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Amicus Brief Opposing Coerced Attendance at Religious Services

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Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association joined an array of interfaith groups in an amicus brief opposing mandatory attendance at religious services as a condition of parole. The plaintiff, who was being released from prison, was mandated to live at a religious mission as a condition of his parole, without being provided any non-religious alternatives. When kicked out of the mission for refusing to attend religious services, he was immediately rearrested without being provided time to find an alternative residence. The district court in this case made a false distinction between active participation in religious services and simply attending them, without recognizing that attendance itself can have deep religious significance, particularly outside of Christianity. Forced religious indoctrination is a violation of religious liberty. We stand with a wide spectrum of religious and interfaith groups in urging this district court decision to be set aside.

The full brief is available in PDF form at the link above. Signatories include:

  • Muslim Advocates
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis
  • Disciples of Christ
  • Global Justice Institute
  • Hindu American Foundation
  • Interfaith Alliance Foundation
  • Men of Reform Judaism
  • National Council of Churches
  • Reconstructing Judaism
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
  • Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
  • Sikh American Legal Defense Fund
  • Union of Reform Judaism
  • Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Women of Reform Judaism
  • Wyoming Interfaith Network

The Reconstructionist Network