‘Sentenced to Church’ Judge vs. ACLU

'Sentenced to Church' Judge vs. ACLU

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“In November, Muskogee County District Judge Mike Norman stipulated that 17-year-old Tyler Alred should attend church regularly for 10 years as a requirement to avoid a prison sentence, the Tulsa World reported. The teen admitted to police he had been drinking in the Dec. 3, 2011, crash that killed his 16-year-old passenger and friend, John Luke Dum, according to the newspaper.

The ACLU of Oklahoma filed a complaint with state judicial misconduct authorities Tuesday alleging Norman’s ruling disregarded religious liberties in the federal and state constitutions.”*

The ACLU has filed a complaint against District Judge Mike Norman for sentencing a teen in a manslaughter case to church. Judge Norman stands by his sentence, but is it a fair punishment? What if the case had been tried in another state, and what if the teen had been a different religion? Is there any legal precedent to this? Ana Kasparian, Kim Horcher (Host, Nerd Alert), and Jayar Jackson discuss the ramifications of the judge’s decision and what he could have done instead.

*Read more from NBC News:

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30 thoughts on “‘Sentenced to Church’ Judge vs. ACLU”

  1. Although it's fucked up if it was me I'd not mention it again and say yes judge thanks judge. You don't want to poke the situation. If he appealed his sentence he'd end up worse off so why would you.

  2. For the record there is no way in hell I would go to church. I'll take prison because I know that's a stupid sentence.

  3. Excuse me, but we live in a universe where the only constant is change and for a species to survive in an ever changing environment it has to adapt. To adopt a political mindset that seeks to resist change and refuses adaptation seems to me to be particularly stupid. And not only are conservatives resistant to change, they also want to set things back to an imaginary time that never existed i.e. Pleasantville, where everyone was white and Christian and things were simple. Plain stupidity.

  4. Excuse me, any political mindset has it's idiots.

    Liberalism, Libertarianism, Conservatism, all have some idiots, but none are completely stupid.

  5. Conservatism isn't a political party. It is an ideology at "best' or a mindset at worst. And it is very foolish.

  6. Drinking and driving is being a risk to society. It's annoying how alot off people just think of drinking and driving as a stupid thing, no people die from it everyday.

  7. and as the bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of god just because someone goes to church or is religious does not mean the never do anything wrong

  8. I know, and thats why I'm atheist. Society needs atheists just as much as it needs theists. Like I said, in time, we will no longer have a need for religion, but that time has not yet come. And there are fates much worse that having a delusion of a higher power. And yep I based my name of ManBearPig. You;re the first person to call out that reference I think.

  9. I understand and appreciate your POV. My concern is, like I said, that as long as people are trusting "God" to solve problems, which is what the bible teaches, then we as a society are prevented from solving them the only way we can… by ourselves. When I think of the total potential of society and that portion who do not actively participate, because they are expecting God to do it… well, you probably get my drift. Very frustrating.

    So, Fishdogpigsquirrel, any relation to ManBearPig? lol

  10. I understand you don't mean to hateful. I got pretty frustrated too, partially because I was geeked up on 60mg of adderall. After a while, any debate can get pretty retarded after a while. For the record, I do agree with many of the things you say. I just believe the way our society can most benefit is to simply live and love which both theists and atheists need to seriously work on and put effort into helping one another rather than hurting or proving each other wrong.

  11. And just so you know, I don't mean to sound hateful…. just frustrated but I do appreciate your comments and respect the fact that you are asking good questions. I'm sure you are a good person… I am too. See how this irrational belief puts people at odds who might otherwise get along fine. We want the same things. I just want to cut out the primitive thinking and move the human understanding further and improve life for all… it's the only one we get so it's important we don't waste it.

  12. And NOBODY is all alone unless someone like… oh I dunno, Religious types, abandon you for not believing in their doctrine. But you make my point… God is not here to help people but WE ARE. So who does the work? WE DO, but God get's the credit.

    The sooner we realize that WE ARE ALL here alone, and no God will help us out, the sooner we can solve our problems and improve society. When people think God will fix things, they don't fix it themselves.

    You don't need a church to help people.

  13. Those are real problems so I certainly wouldn't tell the person a bunch of wishful thinking and fairy tales about an invisible God that cares when nobody else would.

    I would help the person deal with the REALITY of his situation, give whatever support I could and direct him to any of the many support groups that exist for this purpose. That way REAL PEOPLE can help with his REAL PROBLEM, rather than a pack of lies designed to "comfort," but offer no real answers.

