November 21st, 2012
11:51 AM ET

Judge orders teen to attend church

(CNN)–A judge has sentenced a teen to 10 years of church attendance, saying, "It was the right thing to do."  CNN affiliate KIKO has more.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    At the very least it is tacit admission that attending church is a punishment.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      The worst punishment for an atheist would be to go to heaven and spend eternity with dingbats like HeavenSent and this judge.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Ting

      Very nice.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  3. What a senseless decision

    Okay, so going to church didn't stop this kid from being a drunk driver who killed his friend. How is going to the same church going to make him better after?

    November 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Because redemption is a process, not an event.

      November 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Spurious Einstein

      Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  4. Petronius Balonius

    If the drunk-driving manslaughter was committed by a muslim, would this judge have sentenced him to 10 years of mosque? What is the felon was an agnostic? Where would he send him?

    November 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Judge Chester Crosssucker Flaccidnoodle

      They'd get prison only. Only good Christian drunk driver killers get the cushy church sentence.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do muslims drive drunk?

      November 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      Mis America 2010 did. Muslim. Busted. Got almost the same sentence minus the church that the kid who killed his buddy did.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  5. Badda Bing

    I am glad that the judge recognizes that church is a prison and a punishment. I mean, let's face it: you don't send felons who kill people to Tahiti for a nice tan.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  6. hawaiiguest

    This decision needs to be overturned and this judge should lose his seat immediately.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And then do what with the kid?

      November 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      How about sentencing him according to the letter of the law? He was drinking underage, so fine him, revoke his license for a while, jail time if necessary, but sentencing him to go to a specific church when he may either be not of that church or part of no church is completely unconstitutional and stupid.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • MegaBob

      Bill, the correct thing to do if a judge thinks a chance at redemption is worth it would be probation and community service. Courts cannot order religious attendance of any kind without allowing alternatives. This has been proven repeatedly with AA, where people sentenced to AA have fought it on religious grounds and consistently won.

      Basically, this decision violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. No judge should be allowed to keep his seat if he is so hostile to the basic document that defnes this great land.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      But this kid isn't hostile to the church. He is already an attending member who sees this as a very merciful sentence he is willing to comply with.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      It still doesn't matter. It is still unconstitutional, and in light of what you say, it is a lenient sentence based on his religion, which may be even more egregious a violation and an injustice.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Ok then, apparently this 17 year old is directly responsible for the death of the passenger. Why is this not a manslaughter charge? This guy should be serving prison time for this.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      While I am not conversant with the sentencing guidelines in this case, I suspect the judge has the leeway to sentence probation and church attendance as a form of public service. I'd be surprised to find he was negligent in his jurisprudence. To me it looks like a good kid that got caught up in a sad circuumstance. Hopefully, he will have a new awareness of the message he hears and experiences in his church community. Does anyone know if the deceased was also a member of the church? I wonder how the rest of the congregation will react. There is more to this story than CNN reports ( no surprise)

      November 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Man Hawaii, no wonder you won't go to reconciliation. You really like that vindiictive justice kind of stuff don't you?

      November 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      I responded to you conditionally. If you bring up that bullshit again you can forget any kind of conversation, because you're just showing your condescending, self-serving idiocy once again.
      I don't care how you want to spin the judge sending him to church, the fact remains that it is unconstitutional, lenient, and a gross misuse of the authority being a judge grants.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      where did you find this nugget: "He is already an attending member who sees this as a very merciful sentence"

      I didn't catch it on the video.

      My first thought here was: does he have to attend a specific church, or can he go where he likes?

      November 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Yeah

      Bill, you keep dancing aroung the Constitution. You are evading the point. Try to debate honestly instead of changing the subject.

      It's simple: the judge can indeed show lenience if he thinks it is warrented. That is NOT what this story is about. The judge CANNOT legally make religious attendance part of any sentence. That violates the 1st and 14th amendments. Unfortunately, the only people with standing to sue are the victim's family, and they are church-goers, so this little rape of the Constitution won't be properly challenged.

      He should be disbarred or forced to retire, but considering where they are, I doubt anything will happen. I do suspect that we will see more of this thing as a result from copycat judges who think they are above the law.

      The intellectually dishonesty practiced by you and Topher and other Christians here speaks volumes about Christian "morality."

      November 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  7. Larry Barry

    Is this judge providing equal alternatives for drunken manslaughterers of other beliefs (and non-beliefs)?

    November 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  8. The Truth

    This is another hole in the dam of Christianity, and will be used as an example of why we need a separation of Church and State. This kid needs to go for a few months, then get a lawyer and sue for emotional distress and mental abuse and the State will have to cut him a fat check and slap the crepe out of that moronic, though well meaning, country bumpkin judge.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  9. This judge should be instantly disbarred

    Drink driving manslaughter, and the punishment is. . . church?

    Nice justice. Nice sodomization of the constitution.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  10. Sam Yaza

    go to church or go to jail isn't that forced religion

    kid let me give you some advice get a new lawyer

    one who will suggest rehab instead

    or go to jail and stand proud in defiance of the tyrant god.....

    but ether way you should probably quite drinking that beer is gods poison and you should not touch the stuff

    November 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  11. Bill Deacon

    Interesting story. The kid is 16, already a regular church attendee. Found guilty of vehicular manslaughter of his 16 year old friend and DUI. The options were to send him to the penitentiary or put him on probation with the obligation to stay involved in church. The defending attorney says the sentence is acceptable to his client and he sees it as getting a second chance.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      So instead of actually punishing the person for DUI and manslaughter, we just slap him on the wrist and send him to church? If he is a regular chruch goer, obviously chruch/religion has not helped with his decision making.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      He's 16. I prefer redemption to justice.

      November 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Akira

      The kid should see it as a second chance; it's a GIFT, a "get out of jail free" card!

      November 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • hypatia

      another charming xian troll who thinks his toilet is a baptismal font

      December 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  12. Matt Baldwin

    I suspect that this is a technical violation of the 8th amendment.

    November 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      i concur

      November 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  13. Pastor Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Come to Jesus, young man.

    November 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  14. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Notice where this happened Tulsa OK.....lol inbred nascar country. lol Are we really surprised at the fact the judge is ignorant????? lol

    November 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  15. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    And if I was the teen I would wear 666 each day I went to church.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  16. VanHagar

    Theology aside...if I was this kid, and I had to choose between spending 1-2 hours a week in church or spending years in prison (and all that comes with it), I'd take church in a heart beat. Who wouldn't?

    Tom...this will survive judicial review because, unless the prosecution appeals, it won't be up for review.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      If I were this kid, I would appeal. This goes against his 1st amendment rights.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      yeah appeal kid. Take the 10-20 in Big Mac

      November 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  17. Which God?

    Wow. Cruel and unusual punishment. Sounds like mental toture to me.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  18. noodles doodles and toodles

    And if the kid say "ok, I want to go to the mosque" will that be ok ? Idiot.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Akira

      Right? LOL

      November 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    This will survive judicial review how?

    November 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Irrational Exuberance

      By not being appealed.

      As I recall the kid does not intend to appeal it.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  20. Chick-a-dee

    This link redirects to FOX23. Eeeeeeew!!! I feel dirty just from getting that close to the FauxNews.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:56 am |
1 2 3
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.