Jan 272016
 

Saeed-Abedini-ACLJDearest Friends,

Saeed landed in Boise yesterday and had a wonderful reunion with the children. They will be spending more and more time together in the coming days. I am so happy for this long waited reunion and for the joy that I see in my children and in Saeed. Nothing can make me happier than seeing those whom I love be happy and free from the pain that they had been under for the last 3.5 years.

I am so thankful for the thousands of people who have responded to my pleas and helped work toward Saeed’s release. His imprisonment was unjust, and was an extremely difficult ordeal for him and all of us who sought for his release. I worked tirelessly night and day toward that end for three-and-a-half years. Nothing has made me happier than seeing Saeed freed from his chains and in American soil. Thank you for all of you who stood with us and made this happen.

I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness. I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our marriage.

Tragically, the opposite has occurred. Three months ago Saeed told me things he demanded I must do to promote him in the eyes of the public that I simply could not do any longer. He threatened that if I did not the results would be the end of our marriage and the resulting pain this would bring to our children.

I long more than anyone for reconciliation for our family and to be united as a family. Since Saeed’s freedom I have wanted nothing more than to run to him and welcome him home It is something I dreamed about the last 3.5 years. But unfortunately things did not work out that way and our family has to work through reconciliation. I want our reconciliation to be strictly based on God’s Word. I want us to go through counseling, which must first deal with the abuse. Then we can deal with the changes my husband and I must both make moving forward in the process of healing our marriage.

In very difficult situations sometimes you have to establish boundaries while you work toward healing. I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved. I love my husband, but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer. We cannot go on the way it has been. I hope and pray our marriage can be healed. I believe in a God who freed Saeed from the worst prisons can hear our plea and bring spiritual freedom.

I love you all. God will see us through. Thank you for your prayers and support. We need them more than ever.

Love

Naghmeh

  346 Responses to “The Latest From Naghmeh Abedini”

  1. It’s too bad that this marriage needs to be live blogged. Doesn’t seem like the most effective way to deal with marriage issues, and it sets the rest of us up with the temptation to gossip and judge.

  2. these are the words of a strong woman, who knows Christ, i pray for her and for a good outcome

  3. on this we agree, Jean 🙂

  4. her posts are like those FB ads that pop up on the sidebar – you can’t get rid of them.

    The fact that she even brought up “his demands” is indication that she wants a public fight.

  5. I’m guessing that she’s trying to keep from getting buried by the machine.

    I have other less positive guess as well, but I’ll keep them to myself for now.

  6. Since she’s keeping it public, I’m going to make some comments.

    She is either a very brave woman, or dangerously crazy. Those are the only two possibilities. Honestly, I don’t know which I’d rather it be.

  7. I hurt for her. We all know that porn has warped many minds as to what marital love should be. My heart goes out to her and I pray she stays strong. I agree with Michael about “the machine” and I believe that they would love to swallow her up to make $$$ in the name of Jesus.

  8. So many things that still don’t make sense. If she must keep this public, and I can understand why she would, she really should fill in all the holes.

    “Three months ago Saeed told me things he demanded I must do to promote him in the eyes of the public that I simply could not do any longer.”

    Like what? She was working for his release. I just don’t get it.

  9. This marks the end of my involvement in this matter other than to bear them good will. It is my prayer that they shall walk through the matter in the grace of God.

  10. What a brave woman in a very difficult situation. I continue to pray for all the Abindinis. Now, it seems, that she is the prisoner of sorts and I hope the church continues the effort of prayer, regardless of the outcome.
    I do sympathize and emphathize with her situation.
    Sadly, more often than not, the wife ends up being the designated blamee in situations like this. Only God knows the whole story. I pray for His glory.

  11. Ok – I think I get it.

    She set boundaries upon his return. Criteria that will have to be met if they are to reunite. (I think that’s the right thing to do, by the way.)

    She is writing this to let people know why they will not be together for the immediate future. Everyone would be expecting their beautiful reunion, and appearances as a family, and she is letting everyone know why that can’t happen right now.

    I misunderstood. She has done the right thing. Good for her. She IS brave.

  12. When she wrote that the abuse was still continuing, we wondered how this could be happening with Saeed in prison. At the time, I wondered if he was making demands on her advocacy for his cause, bullying her for not trying hard enough, as if the poor woman hadn’t worn herself out already on his behalf. That’s the only long-distance abuse I could think of. If threats were involved. this does rise to the level of serious abuse.

    This is one of several scenarios I had in mind and looks looks like this is the one that is the true story. There are some oddities about it all still but this story makes sense to me.

  13. There are some very powerful men who see Saeed as a golden marketing opportunity.

    She is knocking some of the gold off.

  14. I wonder if there is anything individuals can do to support her during this. Saeed if free, now she needs us. She is going to get buried without serious help.

  15. Josh – I thought she said that HE set the boundaries for his return???

  16. Josh,

    We won’t let that happen.

  17. mLD – She said he threatened divorce if she didn’t do what he said. She said :
    “In very difficult situations sometimes you have to establish boundaries while you work toward healing. I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved ”

    Michael – I’ll go in with you 100% on this one.

  18. Well….

    Her husband is unfairly imprisoned and is making demands (she says) about increasing her advocacy for his release. This is a mom with two young kids who just about knocked herself out on his behalf. Add to this the fact that (according to N.) he’s always been… let’s say, difficult.

    Finally he demands she step up the pace. She’s a mom with kids, what more can she do than she has already done? The kids need a stable life at home with a mom who is there for them. So she’s had enough. She calls it quits.

    But she has to explain why she’s quitting all the TV appearances, etc. Personally, I would just claim exhaustion but I suspect she was pretty angry with him by this time and just told the raw truth (or some of it).

    Now that he’s home, everyone’s wanting info and she has provided us with some explanations. If Saeed is the bully she claims he is, he’s probably hopping mad and coarsened by 3 years in prison and she wants the world to know what’s going on, if only for her own safety.

    Still some gaps which are not really any of my business. The story mostly makes sense. God bless her and her kids.

  19. God help the whole family – once you’re in the limelight, the exploiters gather like moths – Lord, protect these people and give them ears to hear God the Holy Spirit’s directions and comfort

  20. For the record I have no problem with Naghmeh building a wall, even a public wall around herself for her protection. I deplore all forms of abuse against women, children and yes even men in the family circle.

    Further I have no problem with those who sought public and media assistance finding themselves the object of public attention. Shine the light and let the lovers of darkness flee.

    God have mercy on us all.

  21. I also remain in prayer for this family. It is very unfortunate that Naghmeh had to take this very private matter public for the entire world to see. She cannot be excused for this. As far as the abuse continuing while Saeed was in prison- this man was tortured, starved, isolated, propagandized and abused by one of the worst human rights violating countries in history. Until we hear from him directly, I cannot hold him responsible for any actions he perfomred while in this horrific prison. I pray that we do not hear from Saeed directly, and that he keeps this matter private.

    If Naghmeh is serious about basing her marital reconciliation on God’s word- she will stay off the internet and stop publicly trashing her spouse

  22. She’s crying out for help Cash.

  23. Not Cash – I meant Cookie…

    She doesn’t feel that she is on a level playing field, so she is reaching out to protect herself and her children. Brave woman.

  24. I suspect she is terrified Saeed will take the kids and the more people (witnesses) who know about the situation, the safer she feels.

  25. Cookie @ 21: Their lives have ALREADY been made public simply by being in the intense public spotlight due to his incarceration. I don’t know the situation and I pray for them both, but IF there was abuse, and IF she feels it still could be ongoing, she has the perfect right to explain to others that are following him and her given all the publicity, why they won’t find them looking like the perfect church family now that he’s back. I thought her letter sounded very grace-filled and hopeful, not like one just trying to trash Saeed. And personally, if there was abuse, I find your statements that “she cannot be excused for this” and that she needs to “stop publicly trashing her spouse” completely out of line and very much along the “let’s blame the abused” path that keeps people that have been abused in hiding for fear of people like you jumping on them. Now whether there has been genuine “abuse” or not in this situation, none of us know and the best thing we all can do is pray for them and not attack either of them.

  26. The amout of stress this family must be under has to be temendous. Stress and fear make people do and say things they would not normally do or say.
    Hopefully they will have people in their corner who are for them, and not just there for the publicity being around them brings.

  27. So far we have only heard Naghmeh’s side of the story. I do not doubt that there has been extreme marital difficulties- usually where there is smoke there is fire. Having personal experience with a spouse who struggled with pornography for years I know the intense shame a man feels when his pornography abuse is exposed. We had to expose it to a pastor- and then to a small group- and ultimately my husband broke free from that sin of bondage. I do not believe it was right to expose Saeed’s specific sin to the whole world. It should have remained as private as possible. I know the mindset of this sight is to expose all abuse-all the time- but most often it is best to keep it private and deal with it in a closed group. Naghmeh’s wish is to keep her marital reconciliation private- but she keeps going public. It would be profitable to her marriage to stay off the internet. Im sure her husband would probably agree.

  28. My experience with some of the players here tells me that their solution to these marital difficulties would be for her to shut up and take it.

    She’s up against a lot of money and power…and I think Xenia’s perceptions are correct.

    I have to be very intentional about what battles I fight these days, but I’ll go all in on this one if necessary.

    This, while still understanding there is much we do not know.

  29. “I have to be very intentional about what battles I fight these days, but I’ll go all in on this one if necessary.”

    Before we get too deep into something we know little about and nothing public has been said as a threat, what does “all the way mean”? If Saeed wants a divorce (which in America is his right) and fights for custody of the kids (again in America is his right), what are you / we going to do about it?

  30. Shine a spotlight on it, so that she is not threatened into silence.

  31. Before there is any threat or comment from the other party? I always wonder in these situations – what if Saeed just comes out and says “there is no substance to anything my wife has said, and this will be my only comment.”

    Does he owe anything more to the blog world or even the public in general?

  32. MLD,

    I’m waiting to see what happens here.
    That’s all I’m going to say for now.

    Josh…thank you.

  33. Michael- “Shut up and take what?” There is no evidence provided that Naghmeh is “up against” anyone or any group. It seems to be pure speculation. Seems to be quite the “drama” and “conspiracy theory” approach. A woman claims she “longs more than anyone for reconciliation for our family and to be united as a family.” I pray that happens. I pray that Saeed agrees to counseling and the two of them make the changes that Naghmeh states they both must make to save thier marriage. I pray that Saeed is not plagued by PTSD from the hideous imprisonment he has endured. It seems that people here are forgetting what this man has been through and are focused only on his wife- who has enjoyed the support of millions for the entire time her husband was rotting away in prison. I’m not trying to make anyone a martyr here.

    But the issues here seem like very normal marital struggles (verbal abuse- pornography). I dont recall any sexual abuse or domestic violence being mentioned. My husband and I have- through God’s grace- oversome such difficulties as have millions of other couples- Christian or not. Of course- we did not have a spouse brutalized in prison for 3+ years solely because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

    We should leave this couple alone and let them sort out their problems with God’s Word and thier local church.

  34. Does he owe anything more to the blog world or even the public in general?<<<<

    Actually, he might, if he was the driving (and maybe threatening) force behind N's media activity. If he's the one who wanted his plight publicized and in the process made himself a public figure, then yes, he does need to answer the public.

  35. She said there was physical abuse as well.
    I’ve had to post that statement too many times to do it again.

  36. “Before there is any threat or comment from the other party? ”

    We haven’t tarred and feathered anyone. However, the cards are stacked against the wife in this case, and she is reaching for help. All we can do is keep a light on it, so that nothing goes on. If all is on the up and up, there will be no problem.

  37. “All we can do is keep a light on it, so that nothing goes on. If all is on the up and up, there will be no problem.”

    Exactly.

  38. Xenia – ” then yes, he does need to answer the public.”

    Because he wanted his wife to make a public plea about his unjust incarceration and for his release, he now has to answer for his personal life?

    Perhaps in a National Enquirer world, but not in my world.

  39. If he wants to have a public ministry, he will absolutely have to answer these charges. If not, he can quietly reconcile with his wife, or not.

  40. Josh @39…is on a roll. 🙂

  41. Josh – “However, the cards are stacked against the wife in this case,”

    How do you even know what the cards are let alone how they are stacked?

    Although there is much good to be said about social media – this is the down side. This is nothing more than internet porn.

  42. He has friends in very high places. She feels threatened and vulnerable. That is pretty easy.

  43. Josh,”If he wants to have a public ministry, he will absolutely have to answer these charges”.

    I gave you a possibility of his answer – are you saying this is not enough?

    “what if Saeed just comes out and says “there is no substance to anything my wife has said, and this will be my only comment.””

  44. This is all it comes down to, MLD. I’m not going to fist fight the guy. She put out a public statement. That means “I want people to know this. I want people to recognize this.”

    I’m up for knowing and recognizing. What is the harm, if Saeed is on the up and up, which I’m hoping he is?

  45. “what if Saeed just comes out and says “there is no substance to anything my wife has said, and this will be my only comment.””

    Then we’ll watch for her side.

  46. I was one who was somewhat skeptical of N’s story. I said we needed to hear both sides of the story (we haven’t, yet) or at the very least, some clarification from N. I found N’s clarification and claims to be believable. I believe her. I have changed my mind.

    I think we probably know enough and perhaps N. should retreat with her kids and stay out of the spotlight. That’s not for me to say. Saeed, on the other hand, has some ‘splaining to do, either to admit or deny the abuse. Again, no need for details, just a brief admission of guilt or innocence.

  47. Because it sounds like a couple of you are laying the ground work that there have already been threats to her from people in high places — and even she has not made this claim and that her husband needs to be neutralized of something that he is not yet involved in.

    And what if it is her – what if she has had bad advise and what she is saying is not true – is her background now up for public social media scrutiny?

    We are nuts.

  48. “there have already been threats to her from people in high places ”

    Not me. She said HE threatened her. I said he has powerful friends.

    “And what if it is her – what if she has had bad advise and what she is saying is not true – is her background now up for public social media scrutiny?”

    Then the spotlight will show it.

    “We are nuts.”

    For caring?

  49. I just re-read both her emails a few times…

    The biggest question I have had is the claim he had a phone in the Iranian jail, that he had normal internet access on this phone to read facebook, to skype (and thus abuse) Naghmeh, and thus his communication with his family was far more than just those short parental visits once a week (or less) as was reported by Naghmeh these last couple years.

    I believe this is something that the public is owed answer to – especially since Naghmeh said the ACLJ knew this too and forbid her to tell anyone. I appreciate the work of the ACLJ so this is a serious charge to me – along the GFA lines since they do a lot of fundraising in the Christian community.

    If true of course, I would have further questions (was this access 24/7 – or maybe once a month for five minutes. Naghmeh was very vague on this but the picture painted in the emails (in my mind at least) is one of Saaed basically being in the know of life on the outside as relates to his case, with the implication even that porn was being viewed on this device during his imprisonment)

    The above to me is the division between public and private, where we can ask for answers as the millions who advocated for him…versus where we can pray for healing and let the family have privacy and get therapy.

  50. Steve,

    When and where did Naghmeh make the charge that the ACLJ forbid her to tell anyone about Saeed’s access to the internet device and his ability to communicate with his family beyond the parental visits? Was it in the emails or in another forum?

  51. Emails. I have yet to see her really expand with details on those original two emails with other comments in the last couple of months. I just got back to them…

    Specifically she referenced access to the phone – that ACLJ knew and told her not to tell anyone..

    …however, her emails week after week were very detailed in how hard it was for her to get info on Saeed except for the parental visits and how devastating it was when they were unable to see him to find out how he was doing…she did NOT say ACLJ told her to make that up too….which is why if there was phone “access” I think knowing how often is crucial as well….

