Is there something strange in the water in Arizona?
In Phoenix, Arizona, someone arrested for prostitution may be brought to a Church for counseling. So a taxpayer-paid agent of the government compels one arrested for a crime to go to church. The accused is then counseled that they have a choice to make, they can choose to enter a church-run program to divert them away from prostitution or they opt to be run through the legal system and face imprisonment.
A self-respecting atheist, agnostic or humanist doesn’t really have a choice. They can be “saved” or imprisoned. If choosing to be saved they are obligated to reject their own beliefs. And this is all done under the power of the State and funded by taxpayers, regardless of the taxpayers’ personal beliefs.
When I was in Air Force boot camp, I was given a similar choice. I could choose to spend a restful Sunday morning in Church or I could do the units’ laundry. Less burdensome than imprisonment but a similar violation of my rights to hold religious opinions counter to that of established authority. Someone accused of prostitution does not lose their rights of conscience and should not be compelled by public authority to attend a religious program. Nor should nontheist or non-Christian taxpayers be compelled to fund such programs.
Unfortunately, such programs are popping up everywhere albeit perhaps guided by “good intentions”. The Obama administration has continued its predecessor’s Public-Faith Partnerships and is intentionally building upon a public policy foundation which diverts public dollars into the pockets of churches and church-related enterprise. It may not be Constitutional but it is a helluva good way to buy Christian votes.