Texas Judge Backs Off Bible Study Scheme

A recently elected Houston judge has decided to stop his practice of allowing defendants to read a Bible study book in exchange for avoiding community service.

Judge John Clinton, a former police officer, was elected in January to preside over Harris County Criminal Court No. 4. He offered nine people the chance to read The Heart of the Problem, a book that proselytizes Christianity, instead of receiving community service.

Clinton, after a protest letter from the Texas affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he has stopped offering the book as an option.

“I have stopped the book, and [am] looking for something similar that I can offer everyone,” he said. He told a local news station he wasn’t trying to force religious beliefs on anyone but just wanted to “think outside the box.”