Rev. Jesse Jackson, now 81 and suffering from Parkinson’s disease, has transferred the presidency of his Rainbow PUSH Coalition to the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III, 62, another Black church leader long devoted to civil rights and social activism. The Coalition was launched in an early version in 1962 but received its current form in 1996 when PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) joined with the National Rainbow Coalition, creating a civil rights organization with an aim for economic and educational equality. Haynes has been pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church of Dallas for 40 years.


The Giving USA Foundation of Indianapolis released its annual report detailing a decline in charitable giving during 2022. This is only the fourth time in forty years that giving has declined, two of the others occurring during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. When adjusted for inflation, giving to Religion (one of nine non-profit categories) declined by 2.6% to $144 billion. Total charitable giving exceeded $499 billion. The report reflects the research of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI (Indian University–Perdue University of Indianapolis).

On the abortion, contraception, and women’s health front, three things happened this week. First, the federal Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever over-the-counter pill for contraception. Second, the Iowa state legislature in a special session passed a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Third, Iowa state judge Joseph W. Seidlin immediately issued a temporary stay on the law, pending legal challenges from various plaintiffs.

The new movie “Sound of Freedom” has gathered a significant viewing audience in theaters, making almost $50 million in its opening days. While not an overtly Christian or religious film, it tells the real-life story of Christian/Mormon adventurer Tim Ballard who has been active in rescuing children caught in smuggling operations, a social justice cause particularly dear to Evangelicals. In the movie, Ballard is played by Jim Caviezel, who is an experienced Hollywood actor who played Jesus in 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ.

Los Angeles
Christian minister, gay activist, and AIDS patient Steve Pieters has died at the age of 70. The cause of death was listed as gastrointestinal cancer. Pieters rose to national prominence in 1985, at the height of the AIDS crisis, when he was interviewed by Tammy Faye Bakker (later Messner, who died in 2007). Baker listened to his story of gospel work and gay identity and expressed great empathy. “Jesus loves me just the way I am,” Pieters told Baker. Pieters graduated from Northwestern University and McCormick Seminary and spent years as a pastor in the gay community.

Published On: July 18th, 2023 / Categories: MH News /

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