The Free Speech of Prisoners

Incarcerated people are usually American citizens—with the exception of the many immigrants detained for lack of visas or other papers—and as American citizens one would expect that they would be subject to the provisions of the Bill of Rights which includes freedom of speech. But that may not necessarily be so. The issue came up when a weekly debate club in Statesville Correctional Center in Crest Hills, Illinois, was suspended without explanation. They had been debating the pros and cons of Continue reading “The Free Speech of Prisoners”

The Religious Freedom Taskforce

According to Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, addressing a recent Religious Freedom Summit, there is what he called a dangerous movement interfering with religious freedom. Consequently, he announced the creation of a Religious Liberty Taskforce and charged them with enforcing 20 principles which he presented in a DOJ Memorandum. Some of the 20 points seem to place religious liberty over civil Continue reading “The Religious Freedom Taskforce”

On Religious Freedom

A military chaplain, the Rev Ronald Apollo, sued the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to be able to practice his religious beliefs and won. BOP wanted all personnel to carry pepper spray, including chaplains, so that if attacked by an inmate they could protect themselves. Apollo challenged the rule and now prison chaplains will no longer have to carry pepper spray. That to some may be just another example of how the Christian right asserts its values on the society, but it is more than that. First of Continue reading “On Religious Freedom”

White Nationalists–The Chain’s Weak Link

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s a saying that seems to have relevance to Donald Trump’s election. Much is being said about those who form part of his base, if not the majority of it, the white nationalists, the alt-right, by whatever name those who have a belief system that to most of us represents intolerance. Given the trend of the US electorate, the trends of US society, these are people who seem anachronistic, with values that run counter to the movement of inclusiveness and pluralism. Their values appear to feed racism, sexism, homophobia , xenophobia and many of the categories which as a whole our society has been in travails to overcome. To many reading this it may be that Continue reading “White Nationalists–The Chain’s Weak Link”