Wait, They Can Smoke in Prison But We Can't Say "No" to Abortifacients

The 8th Circuit Court has ruled in favor of the Native American Council of Tribes v. Weber, stating that South Dakota correctional officials violated the religious liberty of Native American prison inmates' who use tobacco for religious reasons.

I have to snicker a little bit that a court says a jail must allow Native Americans to use tobacco for religious reasons but meanwhile the federal government is forcing Catholics of the non-inmate variety to pay for abortifacients.

The court ruled that the government should attempt to seek out a less restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.

I've often said that Jesus is viewed by the government as more dangerous than even secondhand smoke. This would seem to prove it. I'm fine with the ruling but I just hope that the courts are as amenable to the religious rights of non-minority prison inmates. We'll see.



  1. In Dostoyevsky's THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD, a fictionalized narrative of his years in prison, most of the inmates, even the worst of them, choose to begin their day with prayers before the icons on the walls of their huge common cell. Religious tobacco smoke in an American prison is okay, then, but can anyone imagine icons, crucifixes, or other Christian images being permitted in the common areas!
    Make no mistake; the prison is a real (Newark)hole, but given the crimes for which many of the wretches have been sentenced, we can infer that the death penalty in Czarist Russia was imposed much less frequently than it was in the U.S.A.


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