  52. In fact that could have been damaging advise from ACLJ (which usually has their own best interests at heart)

    Perhaps Saeed would have been released earlier if the Iranians didn’t feel that the Americans were falsifying the conditions of Iranian prisons – that he had regular communications with the outside world

  53. People need to be clear on something. An email group list was created by Naghmeh after the September 2014 prayer vigil in churches around the nation. Our church hosted one, and we gave input on how many people attended etc. So I was included in the new email group after the vigil. (This is the same email group that was sent the two emails in November that were leaked to Christianity Today, published, and led Naghmeh to the need to address publicly on her facebook what had until then only been in the emails.)

    For the next 14 months (Sep 2014-Nov 2015) she sent emails out several times a month, sometimes daily. These emails sometimes were associated with a public facebook posting by her, but when they were she always made that clear (i.e. – Here is what I posted on facebook today). The facebook posts were always in addition to her private message to the group and usually her private message included her request for confidentiality – which is why she would include the public facebook post she wrote so we could share only what she asked to be shared. I usually did on my facebook, keeping quiet from all but my wife (including this blog and my church) what she wrote in the rest of the email. I feared something getting leaked and causing harm and did everything she asked me to.

    Sometimes there was no public message – just a message to the email group, usually very serious, disconcerting news…asking for prayer.

    Many times the theme was “no news” because Saeed had not been able to see his father. How difficult it was not knowing how he was doing etc.

    It was heartbreaking.

    She wrote today, “I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness.”

    I’m not sure what that means except she obviously had nothing but good things to say about her “dear husband” all this time and so maybe she feels she should apologize for that but I would like not an apology but at least an explanation about the 14 months of what seems like as presented now to be filled with deception…..

    which is why the phone, and the opportunity of access, is key to understanding it all. ACLJ can probably claim some sort of client/attorney privilege so I do not know how they can be pressured to explain….but an explanation is warranted.

  54. I have been reading this blog for a few years. I was married at Calvary Chapel North Park and attended Calvary Chapel faithfully for 35 years. I no longer attend Calvary Chapel for many reasons. My husband, who is born-again, also became an abusive husband. His father was killed in a car accident at age 8 and my husband’s step-father beat him. I believe he suffers from a PTSD-like condition due to the traumas of his past. I also believe that Calvary Chapel teachings of submission and headship encouraged my husband to become abusive over the course of many years. I understand the fear this woman has. No one who knows my husband would ever believe he could be abusive. My husband has a public personality and an entirely different private personality. He is like two different people, and I believe he has a somewhat “split” personality disorder ( which has been supported by therapists we have seen over the years). I am still with my husband, because I am a Christian, and honestly, I do feel sorry for him because of his past. I’ve inherited a large amount of money, and all of the abuse stopped as soon as I inherited it. Interesting, isn’t it? One of the reasons I left Calvary Chapel is that during marriage counseling the pastor told me that I had to give my husband my entire teaching salary, my entire State Teachers Retirement pension, and any money I inherit to my husband . Even if my husband lost it all, the pastor said that my money was all my husband’s to do what he wanted with it. Abusive men are all about having control, and giving my husband my entire income and inheritance would have just increased his control over me. My husband and I don’t really have a marriage anymore. We live like room mates. I have friends and children and hobbies and God is good. I chose a very damaged man to marry and I am trying to live a Godly life. Only a woman who has been in an abusive situation can understand why this woman chose to go public. Abuse gets worse when it is hidden and not acknowledged. This site has been tremendously healing for me. I am in the process of looking for a new church but I have been very disturbed by what I’ve seen at Calvary Chapel and I am wary of joining a church again.

  55. BoC,

    Thank you for sharing from your own hurts.
    All you have written is why we will keep a light on this situation.

  56. I’m wondering about the timeline now….did Nagmeh come forward with details of their relationship after she was assured of his release? That would make sense within the context of her latest post.

  57. An honest question… Is it wrong to think that it’s inappropriate to use the social media to air out our marriage problems and our personal matters? It seems like this is going to backfire on Nagmeh.

    About a year of so ago, a popular pastor with a 3 letter handle used the blog to say that he may soon be gone from his pastorate and felt a bit slighted. I suggested that his battle with the Board of Director’s be kept in house until the decision be made as it may be inappropriate to air his laundry on his blog and on the social media. I got hammered by most people here and was even accused of being the kind of pastor that only conducts business behind closed doors etc. After a few days, we learned that this pastor had actually submitted his resignation prior to using the social media. This was a fact that our friend forgot to mention.

    What facts are being left out now with Nagmeh like the scenario I described above? This whole thing stinks but I wish that we would discuss it after all the facts are in. There are two sides to every story and there are some major holes in this story.

    There is a marriage and children involved and there is nothing that we can do to assist but pray.

  58. Covered. You are talking about me and you are incorrect. I’ll let it go and won’t hold it against you, but it needs to be clarified: I didn’t “use the blog”. I was asked by Michael to have an interview with him. I didn’t but I did interact on this blog.

    Initially, I did submit my resignation. And it was refused. So I went on my own personal blog and communicated to folks through the only means that was possible. No regrets, whatsoever. Just clearing the facts up, sir. Covered, are you comfortable using your real name? No pressure, just wondering. God bless.

  59. She filed for a legal separation yesterday.

  60. Social media somewhat balances the power when you’re up against a lot of power and money.
    If she’s speaking truth, she’s speaking wisely.
    His handlers will bury her if she doesn’t.

  61. Costco, thanks for responding but my position remains the same. I just believe that some things in our lives need to be dealt with away from the social media. I also think that as Christians (especially pastor’s), there is a standard that is different than the rest of the world.

    Now more importantly, I prayed for your recovery and for your family. I thank God that you are getting healthy. When the word got out about your illness, I must say that it sounded like a very desperate situation. Praise God for you and a quick recovery.

  62. Costco, as far as my real name, please feel free to contact me through Michael and I would be more than happy to discuss whatever you wish to discuss. God Bless you C~

  63. Cool, Covered, thanks. We agree to disagree. I do not regret communicating with the folks of my then congregation. Maybe my perspective will change in the future. Or maybe not. Anyway, thanks for your prayers!

  64. Let me say this: I’m sure facts are missing, and we don’t have the whole story.

    My concern is that we have a woman saying publicly – “I’ve been abused. Someone please pay attention.”

    Now, you don’t have to pass judgement. You don’t have to choose sides, but there is something in her that wants us to keep our eyes opened. She is afraid that something will happen if we all turn away now.

    I will respect her wishes, and pay attention.

  65. My concern is that we have a woman saying publicly – “I’ve been abused. Someone please pay attention.”

    Why not call the cops? Its not like it’s a secret any longer. Why tell thousands of ‘friends’ and family?

  66. If my daughter came to me and said she has been abused for years, I don’t think my advise to her would be to post it on Facebook – while I was getting my wood chipper out of storage, I would hope she would call the cops.

  67. This was posted by my former pastor on FB. Opened an old wound.

    http://9gag.com/gag/aNeqrdb/childhood-is-not-a-disease

  68. Erunner,

    Not a good day for me to see that.

    I’d punch his lights out and repent later.
    Ignorant bastard.

  69. Michael, this is the pastor who told me I was in sin due to my agoraphobia among other things. To see this from him now has me angry. I responded stating I hoped he wasn’t back to where he was when we left his church. Sorry if this upset you Michael but I needed an outlet.

  70. Tell that hillbilly that if he’d ever like too discuss his views I’m right here…he’s lucky I don’t have his name.

    I’ll make him a poster boy for cruel stupidity.

    I’m furious.

    Vent all you need, my friend…

  71. BoC,

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Gotta wonder how many CC pastors do the split personality thing — Jekyll in public but Hyde in private. Truly scary. We had one in our town. Thank God we got out. There’ve been a string of ex-CCers. Sad.

    I’m also sad that your husband abused the submission/headship “teaching.”

    I completely understand that you’re reluctant to join a church. There are good ones out there. Our family found one.

