The Null Device

Prisons of the cross: A look at faith-based prisons in Bush's America. Proponents argue that indoctrinating convicts with religion makes them les likely to reoffend; then again, so would the Ludovico Technique as seen in A Clockwork Orange; maybe we should try that next? (Then there's the issue of whether giving religion to people prone to violence and aggression would produce aggressive zealots, or even self-styled instruments of divine vengeance. Maybe if they used Buddhism, rather than the God of the Iron Rod, the programme would make a bit more sense.)

How long do you suppose it is until agreements to attend church become binding parts of standard parole terms in the U.S., with ex-cons being jailed if they have a crisis of faith and stop going?

(Australians: Don't laugh. If this kind of thing washes, John Howard will make faith-based social programmes a key election plank to counteract his image of economic-rationalist meanness. He already lets the Salvation Army dictate drug policy, so jumping completely on the Dubya bandwagon would be a very trivial step.)

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