160 Comments

Right off the top ... West Virginia, eh? Of course, I could also have said, Tennessee or Mississippi or Alabama and it still would have tracked.

Seriously, it seems as though a great number of states in the Deep South need to understand that it is NOT within their purview to push religion on those entrusted to their care, as was the case with Miller. Sadly, this brand of religious rehabilitation / indoctrination is the default and the go-to too often and not just in southern states. Because many state officials can't be bothered to think in State / Church separation terms, people like Miller end up having to go through the wringer in order to have their rights, and particularly their right of freedom FROM religion, recognized and acted on.

For the sake of EVERY non-Christian who is incarcerated, this lesson needs to be broadcast to all 50 states and American territories ... because it's clear that the message has yet to fully get through.

Expand full comment

I find it funny that West Virginia thinks of itself as Southern when they joined the North during war that defined who the South is.

Expand full comment

As a resident of Kentucky it's really interesting to me how states like this one and W. Virginia use their status as Border States in their own self-mythology. I remember the much hammered home crux of our state history class across all grades was that we WEREN'T part of the Confederacy. So we could all relax and rest assured no racism here, right? Not once in K-12 education was I informed that the Emancipation Proclamation DIDN'T apply to Border States, only Confederate States (who weren't following Lincoln's laws anyway). Kentucky and Delaware didn't end slavery until December 1865 and that was only because it was ratified by a majority of states federally. Kentucky wasn't one of them. West Virginia did much better here, ratifying the 13th Amendment state-wide in February 1865. The way religion, poverty, racism and labor intersect in these states is to see how MAGA spread before MAGA existed. It could so easily have gone another way if labor hadn't been racist itself for so long maybe it could have held onto more power longer under a wider umbrella.

Expand full comment

The majority of America's racists live where slavery was most common a new study has revealed.

The University of Rochester has found that despite the abolition of slavery 150 years ago, white Southerners who live in the Cotton Belt where the economy was build on slaves and plantations are much more likely to express negative attitudes toward blacks than their fellow Southerners who live where there were less slaves.

Indeed, these white people are also more likely to identify as Republican and to hold opinions on race-related political policies such as affirmative action.

According to the findings represented in a map based on the 1860 Census, the most racist parts of the United States are in a narrow band that crosses through Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

In addition there are notable bands of racial resentment that run through Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina and surprisingly, Houston, Texas.

The most interesting findings from the research team was that in the areas where historically there had been few slaves, the political views held among the residents deviated little from those white people in the North.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2428103/Majority-Americas-racists-live-areas-slavery-common-says-new-study.html

Expand full comment

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก ๐’๐ค๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐€๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐š

Weโ€™d be less violent, more mobile and in general more normal if not for Dixie.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/how-the-south-skews-america-119725?o=0

Expand full comment

Freaky Friday: The Virginias Edition.

Expand full comment
Nov 15, 2023ยทedited Nov 15, 2023

IIRC both the split and joining the north was engineered by pro-northern politicians. The general populace was probably never for either, so yeah it's perfectly reasonable (though also with reasonable people disagreeing) to consider the state a southern state.

Expand full comment
founding

Some places are so backward it looks like forward to them.

Expand full comment

Before incarceration, he had four years of sobriety and was participating in a secular program.

Expand full comment
Nov 15, 2023ยทedited Nov 15, 2023

I doubt that many people go into penology because they're constitutional scholars. When I was in the Wisconsin State Employees Union, I was struck by the difference between some of my fellow delegates from the Protective Services bargaining unit. The state-patrol officers were the nicest people, apparently having taken to heart the precept that they're out on the roads to help people (those involved with car crashes, flat tires, directing traffic after ball games, getting drunks off the road, etc.), but the prison guards were just mean as hell and had very limited appreciation of the concepts of dialog and compromise.

I suppose they got into that line of work for the same reason that pederasts are attracted to the priesthood: because it's where they get to exercise their basest instincts with a stamp of approval.

Expand full comment

I would bet money that the state attorney responsible for defending the DoC told them it was a loser case but the client didnโ€™t listen until they got their ass handed to them after the injunction hearing.

Expand full comment

Iโ€™m glad in this one instance of how our prison system mistreats people that there was a religious freedom issue to challenge the mistreatment over.

Too bad there apparently is not a constitutional right to air conditioning in Texas prisons, or a right to be safe from prison rape.