  72. On the other hand, it was an excellent test of the new blood pressure meds I’m on… 🙂

  73. She filed for a legal separation yesterday.

    ” I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved.”
    ——————————————————–
    Her actions portray a woman dealing with a monster. The day he lands in the state with her children she files legal papers? Who are we to say he is not though? None of us know him. Some CC guys do but I’ve heard him exactly three times, on the phone with Sekulow for 30 seconds, praying and hugging his Mom at the airport, and the Greta interview. Same clips most of you saw

    However, Naghmeh has been a major part of my life for two years. I’ve read thousands and thousands of her words, watched her videos, cried, shared and prayed. I went to hear her speak and met and hugged her afterwards. I constantly brought her and her children before our church in my comments. No telling how many hours these last two years my wife and I have spoken about her and the kids..And I believed every word she ever wrote – and now it seems much of it was false….for whatever reasons she has yet to make clear…false nonetheless

    I agree with covered above but I also see a lot of merit in what Michael and Josh have shared too. However, if she is going to be public and thinks she must then she has to go all in – no more of this unnamed, reasons I can’t share generalities. If Franklin Graham has disowned her for Saeed, then tell us plainly or else explain why she was singing his praises and thankful for his assistance a few days ago and yet apparently did not go there for the counseling she said she was looking forward to coming. If ACLJ told her to lie to us in the emails, then tell us that too. She does not OWE us any explanation but it is wrong to offer half measures and continue to tell us she wants nothing more than to be with him while she is filing separation papers. “This situation is resolved??” What is the situation exactly and what does resolution look like? The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….or else stay silent because her fan club is every bit as large as his right now, if not larger. (Read the facebook comments and the instant acceptance from the thousands who did not get her emails the last 14 months)

    I’ll say this. I’ve seen social media used in an attempt to destroy innocent righteous people not with blatant lies but with half-truths, partial stories, and leaving out details that shift the entire narrative. I’ve been on the end of it.

    I’ve also seen pastors who are assumed to be one thing to their fan club but the reality is far different (as have we all who read this blog).

    And while I do not do marital counseling, I have spoken to many in troubled marriages, usually first one, then the other – and in each and every time when I heard the second person’s perspective it dramatically changed how I viewed the first. It did not matter, wife first then husband or vice versa, just hearing both sides. Like the Bible says.

    Personally, I am glad it is in the courts because if there was the slightest chance he would take her children away from her at this time then she has to do whatever is necessary to stop that. See the movie Not Without My Daughter. Abuse must be stopped and has no place in society, much less the church. I have no right for criticism for her legal action but her facebook postings and hearing all the ways God is supposedly showing her things, while leaving us partially in the dark is wrong.

    I strongly oppose equating a man watching porn with being described as sexually abused, as bad as porn is for a person and marriage and I know I am not alone in that because I have asked many women for their opinion (without referencing this case). Sexual abuse can involve porn of course, but should not be defined by it. If his greatest sin for deliverance is the spirit of false teacher (per her email) then I think an explanation on that is warranted too. Control issues is pretty vague stuff without elaboration. Then again, some men are monsters. Even without 3+ years in an Iranian prison…much less with it. I will believe her readily, but time and information are needed. Otherwise, I will pray in silent and hope to not read new “updates” every couple of days.

    So that is enough to get everyone mad at me and to read part of what I wrote and ignore the balance written on the other side…but after two years and now given the report of a legal separation being filed, it was time. I won’t remark further.

  74. Steve, that doesn’t make me mad at all. I agree with pretty much everything you said. The only difference is that I WILL keep reading her updates. That seems to be what she is asking us to do.

  75. Well said, Steve.

    The Church does need to be serious in handling claims of abuse. Abuse claims should not be quickly dismissed or minimized in any fashion. The reasons for Naghmeh to continue making the abuse claims public are understandable. As you said, however, it sure would be helpful if Naghmeh clears up some of the past information that she passed on that at this moment *appears* to have included half-truths and manipulations. If she wants us to gain our fully trust, she needs to clarify and give explanations to some of her past information that now looks suspect.

    I want Naghmeh to be protected. But if she is going to continue to be public with her case, I think she also needs to assure us that she is being honest and straightforward about everything.

  76. Josh, I will keep reading the facebook updates too.

    As an aside, she ended the special email list when she wrote the two emails in November..those were her final word to us (and again, they were not supposed to have been leaked to Christianity Today)

  77. This is not directly related to the marital issue, but I hope at some point we find out the truth of what incarceration is like for an American in Iran. When I prayed for Saeed weekly, at the reminder of Michael’s blogs (which I thank him for), among my most fervent prayers were for his physical safety, health, nutrition and morale. I also prayed for his guards that they would be humane and for the other prisoners there as well.

    Now I have questions about the actual conditions under which Saeed was imprisoned. I am not diminishing the injustice of the incarceration, the lack of justice in the courts, or the inhumanity of the imprisonment as a matter of principle, but I would like to understand if Iran treats American prisoners in accordance with the norms of International Law.

  78. Why can’t a husband, a wife, some well trained counsellors and perhaps a pastor handle this situation? I love this blog. I enjoy Facebook. I just don’t see how any good can come from doing all this publicly.

    It would be another thing if we were on the other side of this situation and could look back and learn from all that happened but going public escalates the emotions. When thousands of inquire-ers want to know, the stakes are higher to make this a slug fest.

    I don’t see this ending well and everybody choosing sides when we don’t know all that has happened is just fueling the fire.

  79. “Why can’t a husband, a wife, some well trained counsellors and perhaps a pastor handle this situation?”

    Because she does not feel that they are on level ground. She feels that behind closed doors she would be crushed, and she doesn’t want to go back to that. She wants eyes on the situation so that she gets a fair shake.

    I don’t think anyone has to choose sides. I do think we should pay attention.

  80. I was really glad to hear that she believes her pastor is understanding of this situation and behind her.

    Does anyone know if Pastor Saeed was on staff at the CC in Boise? This is the church believe Nagmeh referred to when speaking about her pastor helping her.

  81. I’ll be blunt.
    I feel like I’ve been played and that I’m being played.

    I had every intention of procuring the court record for answers, but these proceedings are confidential in Idaho.
    If they suddenly appear on a web site it will be because they were intentionally leaked.

    Steve has asked some very good questions and I commend him for doing so.

    I am projecting my experience in battles with some of the same people Naghmah is up against and assuming the reasons for her actions.

    If Bob Caldwell is standing with her, that could put him at loggerheads with some of his peers.

    This is an ugly situation.

  82. Here is the Reuters report. Lots of no comment to media trying to get both sides.

    http://news.yahoo.com/wife-u-pastor-freed-iran-says-husband-threatened-173659033.html

  83. I am waiting for the boyfriend to be revealed. 😉

  84. Played by her? What would have been her motivation? That’s an honest question.

    The most telling part for me is in the comments section on facebook. Not the big posts but the quick comments she makes. One I saw today said something like “Franklin knows. He has confirmation from several religious leaders.”

    She feels threatened. Her feelings may be wrong, but she FEELS threatened.

  85. Josh,

    At this point I have too many questions and not many answers which leads to feeling played by all involved.

    I tend heavily toward believing that she is trying to protect herself and her children…but the speed with which she’s making these decisions leads me to believe she has pretty sharp people with her as well.

    Franklin Graham was a major player in the Heitzig wars and the place where I learned that he believes himself and his friends above the law and Christian ethics when the chips are on the table.

    I cannot discount the possibility of MLD’s # 84 either…

  86. I have had 2 of my kids divorce – it amazed me what the 2 parties did to each other in both divorces – and in one of their cases what still goes on some 9 yrs later.

    I look at this as no different – these are 2 people who are in the process of working up a good hate. The 2 sides will not reconcile after a certain point.

  87. Gotcha, and agreed on all accounts.

    Except the new lover route. I don’t think anyone involved has even hinted in that direction. IF that turns out to be the case, of course, she’s on her own then.

