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Lawsuit Says Atheist Parolee Spent 5 Months in Jail for Not Going to Bible Study

Jun 10, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

In 2015, atheist Mark Janny was released from jail. (The reason he was there is irrelevant to this story.) His parole officer, John Gamez, told Janny that if he wanted to remain out of prison, he would have to live at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian homeless shelter.

That shelter’s rules required residents to participate in worship services, Bible studies, and faith-based counseling, none of which Janny had any desire to join. Nor should he have had to! It’s not like he was hiding his atheism. The courts should never have forced him to attend a Christian anything as a requirement of his parole.

Janny actually suggested an alternative: staying at the home of some family friends. But that was rejected. So Janny went to the shelter… but didn’t participate in the religious activities. And because of that, Gamez revoked his parole and sent Janny back to jail for five more months.

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