Expand full comment

I hadn't heard about the A/C issue in Texas. (Not that I'm surprised. Not all that long ago the OK prison that my stepfather worked for, still had some un-airconditioned buildings).

I'm sure Abbott and Patrick are falling all over themselves to get those prisons upgraded. You know instead of cutting school funding through property tax. /s

Expand full comment

https://www.texastribune.org/2023/08/21/texas-prison-heat-deaths/

Wouldnโ€™t surprise me if the number of annual prison heat deaths in Texas exceeded the annual number of Texas elective third term abortions, pre Dobbs.

Pro-life party gonna pro-life.

Expand full comment

What was it Ron White said a couple of decades ago? "Other states are abolishing the death penalty, mine's putting in an express lane"

Expand full comment

We have that huge budget surplus they keep talking about (Not to mention the Rainy Day fund). Seems like there's money to do something about the A/C or maybe they can use some of that Energy Upgrade fund they just created. I'm sure the oil tycoons on that board would love to see some more A/C use in this state.

Expand full comment

That razor wire on the Mexico border and New Mexico State line isnโ€™t going to erect itself. Priorities.

Expand full comment

But, the far superior privatized energy company wouldnโ€™t be able to handle the demand of all the A/C in all the prisons in the state. How can you ask Texans to pay for these folks who gave up their humanity for drugs to lay around all comfortable all day while the righteous citizens canโ€™t afford A/C or have to deal with rolling blackouts or just donโ€™t wanna pay for degenerates to suckle off the state. Theyโ€™re all criminals, they deserve to cook slowly to death in a prison cell. They shoulda thought about that before they committed crime.

/s

Expand full comment
Nov 16, 2023ยทedited Nov 16, 2023

Floriduh prisons aren't air conditioned either.

๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐จ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐š๐ฅ ๐€/๐‚ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ

While there are no national statistics on air conditioning in prison, we found that at least 13 states in the hottest regions of the country lack universal air conditioning in their prisons:

Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2019/06/18/air-conditioning/

Expand full comment

Just a reminder here, but Arizona has worse prisons than just no AC in the summer.

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/aug/6/arpaios-infamous-tent-city-gone-arizona-state-prisons-tent-city-remains/

Expand full comment

Has his successor maintained the tent city?

Expand full comment

From what I can tell, the jail is gone now, but well:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3n8wj/phoenix-homeless-tent-city

Expand full comment

If America was to lose all its atheists, we would lose about 90% of the National Academy of Sciences, and reduce our prison population by about 2%. The people in our prisons today overwhelmingly self-identify as Christian. Their religion evidently did not deter them from crime.

Expand full comment

I have to wonder how many of those Christians are only Christian because they think it'll help them get out sooner, and how many are Christian just because they were so desperately fucking bored on the inside, having nothing better to do with their time.

Expand full comment

I took a business law class in college that was taught by a judge who was working as adjunct faculty. He had very broad experience with the Treasurey department and the FBI. He laughed about all the prisoners who get born again shortly after being locked up.

Expand full comment

They were probably already nominal Christians, just needed to put on a show. I don't think many criminals really think enough to be atheists as such.

Expand full comment

Probably similar results if you took out all college graduates.

A college degree also appears to be a decent vaccine against Trumpism, although there are numerous breakout infections.

Expand full comment

Education almost always helps. The strongest opinions you run into will likely be coming from the people who know the least.

Expand full comment

Or โ€“ those who have "done their own research". If there ever was a God he should preserve us from people like that.

Expand full comment

Crazy OT follow up from yesterday:

Yesterday, I responded to one of Val's comments on the christian singer post about how I received an award at a military base I worked at (as a civilian federal employee) for a project I wasn't even present for. I am a member of an engineering club (we provide scholarships and do some occasional community projects and get continuing education credits to maintain professional licenses, etc.) and one guy who had been coming for a couple years, but I had never really talked to, came up to me last night at our meeting. He said someone told him I had worked at this base and he was wondering when, because he was there as well. I told him roughly when, and the first thing he said was "Oh, so you were there for the base commendation too!" We talked a bit, I had no idea about most of what he was saying. I was there for less than two years as my first job out of grad school, he had worked in the industry all his life and was on the base for over a decade.

Anyway, I thought it was completely insane that I hadn't thought about that award in years, and the same day I mention it, I come across someone who happened to work in the same place I did get the same award and bring it up.

