Robert Robinson believes deeply that all things happen for a reason. He believes his two trips to prison--in 2000 for assault and 2002 for drug dealing--were gifts from God. And he believes his encounter with the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) prison ministry program saved his life. "I'd been shot twice and stabbed," the 25-year-old Iowa welder told WORLD. "If I hadn't gone to IFI, I'd be dead right now."
Despite numerous success stories similar to that of Mr. Robinson, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has filed suit against IFI and the Iowa Department of Corrections for what it deems a violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause. Americans United president Barry Lynn called IFI "a government-funded conversion program," and argued that "no American should be strong-armed by the government to adopt a particular religious viewpoint."
But Mr. Robinson was never strong-armed. Like all inmates involved with IFI, he entered the program voluntarily. Like most who graduate, he now commends the life lessons taught there--also voluntarily.
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