Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:33:46 GMT
Passengers aboard a Megabus were stuck in Fort Deposit on Wednesday after the bus suffered a mechanical issue and the driver became ill. A spokesperson for Megabus told WSFA 12 News that the bus was headingMore >>
Passengers aboard a Megabus were stuck in Fort Deposit on Wednesday after the bus suffered a mechanical issue and the driver became ill.More >>
Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island on Thursday where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities...More >>
Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:43:00 GMT
Autauga County authorities say a meth operation was busted and three people were arrested thanks to an anonymous tip. Billy Ray Kizziah, 21, of Deatsville, Joe Davis Henderson, 22, of Marbury, and KimberlyMore >>
Autauga County authorities say a meth operation was busted and three people were arrested thanks to an anonymous tip.More >>
Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:24 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:24:41 GMT
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Arizona to carry out its third execution in the past year Wednesday following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.More >>
A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
The Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation is blasting the Montgomery Police Department's new "Operation Good Shepherd" program as a violation of the Constitution and is demanding the city end the program or face a lawsuit.
The organization sent a letter Wednesday to Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange demanding the city end "Operation Good Shepherd", a program the atheist organization says is a publicly funded Christian ministry that seeks to lower crime by converting people to Christianity.
"The MPD is deliberately taking advantage of the victims of crime or loss and using their fragile, vulnerable state to attempt to convert them," the FFRF said.
FFRF says "Operation Good Shepherd" is unconstitutional, violating the Establishment Clause's separation of church and state.
Mayor Strange refuted the organization's assertions that the city was somehow trying to convert people to a particular religion, saying he was "flabbergasted". He says "Operation Good Shepherd" is a crime fighting initiative, not a recruiting tool for religion and even welcomed the FFRF to join the cause if it will help reduce crime.
"What we are really trying to do is find the mechanism that we can get out in front of this [crime] to help victims... " the mayor said.
The program was started in June 2013 with a standing-room only crowd gathered to take part. In August, a class of 34 ministers graduated from the mandatory training class that included training on how to respond to a crime scene, how to approach victims and information on drug and gang awareness.
FFRF says Jesus will not lower crime and points to research it says indicates that the less religious a country is, the lower the violent crime and homicide rate. It also says the higher the rate of religion, the higher the rate of poverty, obesity, STDs, teen pregnancy, violent crime and homicide.
FFRF says the studies "do not prove that religion is the cause of all of society's ills, but it certainly seems like Operation Good Shepherd might be throwing gasoline on a fire."