Court Ruling May Dampen Religious Fervor in Prisons

By 1997, Newhouse News Service | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 1, 1997 | Go to article overview

Court Ruling May Dampen Religious Fervor in Prisons


1997, Newhouse News Service, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


In Lincoln, most worship services are Saturday or Sunday, but at the state penitentiary, the Asatrus congregates at 1 p.m. Thursdays.

There are only 35 members of this denomination at the prison, and the place of worship consists of a large rock and an outdoor fire pit.

The Asatrus (pronounced Ah-SAH-trues) are just one of the unusual "faith groups" that have blossomed behind bars since Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993. But last month the Supreme Court overturned the law, and now not just the Asatrus, but main-line prison religions wonder if their gains will be erased. "The existence of (the act) has been a major tool we've had in being able to negotiate with prison officials for access," said Charles W. Colson, who was convicted in the Watergate scandal and who now heads Prison Fellowship, a behind-bars ministry. "Without it, I had one official tell me, `I'm not going to approve any meetings if (the act) is repealed. Why should I?' " But prison officials say their policies won't change. "I don't think it's going to have much, if any, impact," said Mark Rosenau, who has been chaplain at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for the past 19 years. The prison, he said, has 14 recognized faith groups among its 950 inmates, including the Asatrus and the Sacred Pipe, a Lakota Sioux religion so popular that the prison has had to schedule two sessions a week for its sweat lodge, a type of sauna and spiritual retreat. Rosenau said the prison will continue to allow all groups to worship once a week, as it has under the religious freedom act. But finding a place for everyone will be tough. "We just don't have the meeting places available for everyone to have their own choice," said Rosenau. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in 1993 with bipartisan support and the backing of President Bill Clinton and church groups across the country. The act said governments can infringe on religious practices only if they have a health, safety or other "compelling interest" in doing so. It was originally adopted to address complaints by religious groups that some state and local laws discriminated against them. The Supreme Court declared the law too broad. It said religious freedom issues must be decided by the courts on a case by case basis. "The impact of (the act) meant you had to expand to a whole series of religions and faith groups that were never even heard of before," said Jerry Gasko, the deputy director of Colorado's prisons.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Court Ruling May Dampen Religious Fervor in Prisons
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.