Sulphur judge under fire by anti-religion group - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sulphur judge under fire by anti-religion group

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

A Sulphur City court judge is under fire from an anti-religion group asking him to stop coercing people to participate in religious programs.

But Judge Charles Schrumpf says he offers the "Life Choices" program by a local church as an alternative to other punishment. And he believes it’s perfectly legal. The program is provided by the Celebration Worship Center, which is an Assembly of God church in Sulphur.

For fifteen years Schrumpf has served on the bench in Sulphur City Court.  For all that time, he says he's offered religious programs as an alternative to traditional sentencing.

But Schrumpf is now being criticized by the "Freedom from Religion Foundation" which says, in a letter, that it is "wholly inappropriate to compel vulnerable individuals to participate in support groups that promote religion through prayer or religious study."

However, Schrumpf says he doesn't force anyone.

"Once they make the choice, then it is, you have to complete the program.  If you don't want to complete the program then you have to come back to me and I can give them another choice," said Schrumpf.

He says the program works.

"It's been very effective.  If you talk to the probation office, she tells us it's been remarkable understanding from the people that do this," said Schrumpf.

Still, the group says "complainants regularly express concern they are being pressured to conform to religious practices...rather than receiving neutral, science based assistance."

Schrumpf disagrees, explaining that they are provided with choices.

"We've got to try to avoid putting people in jail that can't afford to pay, and secondly, we've gotta offer them a choice.  If we're going to offer them a religious program, that you offer them a secular program as well, and so I do that.  I offer them community service, a year of church, and I offer them moral and ethical training," he said.

While the Foundation asks that concerns be addressed, Schrumpf says he'll keep offering alternatives including a religious study that he thinks turns lives around.

Schrumpf says those being sentenced can choose a church of their choice.

 We've reached out to the Freedom from Religion Foundation for an interview but have not yet heard back.

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Christmas Cram a success in Moss Bluff

    Christmas Cram a success in Moss Bluff

    Monday, December 18 2017 7:34 AM EST2017-12-18 12:34:08 GMT

    Moss Bluff residents attempted to cram a cargo trailer full of toys over the weekend. The idea of Century 21 Bessette realtor Lydia Holland, the "Christmas Cram" was organized to collect toys for underprivileged children in the Calcasieu and Beauregard school systems. The cram grew into a family day event where children could take part with the donation of a small gift. There were fun rides, jumps and plenty of food for those in attendance. Because of the generosity of ...

    More >>

    Moss Bluff residents attempted to cram a cargo trailer full of toys over the weekend. The idea of Century 21 Bessette realtor Lydia Holland, the "Christmas Cram" was organized to collect toys for underprivileged children in the Calcasieu and Beauregard school systems. The cram grew into a family day event where children could take part with the donation of a small gift. There were fun rides, jumps and plenty of food for those in attendance. Because of the generosity of ...

    More >>
  • WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: "LeJeune's House Of Lights"

    WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: "LeJeune's House Of Lights"

    Monday, December 18 2017 7:08 AM EST2017-12-18 12:08:51 GMT
    LeJeune's House of Lights (Source: Facebook)LeJeune's House of Lights (Source: Facebook)

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Kayla Courvell here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

    More >>

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Kayla Courvell here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

    More >>
  • Lake Arthur's 'LeJeune House Of Lights'

    Lake Arthur's 'LeJeune House Of Lights'

    Monday, December 18 2017 6:35 AM EST2017-12-18 11:35:19 GMT
    (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

    A home in Lake Arthur has transformed into a winter wonderland in hopes of spreading Christmas cheer. LeJeune's House of Lights offers various light shows for the community. The half-acre property features Santa's mailbox so children can drop off cards, holiday tunes, and free candy canes. It's free to attend but the LeJeune's do take donations of canned goods to donate to the Methodist church in Lake Arthur who distributes them to local needy. Learn more about LeJeune's House of ...

    More >>

    A home in Lake Arthur has transformed into a winter wonderland in hopes of spreading Christmas cheer. LeJeune's House of Lights offers various light shows for the community. The half-acre property features Santa's mailbox so children can drop off cards, holiday tunes, and free candy canes. It's free to attend but the LeJeune's do take donations of canned goods to donate to the Methodist church in Lake Arthur who distributes them to local needy. Learn more about LeJeune's House of ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly