Here is a nice story about prisoner work crews helping to restore area churches.
"They have just been angels. They’ve literally answered our prayers," Mr. Santos said of the prisoners who repaired and repainted the church. "These inmates got in there, and now, it’s gorgeous."
The prisoners had to climb up scaffolding and ladders high into the air to get to some of the damage. Parishioners to the small Catholic church located on Ashley Boulevard in the North End showed their appreciation by baking cookies and providing lunch to the prisoners during the five weeks that they toiled.
One day, the prisoners were told that a wedding and baptism would be taking place at the church the next day, Mr. Santos said. But the wall behind the altar was only half painted, and would have looked awkward in pictures taken of both ceremonies.
The crew volunteered to work through their coffee break and lunch break to make sure the wall was one color, Mr. Santos said. "They really were a delight to work with. I honestly think working in the church is helping these inmates get their lives back on track," he said.
One prisoner told Mr. Santos that when he was released, he intended to bring his family to St. Kilian’s and enroll as a parishioner himself.
…A Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group called Americans United for the Separation of Church and State wrote to Sheriff Hodgson last year, demanding that he stop allowing work crews to work on churches. The group threatened a lawsuit if the practice did not stop.
I told them if they wanted to sue, go ahead, because I have no intention of stopping," Sheriff Hodgson said, adding, "I haven’t heard from them for awhile."
Recently the same organization had this to say about President Clinton’s speech a the Riverside Church.
"It didn’t cross the line," said liberal Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, in an interview on September 1 about Clinton’s August 29 speech at Riverside Church in upper Manhattan. "If you don’t cross the line, if you don’t advocate the defeat of a person, if you just criticize a candidate’s policies . . . there is some legitimate free speech there.
This is of course the same organization that filed an IRS complaint against Catholic Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs after Sheridan wrote a pastoral letter that said that Catholics who vote for anti-life candidates should not receive Communion. Now according to his standard you have to advocate the defeat of a candidate and he called the Bishops actions electioneering. They continue to be Americans unitied for the separation of reason and thought.