Beginning this week, if you are convicted of a non-violent offense in Bay Minette, Alabama, you’ll have to choose between Jesus or jail. Operation ROC (Restore Our Community) will have the city judge offer anyone found of a misdemeanor the choice of jail and paying a fine or attending the church of their choice every week for a year.
Church every week for a year, People. My parents were devout-ish Catholics and we didn’t go to church every week. Sure, Christmas, Easter, when someone was being baptized…but every week? That’s harsh.
And get this, if the offender picks church, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee eternal salvation. Even if they choose church, they may still go to Hell. But if they complete the church-for-a-year program, their case may be dropped.
The Police Chief, Mike Rowland states:
Longevity is the key. A 30-day drug program doesn’t work. A 30-day alcohol program does not work. But long-term programs to do work, and we believe that’s what’ll happen here.”
And as long as there is a secular choice as well as a religious one, there should be no problem with separation of church and state. So, the question is, what would you choose?