08 December 2005
A Catholic man in Detroit who pled guilty to possession of marijuana and chose to attend a Pentecostal-run rehabilitation program rather than go to prison has become an example of the downfalls of faith-based programs partnering too closely with the government and taking over government functions. The man, Joseph Hanas, told the judge overseeing his case that he wanted to leave the program after he was told that his Catholicism was “witchcraft” and staff from the program took away his rosary beads. Hanas, whose lawyers argue that he was offered no alternative treatment programs than the Pentecostal Inner City Christian Outreach Center, and that the only free programs were faith-based ones, was then sent back to prison — a repercussion the ACLU of Michigan describes as punishment for Hanas’ religious beliefs.