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New Study Suggests Religion May Help Criminals Justify Their Crimes

In 1996, noted criminologist Jewel asked a question that has long haunted those hoodlums prone to pondering the existential consequences of their actions: “Who will save your souls after those lies that you told, boy?” For generations of American crooks, the answer has been “religious do-gooders.” As a 2006 Federal Bureau of Prisons report put it, “faith groups have become involved in offering formal programs within prison to bring about not only the spiritual salvation of the inmates but their rehabilitation in the profane world as well.” The idea is that spiritual rebirth may help tame the criminal impulse, and set wild hearts on the straight and narrow.

Maybe not. A new study in the academic journal Theoretical Criminology (hat tip to the Vancouver Sun) suggests that, far from causing offenders to repent of their sins, religious instruction might actually encourage crime. The authors surveyed 48 “hardcore street offenders” in and around Atlanta, in hopes of determining what effect, if any, religion has on their behavior. While the vast majority of those surveyed (45 out of 48 people) claimed to be religious, the authors found that the interviewees “seemed to go out of their way to reconcile their belief in God with their serious predatory offending. They frequently employed elaborate and creative rationalizations in the process and actively exploit religious doctrine to justify their crimes.”

(lots more at the link)

by Anonymousreply 1404/22/2013

...and no real evidence religion helps reform criminals either.

by Anonymousreply 103/09/2013

I've seen this with my own eyes

by Anonymousreply 203/10/2013

"Also another thing is this; if you doing some wrong to another bad person, like if I go rob a dope dealer or a molester or something, then it don’t count against me because it’s like I’m giving punishment to them for Jesus. That’s God’s will. Oh you molested some kids? Well now I’m [God] sending Cool over your house to get your ass."

by Anonymousreply 303/10/2013

Relgion certainly helps televangelists con money out of the public.

by Anonymousreply 403/11/2013

Replace the word "criminals" with "politicians."

by Anonymousreply 503/11/2013

"Isn't is interesting that a country founded to allow freedom from religious persecution is now using religion to persecute freedoms?"

by Anonymousreply 603/16/2013

Religion doesn't actually make anything better.

Good people use it as an excuse to do good they would have done anyway, and bad people use it as an excuse to do the bad things they would have done anyway.

Religion just needs to go away. It's pointless and stupid.

by Anonymousreply 703/16/2013


by Anonymousreply 804/17/2013

God is for looosers

by Anonymousreply 904/17/2013

It's probably the second main use of Religion in fact, behind "controlling the masses".

by Anonymousreply 1004/22/2013


The Prison Ministries scam was started by Chuck Colson of Watergate infamy.

by Anonymousreply 1104/22/2013

Some years ago, there was the case of a man who murdered his girlfriend, because she tried to leave him (she tried to leave him because he was crazy, and she was terrified).

He got religion in prison, and starting telling his parole officers AND her family that God had forgiven him, and therefore they had no right to keep him in jail or even hold a grudge.

by Anonymousreply 1204/22/2013

Ditto, once a wise man said religion was the opiate for masses and certainly most evil comes from religion like the sectarian wars, just take a look at Middle East and it tells you all the story, probably that is also way Bush described his campaign of Iraqi invasion as "crusades", it is a war of greed and politics disguised under crusades and then of course we got terrorists in US fighting for their precious jihad, religion makes people crazy if not criminal...

by Anonymousreply 1304/22/2013

Religion kills, especially when it becomes tribal.

by Anonymousreply 1404/22/2013
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