Let the truth be told. Can you answer the question: How can a minister in America be arrested and imprisoned for quoting the Bible? It may seem strange, but this very thing had happened to Rev. Edward Pinkney in Benton Harbor, Michigan!
Judge Alfred Butzbaugh declared that Rev. Pinkney’s quoting the Bible amounted to a personal threat against him, and removed himself from the case. Judge Dennis Wiley found Rev. Pinkney guilty of violating his probation and jailed him. Judge Wiley then sentenced Rev. Pinkney to 3 to 10 years in prison, double the recommendation of the probation department and the prosecutor.
All across Michigan and the US, thousands of people and institutions rallied to Pinkney’s defense, including community, labor, religious, and other activists, attorneys, the People’s Tribune, other newspapers, and other media. As a result of this fight, the Michigan Appellate Court ordered Rev. Pinkney released to house arrest pending a review of his case, and the court eventually overturned the lower court decision. During this process, Rev. Pinkney had spent nearly a year in prison.
Let the truth be told. Now I sit in prison, facing 30 months to 120 months for election fraud. I have learned a very valuable lesson. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in another, it increases your own mediocrity. Any time you tolerate bad behavior, it increases your bad behavior. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, as you become a better person, your associations will change. Some of your friends, some of the members of your organization, will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay wherethey are. Friends that don’t help you climb, will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you, will eventually decrease you.
I want to tell the city of Benton Harbor, the State of Michigan, I want to say to the people of America and the world: we are not about to stop now! Until judgment and justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream, how long will injustice blind the vision of so many? We are on the move, we are not about to turn around. We must stand against poverty, injustice, and let us all boycott! It is not one thing, it is everything. Let’s stand together!