• Sore Heads: Atheist Group Fusses Because Kanye West Performs for Prisoners

    Surge Summary: Rapper/hip-hop artist Kanye West recently provided a Christian worship service for inmates at a Texas county jail. An atheist group is crying foul – violation of the Constitution, they charge. Huh?

    You can file this under the you-can’t win-for-trying-with-some-people category.

    Over at The Blaze, Phil Shiver relays the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation has issued a formal complaint to a Texas sheriff. His breach?  Last week, he allowed Christian rapper Kanye West to hold a worship service in a county jail under his jurisdiction.

    Monday, November 17, the unbelieving organization requested of Sheriff Ed Gonzalez that a “church service” like the one West held in the Harris County Jail never happen again. They insist that it — sigh! — violates the Constitution.

    “It is our understanding that Harris County Sheriff officials organized two concerts for inmates and staff on Friday, November 15,” the letter recalls. “Kanye West and his choir performed songs from West’s recent religious album, ‘Jesus Is King,’ and the performances were ‘really more like a church service,’ a sentiment you explicitly and publicly admitted. Photos suggest this is true, too.”

    Ahhhh, it’s the old “more like a church service” violation! Surely, America’s founding charter is on the very brink of dissolution!

    The “photos” in reference show one tweet by Sheriff Gonzalez saying, “[Kanye West] and his choir brought some light and #churchservice to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail,” and another recalling West’s words to inmates that “this is a mission, not a show.”

    FFRR argues the inmates didn’t really have much of a choice but to participate.

    “In short, this was unconstitutional. Nobody believes there is a genuine choice between sitting in a cramped, locked cell, and listening to a two-hour long concert.”

    “This constitutional violation is particularly egregious because it imposed religion on inmates — literally a captive audience — who have a deep and immediate interest in being seen favorably by [Sheriff Gonzalez] and [his] staff.”

    “It is no excuse that Kayne West is famous,” the letter adds.

    Good grief. This is terribly weak atheistic sauce. Even if their reasoning is accurate – and that’s a hefty “if” – each inmate present plainly enjoyed a genuine “choice” to be involved or not; and many, most, all (?) of them opted to be a part. One suspects convicts routinely remain in their cells while others partake of group events.

    In a tweet, Jason Spencer, spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, remarked,

    “Say what you want about the man. But [Kanye West] and his choir brought some light to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail,” Jason Spencer, spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, tweeted.

    After the rapper/hip-hop artist performed for more than 200 male inmates, West traveled via an underground tunnel to do his thing for a crowd of women inmates.

    Several inmates got down on their knees to pray while officers, and even members of West’s team, were moved to tears.

    “It was a very powerful moment,” Sheriff Gonzalez said.

    He seems to have forgotten to mention, a blazing threat to our constitutional Republic …

    For his part, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted he thought it would be “great if other artists followed Kanye’s lead.”

    Evidently, the Texas Chief Executive doesn’t realize he’s shredding the very moorings of our nation by encouraging Christians to reach out to and encourage incarcerated men and women.

    “What Kanye West does to inspire the incarcerated is transformative,” Abbott said. “Saving one soul at a time. Inmates who turn to God may get released earlier [because] of good behavior & may be less likely to commit future crimes.”

    Penetratingly sensible stuff there.

    But, according to FFRF, unconstitutionally disallowed?

    Of course, by the sputtering lights of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, chaplains, Bibles, any religiously tainted services or provisions whatsoever would be banished from America’s houses of correction – which, come to think of it, would probably be just peachy with them.

    H/T: The Blaze/Phil Shiver

    Image: Screen shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=fQIUPjQx16s&feature=emb_logo


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