A quote from Edwin C. Burleigh

As it so happens, my great-great-great grandfather was Edwin C. Burleigh, 42nd governor of Maine. And, as it so happens, he had this to say:

The convict should at the end of his term be a better man morally than he was when he entered the prison, or else his imprisonment has not been of lasting advantage to society.

It’s such simple common sense, yet it seems to be lost on so many people. Prisons are for improving society, not punishing people. Of course, punishment may be one of the means used to achieve the actual goal of prisons, but it is not an end unto itself.

SCA conference call

As I mentioned I would, I dialed into the Secular Coalition for America’s conference call yesterday afternoon. A good number of other people were on the line, including a few from the group Downeast Humanists (for those of you outside the state, this is the what Downeast means in Maine). A lot of what was discussed was the basic mission of SCA state chapters (lobbying), but there was also emphasis on the need for volunteers. The thing that makes any lobbying group successful is its ability to get people to pay attention; small or big, the way a group does that is with strong infrastructure and support from its people. Beside that, the bigger a talent pool we get, the better. For anyone interested in hearing the call, the SCA will have it up on the Maine page soon. If you’re really an eager beaver, an outline of the matters discussed is already up.

I’ve got to say I’m pretty excited about all this. Between the Downeast Humanists and those at Atheists of Maine, I think we’re already well positioned to get a strong grassroots movement going; it shouldn’t be long before we’re able to establish an official lobbying group.