    And it's all OUR community BTW

  14. BTW…. you are not an atheist if you say you'll go back to church to spite one atheist you don't agree with. You're a fake, fraud, phoney, troll.

  15. And if the ghetto would be screwed just because "the church" left them, then I guess God doesn't care about them huh? So I guess God is powerless to help people without his brick and mortar churches… is that what you're saying?

    So God is incapable of directly helping people without his priests to do it for him, and if they aren't available then God simply forsakes the needy?

    If the church helps people then God is unnecessary. If people help people then who needs religion?

    Understand yet?

  16. You can't say shit. You don't know what some people have gone through. What do you say to someone who is completely all alone, caught up in a lifestyle he is trapped in, depressed and inches away from suicide? "Oh god isn't real, you are all alone!" Sometimes you need someone other than yourself. The church is open to everyone, even atheists, and its filled with people who don't want to convert you, but instead want to help you. Can you say the same about your community?

  17. How am I being hateful to good people? I am being disgusted with APATHETIC people who believe in stupid thing which emotionally and intellectually demands their inaction. Militant is using or advocating force. I've done neither so your labeling me as "militant" is dishonest, decisive and hyperbolic. What have I advocated that is so extreme? Rationalism? Critical thinking? Reliance on fact rather than ancient myth?

    Extremism is calling rational people Nazis. YOU are clearly the hateful one.

  18. Stop saying my god, I'm atheist too. And your militant because all you've been doing is being hateful to good people for no reason. This isn't even a debate anymore.You are just an atheist version of a Nazi. If you are how most other atheists are,then I'll start going to church just so I won't have anything to do with you people.

  19. And the only thing faith helps people do, is remain ignorant and fail to rationally consider facts and search for practical answers to real things that effect real people in the real world. So just because it's comforting to people believing in things that are not true, you see it as a positive, while in reality it's a huge negative because it prevents problems from being solved and people from seeking real understanding, or even just admitting "we don't know."

    Ignorance is NOT a virtue.

  20. Where's the examples of this "Militant Atheism?" And if religion did not exist, then people would still kill each other but there would be ONE LESS reason; religion, to do so. So it would decrease the killing in the world.

    Faith helps people? Same ole' "It does more good than harm," argument. Not true.
    Again… what's "extremist" about not believing in your God? Am I an extremist for not believing in Unicorns?

    Religion is not a buffet, you can't pick the good parts and ignore the bad.

  21. Thats not how all religious people are and you know it. In an atheist world people would just find other things to kill each other over like the militant atheism you so proudly support. I know its hard to believe but faith helps people. If it wasn't for faith, many people close to me would not be here right now. The church helps those in need more than your little "atheist community" does. Do you know how the ghetto would be if the church just got up and left? Extremism vs extremism cant work

  22. But you're totally right. Those theists who flew planes into buildings were "just trying to be good Muslims." The Westboro Baptist Church, protesting at murdered children's funerals are "just being good Christians," and all those child molesting Catholic priests, the "kill the gays" Christians in Uganda… the cursades… Salem Witch hunts… on and on it goes… all just "trying to be good people," while committing horrors in the name of their fantasy "God."

  23. But the "common theist" as you say, who minds his own business, does harm to society by their supporting of the extremist religious leaders whom they follow.

    "Good Christians," don't act to change society because they believe "God has a plan." The problem is, they "give their problems to God," to solve, rather than solving them themselves. Is that any way to run society? To wait for your imaginary friend to sort it all out after you die?

    Religion imprisons the mind and promotes inaction.

  24. What a bunch of lies. "And if atheists were in charge, atheism would be forced on society. Neither extreme works." How exactly can atheism be forced? But if you're talking rational thought, then sure, that SHOULD be forced on society. And theists DO try to force their beliefs on society: Creationism in schools, bans on abortion and contraception, denial of gay rights (by claiming marriage is a religious institution).

    Rejection of false God claims is not extremism. Belief in them is.

  25. And if atheists were in charge, atheism would be forced on society. Neither extreme works. The common theist doesn't want to force anything on anyone so I don't know why people like you keep acting like they do. And the only dangerous thinking here is yours. You sound like the religious extremists youre against with all that fuckin hate speech. Hows that less harmful to society than someone who goes to church every sunday and tries to be a good person? And this is coming from an "atheist".

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