To help further craft their vision for criminal justice reform, Bishop T.D. Jakes and a Dallas County judge visited the Dallas County Jail last Wednesday to meet with inmates who say they want a second chance at life.
Going before a parole board, the inmates told Jakes and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins their stories, which included background on their childhoods, families, and addictions, as well as their plans for how to stay out of jail, their support systems and even their fears, hopes and dreams.
Among those stories was one 35-year-old inmate's concern that his criminal record will "scare off" employers and landlords, and his hopes to overcome the negative labels of "junkie" and "crackhead" that he has endured. Another inmate, a 50-year-old woman, is ashamed to allow her sons to visit her after being imprisoned more than eight times. Her latest conviction involved the sale of crystal meth. She hopes to see more programs in place that help ex-offenders stay on the straight-and-narrow after they get out of jail. more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini has issued a statement about his troubled marriage with wife, Naghmeh, revealing that he does not agree with much of what she has written about the issue, but said that he is praying for healing and restoration.
"Naghmeh has been a hero to me and suffered enormously as a result of being 7,000 miles away from me and being a single parent to our two precious children while traveling and leading a crusade on my behalf. I will always love her for her sacrifice," Abedini said in a statement sent to the Idaho Statesman on Saturday.
The pastor, who was released earlier in January following three and a half years in Iranian prison for his Christian faith, noted that Naghmeh has been writing to her supporters about the troubled state of their marriage, but he had so far chosen not to respond, because he wants personal issues to be dealt with personally. more >>
In the days leading up to the pivotal Iowa caucuses, a group of Iowa pastors and a number of prominent national Christian leaders have endorsed Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president, which contrasts the notion that evangelical leaders are coalescing around Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Rubio has repeatedly touted his faith in recent weeks in commercials, during campaign stops and at presidential debates, in a concerted effort to attract the support of the pivotal Iowa evangelical voting bloc, a group that both Cruz and frontrunner Donald Trump have also courted heavily.
In a press release issued Saturday, the Rubio campaign announced a "growing" list of at least 26 Iowa pastors, who represent various Christian denominations and will be supporting Rubio at Monday's Iowa caucuses. more >>
Hello Democratic Caucus and Primary voters! Before you cast your ballot next month, it's time to play everyone's favorite pop quiz game …
Hillary Clinton or Extremist Rightwing Republican?!
Playing in the game is quite simple. You will be given a series of quotes and you must determine who is responsible for them. Is it Hillary Clinton? Or is it an Extremist Rightwing Republican? more >>
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has shown signs throughout the campaign that his once pro-choice attitude and close connections with abortion proponents could play a damaging role in the success of the pro-life movement if he is elected president.
A coalition of 10 prominent female pro-life leaders have signed onto a letter encouraging Iowa Caucus goers to vote for "anyone but Donald Trump," citing concerns that if he wins the Republican nomination he would consider picking a pro-choice vice presidential running mate and if elected president, would consider nominating pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court.
Although Trump now claims to be pro-life and is touting the support he is receiving among rank-and-file evangelical churchgoers, he might not realize that some of the things he says during campaign events show social conservative voters that he is not all that serious about protecting the dignity of the unborn, an issue that many conservative evangelicals take seriously. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham says that beside Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini themselves, only God knows the details surrounding the issues between them.
"While we rejoice at his (Saeed Abedini's) new freedom, we now lift him and his wife, Naghmeh, to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There's an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story," Graham, the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.
Graham added that he is trying to be a friend and assist both, and said that there is a great need for prayer for their relationship. more >>