    I think it is much more likely that she enjoyed not being hit for the last 3 years, and when she found out he was coming home, decided she didn’t want to let that start up again.

  88. I will add so there is no confusion – my kids were as much at fault as their spouse … if not more.

    What’s the old saying – “why is divorce so expensive? Because it’s worth it! ” Come on folks – laugh it off.

  89. Franklin Graham is an exception to the aphorism that “an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

  90. Just going to post more of her comments here, as they add to / or mess up the puzzle even more:

    “he was not broken in prison because he had access to phone and was watching sexual/porn and was skyping and calling instead of spending that time with the Lord. I have evidence of that if needed. He already told the congressman in Germany that he had access to phone. So he is not hiding it.”

    “and no there is no conviction only anger of exposure of the sin.”

  91. Getting wierder – she is answering questions:

    “he did pray for 20 hours a day for the first 6 months when he had no phone. People who visited him in prison said he was changing then. After the 6 months he got access to the phone. He was on the phone with me 6-8 hours a day and then watching
    Movies on my Amazon account and then sleeping. Definitely not praying for 20 hours a day for the last few years of his imprisonment.”

  92. Josh, where are you getting those quotes? I have not read this.

  93. Josh,

    Those are not the narratives that we were told.
    She really needs to get off the computer…

  94. “the police records in Boise will speak for themselves. Domestic abuse convictions. No more explanation needed.”

    She is answering questions in the comments on facebook.

  95. “the police records in Boise will speak for themselves. Domestic abuse convictions. No more explanation needed.”

    There is a record on the Idaho site that has been sealed by the court…again, if it shows up, it was leaked.

  96. I disagree Michael. She needs to reveal it all.

  97. That was in response to “She needs to get off the computer.”

  98. Well, now I’m confused all over again. Some of my other (recently discarded) scenarios are starting to look reasonable again. Michael may remember what my first thought was that we briefly discussed in private.

  99. Xenia,

    You and I were in agreement.

  100. When this broke in November I had at least a half a dozen WOMEN immediately respond with “she found another man” – I think a couple on this blog responded the same. Maybe because I am a man, or maybe because of the two year investment into this family I did not think that at all and I really, really hope that is not the case.

    I agree with Michael, she needs to get off the computer because if she is trying to now say being in an Iranian prison away from his children was not so bad because he could watch movies 6-8 hours a day, that is not going to go over well. And it REALLY puts her dozens and dozens of emails to all of us those 14 months in a false light.

    I agree also with MLD, when people want a divorce, it gets ugly quick. So far though it is all one-sided and the longer Naghmeh publicly trashes Saaed while he remains silent, the more this is going to boomerang. Read the comments in the yahoo article I posted.

  101. Josh,

    Now we have another problem.

    If he was indeed convicted of domestic abuse why in the sam hell would Caldwell send him out as a missionary?

    She may need to “reveal it all” but those revelations need to begin with an admission that she deceived the church for a very long time.

  102. An explanation is needed from both of them but not in the FB combox.

  103. FB is all we have for now.

    I agree with everyone: These statements are weird, and bring up even more questions.

    But I want it all revealed. She was lying, he was lying, ACLJ was lying. I want to know it all. I led too many people to pray for and support this family to just leave it in this confused mess.

  104. The plot thickens.
    Yesterday, I went on the Idaho Court Repository looking for the legal records.
    There was a proceeding against Saeed that had been sealed by order of the court.
    That record is now missing from the repository.

    This gets more bizarre by the minute…

  105. the prayers were not wasted, Josh…

  106. Michael wrote, “I’ll be blunt. I feel like I’ve been played and that I’m being played.”
    ————————————————
    Please pray for me as it is difficult being cut off from Saeed and updates about him until January when Saeed’s dad will hopefully get to visit him (only immediate family are allowed to visit and with his parents gone, that leaves no one left in Iran to visit Saeed). (Oct/2014)

    In the last 2.5 years I have nervier asked for prayer for myself. I am also not into much of spiritual warfare or focusing on the enemy. I have always kept my focus on Jesus and felt that was enough. But the last few days the battle has been so intense that I have again decided to pray and fast for a breakthrough. I can not go into detail. But it has involved both physical, spiritual, emotional and mental attacks on my and also the kids. I am not sure what is happening in the spiritual realm, but I have been under satanic attack. I have had threats before from radical muslims, but now the threats are coming straight from demonic groups. I got a message tonight that I was being followed by “the illuminati” with close to 500,000 twitter followers. Whatever is happening, the threats against me are not limited to just the radical Muslims, now they are coming from satanic groups.(Feb/2015)

    As soon as I shared for you all to pray for me last night, I saw an outpouring of messages and could feel all of the prayers (I have been reading ALL of your messages, but am not able to respond to all of them). I felt a hedge of protection over the kids and I last night and had the best night sleep since I have had in the last 2.5 years! Perfect love casts out fear. The love of Jesus that you all have showed me and your prayers have given me so much strength and confidence in our Lord and Savior Jesus. I have renewed strength to move forward for the path that the Lord has laid in front of me. (Email next day Feb/2015)

    Saeed is out of solitary confinement. He had spent 5 days and it was one of the hardest times for him specially psychologically. He said that he had not said he would go on hunger strike (the prisoners and media had made that up). But he had been stripped bare and made to do sit ups and push ups in front of everyone as they guards hurled insults at him and tried to attack him. The head of the guard tried to break it up a few times. He was then thrown (naked) to a room where he was shivering un-controllebly.(Apr 2015 – Typical of the “don’t share this” emails different from the official facebook she would post)

    This is just a couple examples of the steady email diet I digested for 14 months.

    I am reminded in looking through all of these emails how often she encouraged us to pray for her speaking engagements, not just to foreign leaders in advocating, but to Christian and conservative audiences in places unrelated directly to Saaed (C-Pac, Focus on Family, Southern Baptist convention, Muslim outreaches in Michigan etc)

    And the constant focus on the grief of the children being away from their wonderful dad, and her grief that their dad is away….and the tremendous desire the kids could be together again with Saeed. Even yesterday the emphasis on the joy of father and children together again. All I can say from my own pastoral experience is every abused woman I have encountered has feared for her children and sought every effort to keep him away from them. That is definitely a mixed message if Saeed is in fact a monster.

    I’ll close with this from May 2015 – Also, please keep this news confidential, some of you have asked me if Saeed has a Bible in prison and the answer is yes! Shortly after Saeed was transferred to Rajayee Shahr prison one of the leaders of the new prison wanted to do a favor for Saeed and allowed his father to get a Bible to him. I am not allowed to share this on social media as my lawyers are afraid that if this news gets out, then the Iranian government might take the Bible away from him! But Praise the Lord, Saeed does have a Bible!

    I remember rejoicing at that news. Looking back it sounds a lot different than having internet access to a thousand Bible apps and sermons…

  107. Yesterday, an article of mine was posted speaking to the importance of telling the truth. Soon afterwards, this article was posted pointing to Naghmeh Abedini’s latest update on Facebook. As this story continues to unfold (including the comments that Naghmeh has left on Facebook on her same posting), we are seeing a terrible ugliness to it all. I am thoroughly confused at this moment and do not know what to believe.

    I am not dismissing Naghmeh claims nor am I assigning blame. But I think one thing is clear. There has been some significant dishonesty and manipulation at one or more points along this process starting from years ago and right up to the current moment. It has made this situation significantly worse. Not only for the parties directly involved, but also for all of us who had whole-heartedly thrown our support behind Saeed and Naghmeh and had previously trusted as true all the information we were being given.

  108. This reaches the level of downright fraud.

  109. I’m having a really hard time focusing as I’m adjusting to some new meds so bear with me if I’m not entirely coherent.

    My guess is that this situation raised a boatload of money for the ACLJ.

    One of the things thats quite evident when you watch Naghmah is that this is a very strong and intelligent person.

    Whoever crafted the narratives we were fed did not do so without her understanding what was happening.

    Despite all this, no one should feel bad about their efforts…the people who worked for his release and prayed for his return did so with pure hearts.

