ACLU

March 30, 2011

I’m not for the ACLU.

It’s an interesting point the article makes (not bringing one’s belief onto the bench), but this world’s only hope is Christ.

So, where do you stand? Was it okay for this judge to do what he did or should he continue to judge like he’s supposed to? Are there alternatives?

Taken from Fox News:

A newly elected Houston judge who says he was merely trying to “think outside the box” when he suggested that convicts in his court read a Christian book to avoid community service has decided to stop the practice after critics blasted the idea.

Judge John Clinton, a former police officer who was elected in January to preside over Harris County Criminal Court No. 4, offered nine people the chance to avoid community service last week by instead reading “The Heart of the Problem,” a Bible study book by Henry Brandt and Kerry L. Skinner that “proselytizes Christianity and advocates turning to God to solve problems,” according to a March 29 letter from officials at the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

But Clinton said he has since stopped offering the option as an alternative way to get defendants convicted of misdemeanors ranging from domestic assault to drug possession on the right track.

“I have stopped the book, and [am] looking for something similar that I can offer to everyone,” Clinton said in an email to FoxNews.com.

Clinton, who was unavailable for further comment since he was in court, told KVUE.com that he was not attempting to force religious beliefs on anyone.

“All I was trying to do was help,” he told the website. “I was told about the book. I received the book. I read the book. I thought, ‘Hey this is a great book.’ Again, me thinking based on my faith, not thinking in general.”

Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU’s Texas affiliate, told FoxNews.com she’s glad the practice has stopped, but added that it never should have started.

“It is inexplicable to me how anyone with a law degree could think that what this judge was doing was constitutional,” Graybill said Tuesday. “Thinking with his faith is not what he’s elected to do. When he dons the robe and takes the bench, his obligation is to think as a judge.”

Graybill commended Clinton for “thinking outside the box” regarding alternative penalties for defendants in his courtroom, but said it was “inappropriate and unconstitutional” for him to coerce his religious beliefs onto others.

Despite Clinton’s move to stop the short-lived practice, Graybill said an investigation by Judge Sherman Ross, the presiding judge of the county’s criminal courts, is still warranted.

“It takes a lot to surprise me and this surprised even me,” she said. “It’s the most egregious case I’m aware of [regarding judges injecting religious beliefs into the courtroom], assuming the facts are as reported to us.”

Ross told FoxNews.com he had not yet received the ACLU’s letter, but said he had a discussion with Clinton regarding his “inappropriate” courtroom behavior.

“Technically, [Graybill] is correct,” Ross said. “In Clinton’s defense, being on the bench for less than four months, he’s been experimenting with a number of things that help in the rehabilitation process. That said, I did have a chat with him and we both agreed that although not unethical, it was inappropriate and he understands completely.”

Ross said he had “faith in [Clinton] to do the right thing,” adding that the judge never intended to push his religious beliefs on anyone.

“We’re here to enforce man’s law,” said Ross, who added there will not be a formal investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile, Stanley Schneider, a criminal defense attorney in Houston, told KVUE.com that Clinton should be praised for the idea.

“I think this is a man that we really need to get behind,” he told the website. “Anyone who wants to take the [initiative], and trying to do something to help people in his courtroom to succeed in life, he’s someone we need to applaud.”

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A Proverb

March 29, 2011

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

LOST?

March 27, 2011

Is this real life Lost?

The number of infants that have died in a four-year span at Fort Bragg reached 12 last week, when the Army announced another infant had mysteriously died while living in post housing, The News & Observer reports.

The latest death was a boy, 4 months old, with no obvious illness, who seemed fine one minute on the morning of Feb. 24, and not breathing the next.

Think about such Things

March 22, 2011

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

From the book of Proverbs

Verse of the Day

March 16, 2011

He must increase, but I must decrease.

From the gospel of John

Promise of the Day

March 13, 2011

But he said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

From 2 Corithians

Verse of the Day

March 10, 2011

From the gospel of John:

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Quote of the Day

March 7, 2011

Christianity isn’t a great beginning, it’s a glorious finish.

-Unknown

Verse of the Day

March 4, 2011

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians

Friends and Fb

March 1, 2011

How do you balance friendships and Facebook?

(We) have noticed the rise of “the cult within Facebook” in tandem with many users’ addictions to smart phones. For example, (we) often witness parents updating their “status” when they are supposed to be watching their children play in a soccer game.

(We) suggest reevaluating Facebook use when it starts to interfere with rest, work or work scheduling.

“People are going to want to diminish the number of friends they have in return for pure relationships,” (we) say. “They may not pay attention to the person trying to friend them that they knew from 20 years ago, because frankly there’s no relationship there.”

(We) offer this advice for those who might think their Facebook usage is out of control: “Basically stick with genuine relationships.”