Expand full comment

I ran into Troy Polamalu the other day. Turns out he played in a couple of those Super Bowls that I won. : )

Expand full comment

How's his hair looking?

Expand full comment

Dandruff free.

Expand full comment

I got to meet Colin Powell several years ago...we worked for the same company at the same time some two decades earlier, but he probably didn't remember me as he was up in the c-suites and I was more of a field (or desert, at least at that time) operative. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Expand full comment

OT but ... https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/nov/15/marjorie-taylor-greene-book-january-6-mtg

I don't suppose we should expect any consistency from crazy lady, but I thought the capital rioters weren't actually rioters, just tourists?

Expand full comment

Her relationship to reality is roughly the same as my relationship to Kim Jung-un ... NON-EXISTENT!

Expand full comment

Her relationship with reality is like Donnieโ€™s relationship with his first wife.

Expand full comment

Are you sure it's THAT good?!? ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

Expand full comment

I mean the part where her headstone is just another decoration on his golf course.

Expand full comment

I want to know what he really buried there.

Expand full comment

She can write? And read?? She can barely speak correctly. Gazpacho, anyone?

Expand full comment

Truth is the natural enemy of Marjorie Traitor Greene.

Expand full comment

And who was it that was rioting, Margie? Why, it was Trump supporters just like you.

Expand full comment

Ray Epps and the Antifa Boys, with BLM as the opening act.

Expand full comment

I would have loved to watch drumpster trying to outrun rioters.

Expand full comment

He wouldn't have gotten very far. That's why he was hunkered down in his bunker while his loyal mindless sheep wreaked havoc.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

"Gentlelady" odd term, but totally inappropriate with reference to Majorie Taylor-Greene.

Expand full comment

"That's no lady..."

Expand full comment

No it's a brain slug.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Gad ... Johnson is SO full of shit, never mind not knowing fuck-all about this country's founding or those who did the heavy lifting:

๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ˆ๐‘›๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐ด๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ž โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ฃ๐‘’ ๐‘’๐‘ฅโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘, ๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘ , ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐‘’๐‘ฅ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘š๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘๐‘–๐‘๐‘™๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘’; ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘–๐‘“ ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ค ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘“๐‘“๐‘–๐‘๐‘–๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘™๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘›๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘š๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘™๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘๐‘’, ๐‘–๐‘š๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘’, โ„Ž๐‘ฆ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ฆ, ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›, ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘ฆ ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘–๐‘Ÿ โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ. ๐ด๐‘™๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘”โ„Ž ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘™ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ด๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘˜๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ค๐‘› ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘”๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘’๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐ธ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ž, ๐‘–๐‘ก ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘“๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘—๐‘’๐‘๐‘ก ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ฆ. ๐ผ๐‘ก ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘›๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ฆ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘  ๐‘’๐‘š๐‘๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ฆ๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘๐‘’ โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ค๐‘  ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘‘๐‘ , ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ค๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ฆ ๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘’ ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘“๐‘™๐‘ข๐‘’๐‘›๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐ป๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘›, ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜ ๐‘ข๐‘๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘ โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ โ„Ž๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ , ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘’; ๐‘–๐‘ก ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘˜๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ค๐‘™๐‘’๐‘‘๐‘”๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘ค๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘๐‘ฆ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ .

-- John Adams, โ€œA Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of Americaโ€ 1787-1788

Expand full comment

He needs to be kicked in his Johnson. Repeatedly.

Expand full comment
Nov 15, 2023ยทedited Nov 15, 2023

The same MTG who claimed back in December 2022 that if she ran the Capitol riot, she and the rioters would've won.

After she got heat for her twerpery, she claimed she was being sarcastic. Suuure, Margie.

Expand full comment

Now Iโ€™m wondering where she was during the insurrection.

First out of the building? Cowering in the toilet? Leading the โ€œtour groupโ€?

Expand full comment

Tweeting the locations of her colleagues.

Expand full comment

She probably tried to write Salisbury steak.

Expand full comment

I know times are tough, but... there ain't enough green in the US Mint to get me to ghost-write a book for a MAGAt. I like to think I have ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ standards.

Expand full comment
Nov 15, 2023ยทedited Nov 15, 2023

also secret fbi and antifa members.

Expand full comment

Are they going to ban her book too? Oh, wait....

