The AP via CNN has an interesting article on a potential sea change in the relationship between Christian churches and crime. Rather than offering hope, solace, and redemption to those trapped in the drug war, some churches in Kentucky are beginning to track offenders and the judges who sentence them to make sure the offenders get what's coming to them:
The Rev. Doug Abner, pastor at Community Church -- whose slogan for a 2004 anti-drug march was 'get saved or get busted' -- said the presence of Court Watch volunteers puts 'mild pressure' on judges 'to do the right thing.' The volunteers collect information for a database and look for trends in drug crimes.Not everyone is pleased:
'The churches have traditionally been the humanitarian influence in society,' said the Rev. John Rausch, director of the Catholic Committee on Appalachia.Not surprisingly, Rev. Abner and his ilk have friends in high places. Not Jesus - the holy rollers of the drug war, the federal government:
Churches should focus on drug counseling and ministering to inmates, he said, citing part of the Gospel of Matthew (25:36) concerning the final judgment: 'When I was in prison, you came to see me.'
'It isn't 'I was up for charges and you made sure they threw the book at me,'' Rausch said.
Desperate for a solution, Becknell began to work with Operation UNITE, a federally funded drug task force that covers 29 counties in southeastern Kentucky and which created Court Watch.Your tax dollars at work.
* What Would TJ Hooker Do?