Daniel Turner

RELIGION IN PRISON

There’s always the cliched expectation that religion can make a con’s life better. The first time I ever went to the Hole, shortly after I arrived in prison in 1997, it was exactly as I expected: a bare cell, metal toilet, mattress, and blanket, and you were there for 23 hours a day with no books, nothing. Except for one thing: every cell came equipped with a copy of the Bible. Always the expectation. Not that AI complained then; when you’re that bored, even the endless nonsense in the book of Numbers was welcome. But my point is this: why not a book on moral philosophy? Why not a book on history? How about Cicero’s treatises on morality, or something from Marcus Aurelius, or even from the “atheist” Buddhists? Why the expectation, when it clearly doesn’t seem to be doing much good?

Daniel Turner
DOC #767569

2 replies »

  1. I never heard of the book of Numbers changing someone’s life, admittedly! But read Romell Broom’s story of when he was in the death cell awaiting execution (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/380992) and it’s clear that books like the Psalms or the gospels can relate directly to someone’s situation and change their heart. It’s not about religion but realising for the first time that you are unchangeably loved. Difficult to explain until it happens to you – but don’t dismiss the possibility too quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

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