Expand full comment
Nov 16, 2023ยทedited Nov 16, 2023

OT- Two chapter leaders of Moms for Liberty (more like Morons Against Libraries) got the boot after doing photo-ops with the Proud Boys: https://apnews.com/article/moms-for-liberty-proud-boys-kentucky-d073732a6bbf2a65e08dcc76bc53cf06

You aren't fooling anyone, ladies- we all know you believe the same shit they do. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ know it, too. That's why they agreed to have their pictures taken with you. It ๐˜ช๐˜ด funny to watch you eat your own, though!

Expand full comment

What? Did they think they were too Nazi for the Nazis?

Expand full comment

Their error was to leave traces like pictures.

Expand full comment

Morons Against Libraries. MAL. Appropriate, as "Mal" is Spanish for "Evil."

Expand full comment

In French le Malin* is a name for the Devil.

* Not to mix with malin who can mean smart or cheeky.

Expand full comment

They donโ€™t condone hate? Since when?

Expand full comment

IIRC, the Sarasota County chapter chair is married to a Nazi Boy, and she refers to them as "patriots."

Expand full comment
Nov 16, 2023ยทedited Nov 16, 2023

"Und ve are completely loyal to Ron DeFuhrer und ze glorious Fahzzerlant of Sousvest Florida!"

Expand full comment

Well, it's nice to see some ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ news for a change! Rehabilitation should be based on science, not superstition, and nobody should face harsher punishment than other people convicted of the same crimes just because they don't have an imaginary friend.

Expand full comment

Soโ€ฆ if you donโ€™t follow the Christian religion, you are automatically more of a security threat. Meaning if you arenโ€™t Christian you are a threat. โ€œBut it just spiritual not religious.โ€ Doesnโ€™t make any sense especially when the only acceptable responses to their โ€œspiritualโ€ questioning are based on Christianity.

Iโ€™m glad there was a sober judge on this case to make a reality based ruling.

Expand full comment

I am glad that Trump did not manage to get the entire federal judiciary replaced with Christian Nationalists.

Expand full comment

He came awfully close ... and I'm looking at YOU, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and Barrett!

Expand full comment

Yet.

Expand full comment

TRUMP 2024!!!

Sorry. Trump, 20-24 years in the pen!!

Expand full comment

He'd have no difficulty pretending to be a Christian in order to get out of jail. He already manages to pretend to be a decent human being.

Expand full comment

But he's already the world's greatest christian.

Expand full comment

America's Best Christian (the mighty Betty Bowers) begs to differ.

Expand full comment

Iโ€™m glad Mr. Miller won his lawsuit and is now a free man. He seems to have been a model inmate and there were secular programs he could have accessed. I have to wonder why did the prison deny that in the first place? Did they want to force the pesky Jesus-y program just to fuck with him? I wonder how many others before him went through that indoctrination just to get out (A: too many). Also, how many others were able to use the secular route? Statistics would be interesting and probably appalling.

Expand full comment

I know in most states on the community/county level when you enter a diversion program for substance abuse as a condition of the program your only treatment options are going to be 12 Step programs like AA and NA. The majority of the halfway houses you'll be put into will have Christian themed names and rules. They will TELL you that your higher power can be anything at all and they aren't religious but in practice the entire program depends on you giving over your control to your chosen higher power. They really don't understand what atheists believe. The phrase I hear over and over is "Your higher power can be a door knob". The fact that that isn't compatible with atheistic beliefs anymore than Jesus Christ is something they seem incapable of comprehending. It has always seemed so obviously a violation of the separation of church and state to me but it's ubiquitous.

Expand full comment

Itโ€™s that spiritual vs religious argument too. I donโ€™t believe in anything spiritual either, supernatural entities do not exist, be they gods or chakras or vibes. A doorknob as a higher power is just as nonsensical as a god, itโ€™s nice that these folks acknowledge that. But really, giving in to a higher power removes a great deal of personal responsibility, so those who do not find some doorknob to worship are less likely to be a risk than more. And certainly less likely to return than someone who leaves their thinking up to god.

Expand full comment

Peer support may be enough for some people. Belief in a higher power *may* help some find their inner strength. But I think many need help finding and addressing the stresses that led to substance abuse in the first place to lessen the need to fight to 'just' the addiction.

Expand full comment

I agree, and I can see the higher power focus detracting from all of that.

