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Archive for the tag “Eric Metaxas”

Indifference toward prisoners puts our souls at risk

youth prison hearingEric Metaxas writes at BreakPoint:

Three years ago, Michael McIntosh went to visit his son, a juvenile offender at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility near Jackson, Mississippi. When he arrived he was told that his son, Mike, wasn’t there.

Since Mike hadn’t been released from custody, something was very wrong. It took six weeks and a tip from a prison nurse to find Mike, who was in a hospital in Greenwood several hours from Jackson. It’s as if prison officials were trying to hide Mike.

And for good reason: Mike “could barely move, let alone sit up.” He couldn’t see or talk; he had a “baseball-size knot on the back of his head;” and he was covered in cuts, bruises and stab wounds.

As a result of his injuries, Mike sustained brain damage that left his cognitive abilities resembling that of a two-year-old. Mike suffered these injuries as the result of a “youth melee” at the facility, and “no one bothered to tell his father.” …

[Now] Mississippi faces another lawsuit over prison conditions: in May, the ACLU sued the state on behalf of residents at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility. The ACLU alleges that conditions at the facility have “cost many prisoners their health, and their limbs, their eyesight, and even their lives.”

The complaint alleges that “solitary confinement zones house dozens of seriously mentally ill prisoners who are locked down in filthy cells for days, weeks, or even years at a time.” The plaintiffs say that “rapes, stabbings, beatings, and … acts of violence are rampant.” …

These violations persist because the vast majority of Americans practice their own brand of “deliberate indifference” when it comes to the treatment of prisoners.

But we don’t have that option. Jesus made it clear that deliberate indifference to their plight puts our souls at risk. In addition, if we remain silent in the face of these offenses against human dignity, then we will deserve it when people tune us out when we talk about matters like religious freedom and marriage. We will be just another special interest in a nation full of them.

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Read more about this case by clicking here.

What will get America back on course?

Eric Metaxas writes at BreakPoint:

Polls show that most Americans believe the nation is on the wrong course, and many of us see signs of decay — with crushing debt and deficits, anti-American mob action in the Middle East and North Africa, rampant and enduring unemployment, and a cultural milieu that seems to grow coarser by the day. So what are we to do about all this?

Well, Guinness says the problem is ultimately not going to be solved by politicians, or even solely by a return to our founding charter, the Constitution. We need an old-fashioned “reformation of customs.”

Guinness writes, “What the framers believed should complement and reinforce the Constitution and its separation of powers is the distinctive moral ecology that is at the heart of ordered liberty.” These are the “habits of the heart” that Alexis de Tocqueville identified, and which too many of us have lost.

As the cartoon character Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” It’s entirely our choice, Guinness says, whether we will face national desolation or not.

Sometimes a book is so important and so timely that not to have read it is to embarrass oneself. Let me say that Os Guinness’ new book, A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future, is such a book.

Read this full post by clicking here.

A Free People’s Suicide will be discussed in the next two BreakPoints.

The Golden Triangle of Freedom: Freedom, Virtue, Faith

Religious Freedom & Democracy: The Sine Qua Non

A biblical vision for criminal justice

Eric Metaxas writes on BreakPoint:

We’ve been talking on BreakPoint about the violations of human dignity that are all too common in our criminal justice system. Christians cannot be silent in the face of outrages like prison rape, the mistreatment of mentally ill prisoners and overcrowded prison facilities.

What makes silence even more unacceptable is that there is a biblically-based alternative to the status quo; it’s called restorative justice.

Four years ago, Mike Huckabee summed up one of restorative justice’s key principles when he said that “we’ve got to quit locking up all the people that we’re mad at and lock up the people that we’re really afraid of …”

The distinction between “people we’re mad at” and “people we’re really afraid of” is crucial in restorative justice. Huckabee isn’t the only person to point out the increasingly punitive nature of American criminal justice. Longer sentences, the increased use of solitary confinement, and all but officially giving up on the idea of rehabilitation are just three examples of this trend.

Ironically, our justice system has grown more punitive even as violent crime rates have dropped. While there are exceptions, many American communities are safer than they have been since World War II. For instance, it is statistically safer to walk in Central Park at night today than it was in 1950.

We are spending money we don’t have to confine people “we’re mad at,” such as low-level drug and property offenders.

Restorative justice avoids this trap by treating crime as an offense first and foremost against the victim, not as an offense against the state.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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