Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Jonathan Perfetto is a person convicted of possessing child pornography who is on probation. He wants to go to church.

Seems like a good idea, a sign of repentance and amendment of life. Problem: Perfetto’s terms of probation prohibit him from having contact with children under the age of 16. Children go to church. Therefore, the state of New Hampshire has concluded that Perfetto can’t go to church, not even with a church elder as chaperone.

Isn’t there something in the Constitution about freedom of religion?

Here’s what the assistant county attorney in New Hampshire said: “The danger of the defendant conversing among a congregation filled with children is quite clear, and the defendant’s right to converse certainly does not outweigh the danger to these children.”

Huh? Converse? Perfetto wants to worship, not converse. Churches aren’t debate societies, nor gradaute seminars. Boy, secularism must be pretty advanced if county attorneys in New Hampshire think that people gather in buildings with steeples in order to “converse.”

OK, OK, maybe some people do go for the coffee hour fellowship afterwards, but the State of New Hampshire is not competent to determine who are “conversing” Christians, and who are the “worshipping” ones.

Good for the ACLU. The venerable defenders of civil liberties sometimes go off the rails, allowing themselves to be seduced by Leftist ideologies. But in this case they rightly see a core constitutional right being tossed aside.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles