figure me out or they are a little curious.....but not to curious. IMO they are no more mixed up than the people on the outside who probably caused the confusion in the first place.

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Speaking of religions in prison...

 

My best friend spent 10 years in the klink. While she was in, she got a lot of her shit together, and one of the things she did was study Wicca. Eventually she actually became a high priestess. There was a coven at the women's prison, but the funny thing was how hard they had to fight for it. Their biggest obstacle was the prison chaplain, an angry, repressed, controlling man hell-bent on preventing any religion from entering the place other than his own. The women had as much right to gather and worship as any other inmate, but the chaplain fought it tooth and nail. He'd thwart communications between the group and their civilian sponsor, or he'd sit on necessary paperwork until after pertinent deadlines, or bully the women into attending church, or whatever he could think of.

 

I don't know how the women pulled it off, but they managed to have a Beltaine celebration one year at the prison, with family and friends and sponsors. Boy, they earned it, though - and the chaplain was mad as hell.

 

I guess in some prisons, only one religion is okay.

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