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I'm sorry my last column confused Pastor Sprock.

My comments came as a response to assertions that when religion, in the form of school-endorsed prayer, was removed from schools, a host of moral misbehaviors resulted -- STDs, divorce, abortion, crime.

The implication was that promoting religion substantially, albeit incompletely, protects our people against immorality.

I simply demonstrated that by those same indicators of morality, prevalent religion does not protect against immorality, and that therefore the supposed link between school-prayer limitations and societal immorality is bogus.

Religious people manifest "immoral" behaviors at very much the same rate as the general population does. Not a lot worse, but also no better. Chalk it up to Sprock's version of human failings, but apparently the gods' practical ability to impede bad behavior is essentially zilch, in the big picture.

Sprock describes his volunteer work in prisons as a "mission." For 24 years, I also volunteered for prison work, and visited our local inmates daily. I didn't try to convert them to non-belief; my efforts were focused on identifying problems and designing solutions, offering hope and treating them as human beings with intrinsic worth. Unlike missionaries, I didn't waste time on petty doctrinal proselytizing in this highly vulnerable population, and started with a wider, more realistic spectrum of therapeutic interventions than "accept Jesus and put yourself in his hands" as the default position.

Sprock urges believers to commit to living the moral life, and not get "sucked into who is the most moral." That is, use his methods to help you be moral, but don't worry about results, about whether those methods actually work.

Pastor Sprock admits non-believers are scarce in prisons. I wonder why that's the case?

Jon Hauxwell

Hays