Launching of For-Profit Faith-Based Ex-Inmate Ministry Creates Both Controversy and Hope
Contact: Dennis Mansfield, New Hope Community Health, 208-672-9200, 208-353-3252 cell,
BOISE, June 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- Long-time national conservative leader Dennis Mansfield has opened faith-based substance abuse homes in Idaho to train and house ex-inmates and former substance abusers, amid skepticism by both social liberals and arch conservatives.
Mansfield, the former founder of Focus on the Family's Family Policy Council in Idaho (1990) and now co-founder of New Hope Community Health, spoke openly about this change of mind regarding inmates, incarceration and hope. "I was shamelessly superficial and quietly uncaring, when it really came to the issue of substance-abuse in our life as a nation. It's numbing our nation to death. I'd spent years of my life caring for the unborn and could have cared less about those already born... held by drugs or housed in prison." Mansfield's son was arrested in 2000 for drug abuse.
He continued, "Those on the political left are skeptical of Christian political leaders truly seeing the need for aggressive substance abuse treatment. Those on the right are the same, wondering why I would speak out and act on this issue - when there are other hot-button social issues."
Mansfield continued, "As a faith-based conservative, it's not enough anymore to say 'I'm against this or that headline issue.' The real measure of my faith is found in what I do and do not do with issues directly facing my community." Mansfield continued, "The late songwriter and evangelical performer Keith Green stated it correctly - 'How can you be so dead, when you're so well "fed". Jesus rose from the grave... and YOU cannot even get out of bed.' That was me... but I'm no longer asleep in the light."
I call on Christian business owners and faith-based entrepreneurs across the nation to do what New Hope has now done - step up to the plate in your community. Address the issues of prisoners, jail overcrowding and give new hope to people who are without a future. To put it bluntly, "Put your money where your mouth is"... or as Jesus said "Where your treasure is, there is your heart."
Mansfield, an outspoken conservative leader, has been interviewed by national news organizations over the years. He was a TV commentator for the CBS affiliate in Idaho and has written many syndicated opinion pieces.
His full story, featured this past week by the Mclatchey News Service via their Idaho newspaper (The Idaho Statesman - www.idahostatesman.com/eyepiece/story/87449.html)