  110. I just re-read the email sent to us “Today is Saeed and I’s 11th year anniversary”

    The spiritual battle seems to have gotten harder and I feel the pressures as I feel like I can sense what Saeed is going through and I am interceding for him throughout the night and throughout the day…I wrote a personal letter to him that I wanted to share with you all. It is a personal correspondence that I normally do not share. But I wanted to share it for you all to read.
    ————————————————————————–
    I feel I can sense what Saeed is going through?? Yet she was on the phone with him all the time?

    I won’t post the letter she said she wrote him but needless to say, my heart got ripped out that particular morning – and I did not ask for it to be so…but I knew that all of us on the other end of this google group subscription were her outlet at a time of unbearable suffering. I rebuked myself for not caring even MORE about them. Doing and praying more. This letter was connected with her call for another prayer vigil organization

    Two weeks before the anniversary letter she wrote, “Today Saeed’d father was able to visit Saeed for a few minutes. Unfortunately Saeed’s situation keeps getting worse and it is becoming more urgent to get him out of the Iranian prison…I would also appreciate your prayers for me as I have been dealing with a bit of anxiety the last few weeks specially at night. I have been feeling a sense of urgency that Saeed needs to get out of prison and feeling helpless and anxious.”

    These were written less than 5 months before she wrote the abuse emails…the abuse emails where she said she has been going through this for the last 3 years. “His abuse has continued over the last 3 years and it has gotten worse as his name has grown ”

    You can see why my first thought when I got that abuse email was her account had been hacked by an enemy. It was so contrary to 14 months of steady contact from her to us all….

  111. So, they perpetuated a lie to get him out of jail quicker. The only thing I don’t understand is why she worked SO hard to push the fraud, if she knew that she didn’t really want him back.

    So dang weird.

  112. Michael said ; “My guess is that this situation raised a boatload of money for the ACLJ.”

    follows what I said in parenthesis yesterday – “In fact that could have been damaging advise from ACLJ (which usually has their own best interests at heart)”

    Jay Sekelow has always been a shady character – I think his son is following in dad’s footsteps.

  113. I know very little about the ACLJ, but this was obviously a fund raising boon.
    Done honestly, that’s not a problem.

    I laughed out loud that Franklin Graham made sure he got the first photo op…

    What a mess…

  114. There is a big secret “something” going on in the background that we don’t know about.

  115. Xenia,

    My guess is that there’s more than one big something….

  116. I’m not even sure the guy ever visited Iran.

  117. I wonder how much she was “handled” through all of this. That is a possibility to make sense of her contradictory emails. (writing what she was told to write and then writing what she wanted to write)

    I’m also wondering about the culture clash here .I believe that She and Saeed are from Muslim cultures and converted to Christianity. The culture you grow up in takes deep, deep roots and can be very difficult to shake off. (how she views herself as a women, how she must submit to her husband, how she may being “shame” upon her famliy,etc, etc.) She may be dealing with some issues there. i’m wanting to give them both the benefit of the doubt, but something is truly amiss.

    What would be disgusting is if there are powerful men/women in media and church leadership that will exploit these 2 people, but don’t give a hoot about them, other than the $$ they can make from them.

  118. I laughed out loud that Franklin Graham made sure he got the first photo op…
    ———————————————————-
    One month before she dropped the bombshell she wrote us:

    Also on Wednesday I got a call from Rev. Franklin Graham to have lunch (see attached picture). During lunch I was invited to go to Charlotte with Rev. Graham which I accepted! I did not realize that Rev. Graham would be flying me back himself (see attached pictures)!!! I spoke at Samaritans Purse on Thursday and then at Billy Graham Evangelical Association on Friday morning. Then I was truly honored to be part of the bill signing by the governor of North Carolina in order to have the Statue of Rev. Billy Graham made and put in Washington DC as a representation of what the state of North Carolina stood for. I heard the Rev. Billy Graham did not know about it until after the bill was signed as he would have refused such attention 🙂 I have attached the picture of the governor signing the bill. I also got to meet the governor and was encouraged to know that he was praying for Saeed.

    I had felt somewhat discouraged the last few weeks and the trip to Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelical Association was an appointment made by God to refresh me and to encourage me. It was something that was not on my schedule, but was on God’s schedule!
    ———————————————-
    She has had nothing but positive things to say about Graham Her last facebook post before yesterday still had “I am also very thankful for Rev. Franklin Graham. He stood by me and my family and saw us through this ordeal. He is a great spiritual example. May God’s anointing be continually on him and his family. God has blessed me not only with a spiritual mentor, but a friend.”

    So I was not surprised to see him at the airport, I was surprised to NOT see her – especially given how much she wrote about Saeed’s parents and what seems like a close relationship there…..One thing for sure, Saeed’s Mom’s reaction in hugging her son was as true as it gets.

  119. Nonnie’s comments about the culture reminds me of Naghmeh’s first facebook post a month after the bombshell and before she started these daily devotions. I think it is pretty clear at this time she still had no news of any imminent release for Saeed (someone wondered that above).
    ——————————————————–
    I had to turn off every voice including my own and only care about what Jesus was saying to me. It was hard. With the news that came out recently (an email I had sent to prayer partners was leaked to media), stones were being thrown at me left and right and many religious leaders who saw me wounded and bleeding passed on by afraid to touch me or this whole mess/situation. It was hard, but Jesus kept telling me to be silent and to look to Him.
    The truth is that I still love my husband more than ever and my advocacy for him has taken a new form of interceding on my knees. The truth is I can not deny Saeed’s love and passion for Jesus and that he continues to suffer in the Iranian prison because of his genuine love for Jesus and his refusal to deny Him. I can not deny the amazing dad he has been to our kids and the spiritual truths he poured into their life until the moment he was arrested. But at the same time I can not deny the very dark parts of our marriage and serious issues Saeed continues to struggle with.
    So I open myself up once again and become real and raw in asking you to join me in praying for Saeed. This time not only for his physical chains, but the spiritual chains that have bound him for so many years. Those chains that have stuck to him from the culture he was raised in (Middle East) and from his former religion (Islam). I believe that God will use Saeed’s imprisonment to break Saeed of these chains and to refine him and use him as a vessel for the work that He has prepared for him.
    I am not sure how often I will be providing updates, but I will share as the Lord leads. Starting January 5, I am going to start another 21 days of prayer and fasting. It will be a time of drawing closer to the Lord and sharing what He lays on my heart. I hope they will be a source of blessing and encouragement to you as well.

  120. I fear N. Is becoming addicted to the 40,000+ followers who begin their FB comments with effusive praise. Hard to give that up, I suspect.

  121. I think we can say with certainty that Saeed was imprisoned in Iran. Beyond that, at this moment, it’s really hard to know what all to believe. We may never know the full truth of this whole situation.

    Even to the point I find myself questioning how wrongful was Saeed’s imprisonment really? It probably was wrongful, but seeing at the moment how much we may have been fed a carefully crafted and manipulated story, it really makes you question everything.

    I am also inclined to believe Naghmeh’s claims of abuse. But this thing is a giant mess. It is really hard to see how Naghmeh has been honest this entire time with now so much apparent contradiction. (And I’m not speaking to her previously hiding the abuse, assuming the abuse claims are true). And so it leaves us feeling very frustrated and dismayed.

    But if the ACLJ or Franklin Graham or some of the other big shot Christian celebrities or politicians manipulated this situation for their own gain, then that is really disgusting.

