Satan-worshiping inmate claims discrimination


#1

KRQE:

Satan-worshiping inmate claims discrimination

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A state prison inmate claims corrections officials aren’t allowing him to properly worship Satan behind bars. In a lawsuit, first reported by the Santa Fe Reporter Tuesday, Bernard Pritchard says the chaplain and deputy warden at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces treated his faith differently than others. “Defendants denied plaintiff a reasonable opportunity of pursuing his faith comparable to the opportunity afforded to fellow prisoners who adhere to conventional religious precepts,” wrote Pritchard in the lawsuit, which he file pro se.

Pritchard, serving time on aggravated stalking charges he was convicted for in 2013, was transferred to the state’s facility in Grants in May and filed the lawsuit in early September. He’s asking for a judge to force the New Mexico Corrections Department to let him worship Satan more freely and wants $140,000 in damages.
The lawsuit doesn’t spell out specifically how Pritchard believes his rights were violated or what he was prevented from doing by prison officials.
The New Mexico Corrections Department declined comment on the lawsuit but a top official tells News 13 the department does its best to safely accommodate every inmate’s religious beliefs.

“[They have been] given a right to practice those faiths and we want to make sure that we’re respectful of their rights,” said Anthony Romero, deputy director of adult prisons with the New Mexico Corrections Department.
That includes working around dietary considerations and allowing inmates to skip work on holy days. There are even sweat lodges built outside of some prison facilities to accommodate Native American religious beliefs.
New Mexico Corrections policy includes guidelines for 19 different religious groups, in many cases very specific guidelines.

You can click on thumbnails of the prison guidelines for different religions. It lists fast days &c for RCs but specifies prisoners may not consume sacramental wine. F[FONT=Georgia]or our Orthodox brethren the prison rules state “same as Catholic but with icons”. My favorite category is Protestant (“General Christianity”).[/FONT]
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[FONT=Georgia]They do have Satanism listed with no holy [sic] days or practices listed, all covered under “Subject to security and safety considerations.” [/FONT]


#2

The lawsuit doesn’t spell out specifically how Pritchard believes his rights were violated or what he was prevented from doing by prison officials.

Why am I not surprised?


#3

Yeah, I may worship the father of lies, but take my word for it.:rolleyes:


#4

I could be wrong, but I would guess that it’s just an angry convict messing with the prison system. I’ve heard of cons saying they were Rastafarian and therefore entitled to marijuana for religious purposes, and I’ve heard of others who claimed to be involved with Native American spirituality and therefore entitled to peyote. Must get pretty boring behind bars.:shrug:


#5

Aren’t certain rights taken away or limited in prison? I doubt Orthodox Jewish prisoners receive all of their religious rights, including kosher food. Even if the protestation of this prisoner is founded on genuine religious beliefs, he should expect certain restrictions.


#6

It doesn’t seem like we have all the facts. I’m sure doing hearings they will figure out what has been going on.


#7

Sometimes I think these people just want to show us a living reductio ad absurdum disproving the secular idea of “religious freedom.” Makes me appreciate the clarity of Pius IX who condemned the idea that, “Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” (Syllabus of Errors, 15)


#8

Sometimes, yes. I heard that an ADX Florence inmate didn’t have access to a Chaplain (and thus his weekly Mass obligation) for a time. I believe it was since remedied… I imagine it was a matter of security logistics.


#9

I cannot imagine any Prison or Prison Governor wanting to call down Satan in his Prison I am sure they have enough problems without the father of lies appearing in the hallways

Not unless they have a Catholic Church nearby so they can order in tons of Holy Water to be splashed down everywhere.


#10

I have a friend who does religious ministries in a number of prisons, and he’s found that often the personal biases of the prison chaplains have a strong impact on what the prisoners are allowed to do in terms of religious study and practice.

As much as I disapprove of Satanism, if there is a case of discrimination here, I’m glad he’s taking them to court. This country was founded on the notion that the government should not be able to push its religious biases onto the people, and prison should be no different.


#11

Why let that get in the way of good conjecture? :smiley:


#12

In British and Irish prisoners they do indeed receive Kosher food and Muslim prisoners are issued a Halal diet if they request it. Which I fully agree with.


#13

Good grief! If we acquiesce to this prisoner’s demands, it will open the door to more of the same. Then, we can expect a bunch of openly Satanic-worshipping prisoners. We’d have that to look forward to, and it’d establish a precedence for prisoners across the country to cry “discrimination”, want all kinds of money.

That’s one thing I have got to credit Mexico with. I think a lawsuit like that would probably be laughed at, just thrown in the garbage, where it should be.

Instead, the States will actually take all this craziness seriously!

We truly don’t know where to draw the line, don’t want to admit that some “religions” don’t deserve recognition, are a threat to society, dangerous, don’t deserve to even be called “religion” along with ones that legitimately are trying to do good works, seek God, help others.

So now, we have to help promote a “religion” that hurts people? Gosh! If we accept this, we are farther off the deep end than he is.


#14

Well this does not surprise me. What do we expect these days, those who have been convicted and sentenced seem to have more rights than their victims.

We certainly don’t want to go back to putting people in dungeons but now we seem to put them in high end resorts.


#15

Yeah, like Satan needs more help and accommodations, now more in prisons! How foolish we are allowing this frivolous lawsuit to take up the court’s valuable time with nonsense while real, legitimate, and important cases, are waiting to be heard!

This is absolutely ludicrous! Ridiculous! Insanity!

If we permit this, we deserve whatever we get. Sadly, it’s generally the innocent people who will end up being the losers in this and the ones to suffer.

In a just world, this case would be thrown out and the one responsible stiffly fined for having the audacity to bring it in the first place.


#16

Yeah, I think the appropriate response would be to fine the one bringing this .lawsuit what he was asking to receive…with interest for wasting everybody’s time…next case. :wink:


#17

Oh brother!


#18

They don’t have Pastafarianism listed…


#19

Perhaps we have that too in the States but I’m just not aware of it.


#20

Nor Festivus for the rest of us.


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