Monday, November 02, 2009

Will Oklahoma Have an All-Christian Prison?

The Tulsa World has posted a story about a faith-based prison that the town of Wakita, Oklahoma is hoping to build and operate at public expense. It is being promoted as being America's first "all-Christian prison" -- only "born again" Christians need apply for positions as administrators, counselors, and employees.

Dwight Bushman, an economic development consultant for Wakita, initially promoted the private prison as an economic development project, but now promotes the project as a way to "reduce recidivism."

Bill Robinson, an ex-con who is now a prison minister and founder of Corrections Concepts, Inc., has an agreement with Wakita to manage the proposed 600-bed prison if it is built.

Bushman, Robinson, and the town of Wakita appear to be promoting on a grander scale something that has already been declared unconstitutional by the Courts.

I am a "born again" Baptist minister. I firmly believe that faith in Christ changes hearts and transforms lives. I am also deeply convicted that government has no role in promoting faith of any kind.

If some Christians in Oklahoma or elsewhere want an "all-Christian prison" it needs to be built and operated at "all-Christian expense."

I agree with the founding fathers of our state who made this clear in the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma (1907):
Section II-5: Public Money or Property — Use for Sectarian Purposes.

No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

It seems more like an effort to develop a marketing niche than anything else. I don't see how the concept could legally work.
I think we got lots of Christians working in the prisons we already have.

That Baptist Ain't Right said...

Godslingers wanting more public money to do their version of ministry.

Asinus Gravis said...

That constitutional stuff aside, I kind of like the egalitarian aspects of it.

Since the overwhelming proportion of the people we send to prisons identify themselves as Christians, it would seem only fair to have the administrators of the prisons be persons who share their basic outlook on life.

Think of it as different members of the body of Christ, with different gifts, who are all one in Christ. What a wonderful opportunity for all of them to join together at the Lord's table for breakfast, lunch and dinner each and every day, breaking bread and sharing a jug of wine. That would be soul stirring fellowship, with God certain to be present in their midst.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...


You make it sound like heaven on earth.