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Atheist who was jailed for denying a "higher power" in a treatment facility awarded $2 million

Discussion in 'Share Your Rehab Experience' started by ariana_, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    He doesn't deserve a cent in my opinion.
    Nick W. likes this.
  2. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I'm inclined to agree with Jen S. on this. I didn't understand that it was "alternative" at first, but yeah, go to jail then and suck it up. Don't try to make them pay for offering you an alternative you didn't "like".
    Jen S. likes this.
  3. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I mean, it's unfortunate the recovery program offended this person's beliefs (or non-beliefs) because he probably really needs the help. I just don't view it as a violation of his rights.
    Nick W. likes this.
  4. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I'm with you on that. It sucks that he could have it catered to him, but then again, he could have just went to prison instead.
    Jen S. likes this.
  5. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    I am a Christian, and I do believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are somehow baffled and overwhelmed by the harshness of some tribulations, but have we reflected on the causes? Addiction, for instance, was not God's fault. It was our free will that brought us there. We are free, and we decide for our own good or fate.
  6. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    I think that having something to believe in is important and you have got to have some faith in order to continue on to a better life and future. However I dont know if itshould be forced but perhaps it was a part of his problem.
    Nick W. likes this.
  7. Survivor21

    Survivor21 Member

    When I read things like this, I really have a hard time understanding our justice system. Instead of sending the man to jail, wouldn't have been possible to arrange an alternative rehab center for him? I think this is really an eye-opening article and our media should investigate how prevalent this is in other states as well.
  8. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    That is crazy! I think religious based rehabs, should state their qualifications for candidates ,before they join, If one does not agree with their beliefs in whichever high power, then they should not admitt them,neither should they force them to believe in what they believe in.
  9. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    My opinion on this topic is this, I tried to save myself and failed. I am not a religious person but spiritual, theirs a big difference. I believe that there is something greater than ourselves that is in total control. And I feel involving yourself in new positive activities that try to take your focus off of drugs and add better habits is great. I was a slave to drug abuse and you could say drugs was my "god" because I did everything for them so we all have things in our lives we choose to serve, who or what will be yours be.
  10. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    I believe in God and a higher power. What he is called is irrelevant. While I practice some of my religious ceremonies, I do it for family time and just to pay that respect to that higher power. To bring my family closer together. Otherwise religion around the world has just brought death and chaos. Well not religion but the people that are fanatical about it.
    ProShell likes this.
  11. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    Everyone has a right to their own spiritual beliefs and while yes, I understand that for many giving themselves over to their higher power to help them get through their addiction is effective -- those who don't believe still deserve the same level of care and respect from a medical facility. Medicine and religion should not overlap except for those who desire it to be that way.
  12. ProShell

    ProShell Member

    On the one hand I think that it was ridiculous to jail an atheist for his or her beliefs, it seems equally silly to seek damages of over a million dollars for it.
    I'm not sure where the preponderance of opinion lies here, but I'm balanced in my disapproval.
  13. ThatKidWithTheFace

    ThatKidWithTheFace Active Contributor

    ProShell, he wasn't jailed for his beliefs. He had a choice between two sentences, one in jail and one in rehab. He didn't do what he was supposed to at rehab, so they sent him back to jail. So, in a nutshell, he was jailed by his own choice.
  14. ProShell

    ProShell Member

    I see, thanks for the correction.
    Still, what kind of rehabilitation program is supposed to force you to acknowledge some sort of higher power?
    An atheist, or even a humanist, might not acknowledge any such thing.

    On the one hand, if he really just didn't follow the rules then everyone was just doing their job, but on the other hand, if he was motivated by a religous or lack thereof kind of belief, then the rule wasn't just.

    Just my feeling on the subject.
  15. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    This was very unprofessional of the rehab center. We all have the right to live our lives the way we see fit. This must have been a traumatizing situation for this patient. The staff in an establishment must be trained properly to be able to understand the people they help when they open their doors to them.
  16. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Props for him for winning the suit. But on the side of beliefs and AA/NA. It's easier for weaker individuals to put their faith in a higher power and get their motivation through those means. Sometimes all it takes it a little nudge in the faith direction and some can become very confident individuals. Of course, there is a limit...
  17. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    I'm not surprised, but that absolutely doesn't mean that it's okay or that it's the right thing to do. I understand that there are a lot of people who turn to some sort of religion when they are trying to get sober, but a person who clearly does not believe in any religious power nor wants to participate in their worshiping should not have to put up with that ordered by the court! If it's a religious thing, the court and the judge should have asked about his religion before placing him in a specific rehabilitation center. If men and women in prison get religious accommodations, then so should recovering addicts!
  18. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Indeed Dana, but that being said, the legal system should really be separated of religious beliefs. It's not normal in a secular era to be judged for your beliefs, or non beliefs in this case.
  19. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I'm glad this happened because it shines a light on the absurdity of the method that some are forced to work with. I think it's good that the option is there for people who need it, and for others it might work, but I think it is wrong that they would force something like this on someone and if he hadn't retaliated then they would have just continued on with this behavior without even the slightest self review.
  20. juno

    juno Community Champion

    This is so interesting. Although focusing on a religious belief may often be helpful in rehab, this has to be a personal preference. It is unfortunate that this man went to a program that has a religious focus. Due to his legal situation it became a big mess, otherwise he probably could have just switched programs.