Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Friday, 22 February 2008

So flush the dang thing....

No, I am being snarky, (inspired, or rather, tempted perhaps, by the fact that virtually everyone I know who makes the effort to engage in spontaneous prayer throughout the day reports that he does some of his best talking to God in the shower. Of course, they may all have access those spa-wannabe bathrooms that are almost a sine qua non of the modern McMansion, so the toilet is in a different 'compartment' or even entirely different room for the rest of the plumbing. Hmm.... now that I think of it, everyone does say "shower" not "bath," no one says he does his best prayring in the bath, perhpas modern bathing is too hedonistic. But I digress....)


A Hasidic rabbi serving time at a federal penitentiary is suing the Bureau of Prisons to change its policy on where inmates can pray.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in New York, Rabbi Mordechai Samet, who was convicted of fraudulently obtaining more than $4 million, asserts that his ability to pray according to his beliefs has been violated by the Bureau of Prisons’ insistence that he pray in his cell. The cell contains a toilet, making it an unclean place to pray for Jews, his suit says, as well as for Muslims and Buddhists.
Prisoners in federal facilities cannot pray in common spaces, and prison chapels are usually not open enough hours to accommodate those who pray several times a day, the suit contends.

Anyway, as I said, I was being snarky.
The embezzler is entitled to pray as his religious conviction dictates, despite his living arrangements being as his criminal conviction dictates.
But I think the answer is obvious.
Instead of full-time access to a toilet, and only intermittent availability of a space appropriate for prayer; giv'em full-time access to a space appropriate for prayer, and only intermittent access to a toilet.
Allow prisoners whose religion demands it to have cells without toilets.
And let them learn to limit their liquids intake; or live with discomfort or embarrassment, both of which are a small price to pay to be allowed to follow God's law. Right? Wouldn't anyone of any religion happily make such a.... excuse the pun... piddling sacrifice?

I feel like Solomon...


lvschant said...

I love it! piddling indeed.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I should have been too ashamed to use that pun...