By Theodore Shoebat
The state of Kentucky is now forbidding its volunteer pastors, who are part of government counselors for juvenile criminals, from preaching against homosexuality and calling it sinful. As we read from the report:
The state of Kentucky has begun imposing a religious test on volunteer pastor counselors in its youth division, insisting that they refrain from calling homosexuality “sinful” and dismissing those who cannot bend their religious faith to accommodate the state requirements.
The policy was uncovered by Liberty Counsel, which has sent a letter to Bob Hayter, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, demanding that the state religious test be dropped and that a dismissed counselor be reinstated.
“Liberty Counsel writes regarding the blatantly unconstitutional revocation of volunteer prison minister status of ordained Christian minister David Wells, who has provided voluntary spiritual counseling and mentorship to juvenile inmates under the control of the Department of Juvenile Justice. … This revocation was issued by Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center on the basis of the April 4, 2014, DJJ Policy 912, which mandates full DJJ support of homosexuality and transvestism.
“With no evidence of any violation of DJJ policy on Mr. Wells’ part, his volunteer status was revoked by the Warren RJDC superintendent because he could not sign a state-mandated statement that homosexuality was not ‘sinful,’ among other things,” the letter said.
The policy states that DJJ staff, volunteers and others “shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Pastor Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands. Without it, they cannot provide healing.”
Wells had volunteered more than 10 years at the facility under the prison ministry of Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady
But Supt. Gene Wade dismissed him in a terse note on July 7.
He wrote, “I must terminate your involvement as a religious volunteer serving the youth in this facility per DJJ Policy 112, Section IV, Paragraph H, (8).”
Liberty Counsel reported Policy 912, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” states that volunteers cannot refer to homosexuality or other alternative sexual lifestyles as “sinful.”
“DJJ 912 equates the teaching of biblical morality with ‘derogatory,’ ‘biased” and ‘hateful’ speech,” added Staver.
“In so doing, the DJJ policy creates an unconstitutional, religious litmus test for DJJ access. The First Amendment prohibits the government from viewpoint discrimination. This detention center may not prohibit the expression of biblical morality simply because a few DJJ policymakers object to the Bible and its teaching,” the letter said.
Liberty Counsel’s letter noted Wells was ordered to sign a form “promising to refrain from telling any juvenile inmates that homosexuality was ‘sinful.’”
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