  122. amen to Nonnie’s wisdom here “The culture you grow up in takes deep, deep roots and can be very difficult to shake off. (how she views herself as a women, how she must submit to her husband, how she may being “shame” upon her famliy,etc, etc.) ”
    and
    very few normal human beings are static as they interact with each other in the pressures of life that are out of their control … under the circumstances i would not hold it against Nagmeh if, over the years, she tried to present her situation or to say what seemed the correct thing to present to the public

    every prayer on their behalf raised to the throne room of the one true God, was a good thing, not because of our wisdom or that God needed directions from us
    it honored God to simply lift these folk to Him by faith – the Holy Spirit is an excellent editor, by the way

  123. Franklin Graham, right on cue…

    “I was one of millions of people around the world praying for the release of Saeed Abedini, the American pastor imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. It was an honor to finally be able to meet him last week. This young man has spent 3 ½ years of his life in jail for his faith, where he was beaten and tortured.
    While we rejoice at his new freedom, we now lift him and his wife Naghmeh to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There’s an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story. I can tell one thing for sure—not everything that has been reported in the media is true.
    As a minister of the Gospel, I have tried to be a friend to both and to assist them in getting Saeed home and in getting access to any help that they may need. Clearly, there is a great need for prayer for their relationship and their family. God has answered prayer by bringing about Saeed’s release from prison, and now, Satan would like nothing more than to continue to destroy their lives. It is my prayer that this will not happen.”

  124. Kevin, usually in life the simplest answers are the truth….not that they are easy to accept, but the multi-level conspiracy that requires multiple liars to unite in agreement for some grand plan..not so much.

    That’s how it played out in my life…

    Reading the comment threads in the many media sources out there all reporting the same news based only on her facebook comments, looks like a whole lot of folks less invested than us here are drawing similar conclusions. The simple answer.

    (not counting all those using this as a chance to mock Christianity)

  125. As a parent I’m sad for their kids.

  126. Me too, G. Very much.

    They get their dad back, but their parents are splitting. It must kill them, regardless of the reason.

  127. @ Jean (#78), well, I would like to understand if American treats prisoners according to international law? Do the terms Gitmo and Waterboarding ring any bells?

  128. “There’s an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story. I can tell one thing for sure—not everything that has been reported in the media is true.”

    That’s Franklins first shot over Naghmahs bow…

  129. Alan,
    My understanding is that waterboarding was ended. Regarding Gitmo, I haven’t studied the matter under international law. What do you think?

  130. Oops…”American” in my comment should read “America.”

  131. I think it’s laughable that you wonder what Iran is doing in their prisons. I’m assuming you’re an American, as am I. I think we should get our own house in order before we worry about other countries. I just read an account yesterday of a man who was finally released from Gitmo after THIRTEEN years there. He was held the entire time on account of mistaken identity.

  132. Alan, I agree. I should. And if I advocated for justice for the Gitmo prisoners, I’d be condemned on every single conservative Christian social media site. And any GOP candidate that did the same would be run off the stage tonight and right out of the race.

    Thank you for pointing out my blind spot.

  133. You guys are mixing genres, here. Only guilt trip me for one or two things at a time, please.

  134. @Michael

    Is what BoC @54 saying a one-off or more of a widespread philosophy inside CC? I am being forced to re-evaluate a lot of thinking lately about churches and doctrines I hold in a positive light.

  135. nathan,

    That is a loaded question.
    There are too many with that attitude.
    There are too many who mock anyone who suffers from mental illness as simply being a sinner.
    It’s not uncommon and I have lots of files to prove it.

    On the other hand…

    Steve Wright is CC and even though we have large differences and conflicts, he would never allow such garbage in his church.

    My own pastor is from CC and a great man.

    I could name many just like them.

    It really depends on which guy you’re dealing with.

  136. To the person who said:
    “But the issues here seem like very normal marital struggles (verbal abuse- pornography). I dont recall any sexual abuse or domestic violence being mentioned.”

    Verbal abuse IS a form of domestic violence.

    Please read the book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” by author Patricia Evans. Chapters from that book can be read for free on Google Books site.

  137. I think guys like Martin Luther’s Disciple in this thread miss the big picture.

    Christians in general are miserable at dealing competently and compassionately with domestic violence.

    If or when a woman says her spouse is abusing her (and abuse can be emotional, financial, verbal – not just physical, the first aspect a lot of Christians need to educate themselves on), often times, that women will be disbelieved-

    Or, if believed at all, she will be given ineffective and enabling advice, such as to stay in the marriage no matter what (divorce is usually prohibited), and she will be told bummer things such as “just pray more and submit to, or cook your abusive husband his favorite meal.”

    I would encourage Christians to educate themselves about the dynamics of spousal abuse and how abusers typically behave and hide their abusive behavior, by visiting and reading blogs such as “A Cry For Justice,” and reading books such as “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft.

  138. Xenia said, “I was one who was somewhat skeptical of N’s story. I said we needed to hear both sides of the story (we haven’t, yet)”

    Yikes. This is part of the problem.

    This view is problematic for a few reasons, one of which is abusers seldom abuse their target in front of other people – only the target sees the sadistic, nasty, hateful and abusive side.

    To everyone outside the marriage (or whatever type of abusive relationship we are discussing), the abuser seems like a really swell guy, and people will tell the abused wife when or if she confides in them about the abuse a sense of incredulity, by saying things like, “Oh, your husband? Surely not him! He’s such a nice guy!”

    Well, yeah – the abuser puts on his “nice guy” mask everyone outside of the abusive relationship.

    There are similar dynamics in school yard bullying among kids (kids will wait for the adults – the teachers to turn their backs before taunting the targets) and in work place abuse, where one co-worker (or supervisor) will bully and harass a target.

    Often, when the kid or the abused co-worker approaches the teacher (or human resources or a manager) about the abuse, they will be told “it takes two,” or, “surely you are both partially to blame,” or, “I need to hear both sides of the story first.”

    -That is not how abuse should be handled in marriage, jobs, or the school yard. There is almost always a power imbalance. Victims should not be held equally accountable for the situation but often are.

  139. The fact that she even brought up “his demands” is indication that she wants a public fight.

    Sometimes a public fight is the only way to keep it a clean fight.
    Better a fist to the face than a knife in the back.
    And sometimes “Open War is upon you, whether you risk it or not.” — Aragorn

  140. Michael-“That’s Franklins first shot over Naghmahs bow…” Exactly right…a not so veiled threat in my opinion.

  141. To everyone outside the marriage (or whatever type of abusive relationship we are discussing), the abuser seems like a really swell guy, and people will tell the abused wife when or if she confides in them about the abuse a sense of incredulity, by saying things like, “Oh, your husband? Surely not him! He’s such a nice guy!”

    You’ve heard me say this on other blogs, Daisy; now it’s this blog’s turn.

    Successful Abusers — like successful serial killers, successful rapists, successful pedophiles, successful Sociopaths of any sort — are Masters of Camouflage, experts at hiding what they are under the Angel of Light mask. If they weren’t, they’d have been exposed long ago. We only hear about the dumb ones who slipped up.

    And abusers & pedos groom third parties as well as their victims. Third parties (especially authorities) who can serve as allies on their side. Third parties who are only shown the Angel of Light mask.

    “For Satan himself can transform himself to appear as an Angel of Light.”
    — some Rabbi from Nazareth

  142. Daisy, of course we need to hear both sides of the story.

    Yikes indeed.

  143. Christians in general are miserable at dealing competently and compassionately with domestic violence.

    Raw stats are that one in four straight relationships will have some sort of abuse going on.
    Within that one in four, odds are three-to-one that the guy’s gonna be the abuser.

  144. #54 BrideofChrist : January 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I am so very sorry. I believe you.

    I don’t think the counselors/ preachers there at your church had any business telling you to turn over all your finances and income to your abusive husband. That sounds dangerous.

    Have you visited the Christian blog “A Cry For Justice”. It’s a blog that focuses on domestic abuse in Christian marriages.

    You can receive empathy, pointers to good resources, and good advice (if you want advice) from many of the members there.

    You can just share your story there if you want or just lurk and read. They argue that abuse is in fact grounds for divorce and have many blog posts with Scriptural citations to support that view.

    The blog is moderated (so no trolls can get on) and the people who do post there are very compassionate.

  145. Xenia: “Daisy, of course we need to hear both sides of the story. Yikes indeed.”

    No, no we don’t. Your view plays into the perpetuation of spousal abuse.

