A church in Kentucky is starting a "Court Watch" program. Church members attend court and note the disposition of each case with an emphasis on drug cases. The Community Church of Manchester is not in court to help these defendants with spiritual advise, rehabilitation, counseling, or ministry. The Rev. Doug Abner, pastor at Community Church -- whose slogan for a 2004 anti-drug march was "get saved or get busted" -- said the presence of Court Watch volunteers puts "mild pressure" on judges "to do the right thing. The voice of sanity in this story is Rev. John Rausch, director of the Catholic Committee on Appalachia who cites the Gospel of Matthew (25:36); "When I was in prison, you came to see me." "It isn't 'I was up for charges and you made sure they threw the book at me,"' Rausch said. Like most misguided drug warriors this Court Watch program is based on the faulty notion that we can incarcerate our way out of a public health problem- addiction. It is disgusting to see Christian Churchs lining up in judgement of those charged with possession. I think it shows a lack of faith that a Church would support incarceration and judgment instead of offering salvation to these defendants. One does have to look to hard in the Bible to find a time when Christians were persecuted by the Government. How times have changed. I wonder if Court Watch would have made sure Pontius Pilate did the "right thing."
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