Expand full comment

It's so much easier to give it over to Sky Daddy, and then that way if you stay sober it's because God must want you to, and anyone else it's because they haven't prayed/observed/followed the rules/met the criteria so it's therefore THEIR own fault. This is convenient since it's what capitalism and conservatives are mainly selling and it eliminates the need to address any of society's ills. You never have to do harm reduction if only sinners are being harmed.

Expand full comment

Exactly!!

Expand full comment

I have great difficulty understanding what "spiritual" actually means. I say great difficulty, I don't understand it at all.

Expand full comment

I donโ€™t either. I belong to a monthly discussion group and whoever leads picks the topic. I kid you not, our next one is on spirituality v religion. Iโ€™m dreading it. Iโ€™ll probably offend someone and theyโ€™re nice people.

Expand full comment

Science-based, secular substance abuse programs cost money. Doesn't cost the county anything to insist you go to a 12-step program which have nothing but anecdotal evidence for effectiveness and just as much anecdotal evidence for ineffectiveness.

Expand full comment

I've heard there are atheist/agnostic 12 step programs, but to me the only way you can achieve that is to remove steps. Higher power steps and the atonement steps would have to go,which would only leave three steps.

Expand full comment

Six minute abs?!?

Expand full comment
Nov 15, 2023ยทedited Nov 15, 2023

If your higher power can be a doorknob, then your higher power can be your own brain. And it can be your social network. Both of which are good candidates for an atheist addict's realization that they can't kick the habit without acknowledging the importance and assistance of this higher power.

And to the detractors who say "it can't be your brain, because that makes a hash of the idea that you can't do it yourself," well the same is true for the doorknob.

Expand full comment

Snoop Dogg could work too.

Expand full comment

The idea that you can't do it yourself is a load of hooey. Whatever you talk yourself into believing, you are the one who decides not to use at that moment in time. People believe in whatever magic feather helps them to choose not to use at that moment, but they are really the ones making the choice. Early on, you can only choose not to use "right now". As time goes by, it can become easier to choose not to use so that it becomes choosing not to use today instead of only this moment. Those moments when you again have to choose not to use right now may recur; again, you are the one choosing not to use, not some magic feather.

Expand full comment

Power corrupt.

Expand full comment

How sad. Itโ€™s said that W Virginia is a place where men are men and sheep are scared!

This guy needs to sue for compensation; otherwise, they will continue to deny parole to atheists based on religious doctrine.

Expand full comment

"Itโ€™s said that W Virginia is a place where men are men and sheep are scared!" They stole that directly from NZ.

Expand full comment

I first heard it as; "Greece, where the men are men, and the sheep are nervous."

Expand full comment

How is this even possible in 2023????

Expand full comment

Easy โ€“ a lot of people want to return to 1823.

Expand full comment

More and more of them seem to want to return to 1323.

Expand full comment

These are far too scary times!

Expand full comment

This is exactly why we have to be vigilant. Christians have no problem pushing their beliefs down the throats of anyone under their control. They are ruthless with their unwanted proselytizing. They must be stopped

Expand full comment

How ironic: backasswards West Virginia is run by a right wing MAGA Christian named Jim Justice. In his world, this ruling is a travesty of justice. He and his band of Jesus puritans will undoubtedly appeal and bring it up to the Righteous Catholic Majority of the United States Supreme Court to overturn, in keeping with In God We Trust that's printed on every piece of US currency.

Expand full comment

Jim Jesus Justice will be replacing pseudo-Democrat Joe Manchin next year in the Senate, ensuring complete Red-State dominance for representation of the Christian nation of West Virginiastan.

Expand full comment

But we are ignoring the truth of the situation, and that is that no true Christian is a drug user. It is just not possible. And that is why in such a strong Christian state like West Virginia, drug use isn't a major problem as it is for Godless New York and California. For instance, meth use is... **check meth statistics for West Virginia**..oh.... Like I was saying there are only 4 possibly 5 true Christians in all of West Virginia. It is a godless state of wickedness.

Expand full comment
Nov 15, 2023ยทedited Nov 15, 2023

I hear that Mike Pillow Guy up in Minnesota is a Christian who can't figure out if he loves Christ or Crack more.

Expand full comment

I wouldn't call Mike's relationship with crack love. It is not love. Lust barely covers it. It is the feeling that can only be found in the darkest room of the seediest brothel in the worst neighborhood of Tijuana.

Expand full comment