Atheists Push to Deny the Gospel to Wisconsin Inmates

In yet another attack on Christianity by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the atheist organization has clamored for an end to inmates gaining a degree in Biblical studies.

The secular organization has demanded that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections end its fledgling relationship with an educationally oriented ministry that works with incarcerated men and women. The Freedom from Religion Foundation group has claimed that the relationship between the state-run prison system and a third-party Christian ministry violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The Wisconsin partnership has been crafted to emulate a 22-year seminary program established at Angola Prison in Louisiana. Following that model, the Wisconsin Inmate Educational Association and Trinity University worked together to build what has been dubbed “Operation Transformation.” The degree program offers inmates a pathway to a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Biblical studies.

The coursework and in-class study has been tailored to inmates serving either long prison stints or life. The program also creates a next step for those who complete the four-year transformation by offering them opportunities as “field ministers” at other correctional facilities. In effect, the program taps into each fallen community member’s Christian nature, helps raise their moral well-being and transforms them into first-level ministers.

Unfortunately, the secular forces at the Freedom from Religion Foundation are calling for an end to any and all religiously-oriented education of inmates. Citing the U.S. Constitution, the atheists have called Operation Transformation a “grave” violation of the law and argue that only non-religious education should be permissible in Wisconsin’s state facilities.

Freedom from Religion’s Relentless Attack on Christians

The Wisconsin controversy is far from the first aggression the atheists have brought against Christians. To date, the group has leveled numerous specious allegations. The group proudly touts lawsuits it has filed against actions that include:

  • A challenge to Pres. Trump’s religious liberty executive order
  • Filed a lawsuit against a Texas judge to stop courtroom prayer
  • Filed a lawsuit to stop a 75-year practice of West Virginia Bible classes in school
  • Joined the ACLU-KY to allow a man to have a personalized license plate that says, IM GOD
  • Filed a lawsuit to have the Latin cross stricken from a Pennsylvania county seal
  • Filed suit to stop U.S. Congress’s invocation

The anti-Christian organization also claims it has prevailed in cutting off inmates’ access to religious study programs. The group cites its actions against the Federal Bureau of Prisons that resulted in a stoppage of single-faith based educational opportunities.

Wisconsin Prison Ministries Officials Caught Off-Guard

Although the atheists are publicizing their attack on Christian education in the state system, the Wisconsin Inmate Educational Association and Trinity University have yet to respond to the group’s actions or allegations. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections also appears to be weighing its options and has, to date, not issued an official response.

The atheists’ demand letter calls for Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher to respond in writing and cease and desist all Christian education elements related to Operation Transformation. The letter further demands Secretary Litscher provide a written plan of action to withdraw and adhere to lawful secular practices.

The groups’ lawyer, Colin McNamara, loosely claims that state employees are prohibited from developing such programs but seemed unable to connect Operation Transformation with an existing statute violation. Wisconsin is one of 14 states to move forward with positive seminary education designed to help restore the moral and ethical foundation of convicts, according to sources connected to the Angola Prison program.

The Louisiana program, started by former warden Burl Cain, has been recognized as a proactive force in dramatically reducing prison violence. Angola was once considered one of the worst prisons in the nation before developing the seminary education degree pathway.

The Wisconsin Christian partnership ranks among the newest and may be viewed as vulnerable to the atheists’ legal pressure, much like the Federal prison administration.

Approximately 25 student-inmates signed up for the first class and as many as 18 transferred from medium- or minimum-security systems to Waupun Correctional Institute to participate at the maximum-security facility.

“For these inmates, moving into a maximum-security prison has been a significant sacrifice,” WIEA Executive Director Robin Knoll reportedly said.

After completing the program, they will be immersed in some of the most violent prison populations to spread peace as ministers.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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