Government Sponsored Religion

Whilst sitting in a US prison, prisoners are normally encouraged to read.  After all, someday these people will have paid their debt to society and be expected to go straight.

On account of the current war, there is a movement on the part of The Bureau of Prisons to get rid of religious books it doesn’t like, probably so that there would be fewer Islamic books.  Rather than be blatant about their motives,  the Bureau has white listed books, and in the process, banned a very long list of religious texts from a wide variety of religions.

While I can understand why the Bureau of Prisons would have an legitimate incentive to cull their libraries of Mein Kamph, The Elders of Zion, the Dummies Guide to Getting to Paradise through Suicide Bombing, and the Anarchists Cookbook, they have no business picking and choosing what legitimate religious texts prisoners read. 

White listing books by its nature creates a list of religious specifically condoned by the government and condemning to obscurity everything else–an activity the government should have no part of.

The current white list is biased towards Republican religions and against liberal & Democratic ones, so not only is it a slap in the face to members of small religions, like American Buddhism and Unitarianism but it has a political agenda.  After all, if a Republican bureaucrat can make a strike against Islamic heathens, why not do his part to suppress all those hippy lefty religions, too?  After all, there are 200,000 future voters the Republican party could garner.

This sort of mixing of the affairs of the state and the affairs of philosophy is just the sort of thing that the separation of state and church was about.

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