  146. But if the ACLJ or Franklin Graham or some of the other big shot Christian celebrities or politicians manipulated this situation for their own gain, then that is really disgusting.

    And given Franklin Graham’s antics (using his dad’s name for clout), that is a distinct possibility. Where He, She, and We are just weapons for Culture War Without End, Amen.

  147. Michael says:
    January 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Social media somewhat balances the power when you’re up against a lot of power and money.
    If she’s speaking truth, she’s speaking wisely.
    His handlers will bury her if she doesn’t.

    Michael, are you aware of the Tony Jones (Christian author/ blogger) situation with his ex-wife Julie McMahon?

    Social media helped Julie M. quite a bit. Sadly, a lot of ToJo’s fellow celebrity Christian pals refused to even speak to Julie M. directly (she tried phoning and/or e mailing some of them). They took ToJo’s side instead.

    When she took her story to social media, that is when ToJo started getting a little push back, and some people raised funds for Julie M. on “Go Fund Me,” or whatever that site is called. Social media helped to level the playing field just a tad.

  148. MLD said, “Why not call the cops? Its not like it’s a secret any longer. Why tell thousands of ‘friends’ and family?

    Why not? Why keep it a secret from family, friends, public?

    Domestic abuse is often kept in secret, in the dark, which is just what the abuser wants.

  149. Are you serious, Daisy? An accused person has no right to even tell their side of a story?

  150. Daisy,

    I’m quite aware of the Tony Jones situation.
    I’ve been doing this for a long time…don’t need a lecture.

  151. Alan, I agree. I should. And if I advocated for justice for the Gitmo prisoners, I’d be condemned on every single conservative Christian social media site. And any GOP candidate that did the same would be run off the stage tonight and right out of the race.

    GOP Kingmaker Jerry Falwell Jr’s supposed to have instituted a school of or major in Military Drone Technology at Liberty U (which has replaced BJU as pilgrimage spot for GOP Presidential hopefuls). JFJ even made pilgrimage to the Trump to give Him the Anointing.

    These days, I can’t tell the difference between legit newsfeeds and South Park.

  152. I wrote quite a bit about Jones…including this one that still gets hits today.

    http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=20428

  153. Daisey is on a roll – “Christians in general are miserable at dealing competently and compassionately with domestic violence.”

    Not if they walk into a police station. My wife has been a Christian all her life, this weekend we will celebrate 47 yrs of marriage. If I hit her over a period of time (like once) – she would have been out of the house and her dad and brothers would be on my doorstep. Today, she would have my son’s over to take me down.

    Don’t you dare disqualify women, especially the women of the church from knowing how to defend, take of themselves and handle domestic issues. Sniffles like you are the issue.

  154. Daisy – my comment about blogging to all the friends and family wasn’t an issue on it’s own – it was doing that instead of going to the cops.

    I can’t believe that you are an such enabler by telling the world here on this blog women cannot handle themselves.

    Guys, are any of you married to a weak woman who would put up with this abuse crap? I’m taking a poll.

    Remember, if you have daughters or granddaughters – a wood chipper should be standard issue incase they run into a butt head.

  155. And now to Michael – “…not everything that has been reported in the media is true.” That’s Franklins first shot over Naghmahs bow…

    Didn’t we all spend the morning questioning if all that we were reading was true? I wasn’t taking a shot at her … and I don’t think Franklin was either.

  156. Erunner says (post #70):

    Michael, this is the pastor who told me I was in sin due to my agoraphobia among other things. To see this from him now has me angry. I responded stating I hoped he wasn’t back to where he was when we left his church. Sorry if this upset you Michael but I needed an outlet.

    I’m sorry. Ignorance and lack of compassion among many Christians for dealing with people who have mental health struggles is about as bad as it is in dealing well with victims of domestic violence.

    I used to have clinical depression, and there are many Christians out there who are more than delighted to peg your depression (or agoraphobia, or whatever similar issue) on you – they will say you lack faith, you’re in sin for it, you’re not praying hard enough, and other balderdash.

    Then there are the well intentioned yet equally harmful bon mots from some Christians such as, “I’m sure you are afflicted with X because God is trying to teach you something from it.”
    And please don’t get me started on Christians who quote Romans 8:28 at any and all hurt you’re going through. I now have a special dislike of that verse from Christians who lob it at the hurting so much it is a cliche’ now.

  157. Martin Luther’s Disciple says:

    I can’t believe that you are an such enabler by telling the world here on this blog women cannot handle themselves.

    Have you ever in your life studied codependency or domestic violence at all? You seem quite ignorant of it.

    Women who are in abusive marriages often cannot “handle themselves” because years of abuse (sometimes verbal and emotional) strips them of their self esteem.

    People in abusive relationships come to believe the lies of their abusers, one big lie they often are subjected to is that they deserve to be abused, or that their behavior causes their abuser to be triggered.

    Such women often have to go to a domestic violence shelter for a long time and/or thru therapy to understand they do not deserve to be abused and treated like trash.

    Once a woman is free from her abuser for some amount of time and the fog in her thinking has lifted (often, abused women are preoccupied constantly with thoughts on how to avoid being hit or yelled at again), they see things more clearly and THEN they have the strength and fortitude to ditch the abuser.

  158. Keven H said,

    As you said, however, it sure would be helpful if Naghmeh clears up some of the past information that she passed on that at this moment *appears* to have included half-truths and manipulations. If she wants us to gain our fully trust, she needs to clarify and give explanations to some of her past information that now looks suspect.
    I want Naghmeh to be protected. But if she is going to continue to be public with her case, I think she also needs to assure us that she is being honest and straightforward about everything.

    It’s attitudes like this that keep women who are in abusive marriages from stepping forward and confiding in a pastor, friend, church group, or whomever. Instead of being believed, they are doubted and they have negative motives attributed to them.

  159. “…not everything that has been reported in the media is true.”

    Since Saeed has been rather quiet, who else could this refer to than Nagmeh. Graham is not qualified to make that statement, actually none of us are.

    It is rather obvious that Saeed is a potential cash cow if they navigate this correctly.

  160. Daisey – what is your advise to a young woman the very first time her husband punches her? I will bet lots of money your reply is the same as mine.

  161. Since Saeed has been rather quiet, who else could this refer to than Nagmeh. Graham is not qualified to make that statement, actually none of us are.
    ————————————–
    Disagree. Graham has spent the last couple days with Saeed and is the only one who has heard the other side and I repeat that Naghmeh has done nothing but praise Graham as a good friend as recently as a week ago.

    My money is it refers to specifics about just how often this internet phone was available and used courtesy of those kind Iranians in between beatings…because Naghmeh painted quite a picture there that goes against all of her communication all the prior two years as I have noted earlier in the day…

  162. E-Runner,

    Thanks for sharing that about your illness. There are many of us here who suffer from these afflictions and the stigma from society, let alone the stigma of the church. I once knew a woman who came to me for prayer because she was “freaking out.” After talking to her, I discovered she had been advised by women in her prayer group to go off her meds cold turkey because God doesn’t approve of that kind of thing! Of course, I encouraged her to see her doctor right away but it just shows the ignorance and the incredible damage it can do.

  163. Martin Luther’s Disciple says:

    January 28, 2016 at 5:07 pm
    Daisey is on a roll – “Christians in general are miserable at dealing competently and compassionately with domestic violence.”

    Not if they walk into a police station. My wife has been a Christian all her life, this weekend we will celebrate 47 yrs of marriage. If I hit her over a period of time (like once) – she would have been out of the house and her dad and brothers would be on my doorstep. Today, she would have my son’s over to take me down.

    Don’t you dare disqualify women, especially the women of the church from knowing how to defend, take of themselves and handle domestic issues. Sniffles like you are the issue.

    Women who are in the midst of an abusive marriage do not know how to defend or take care of themselves. I explained all this in a post above, #158.

    It’s clear to me you are extremely ignorant of how Christians deal with women who step forward and ask for help in these matters. Spend a good long time reading the testimonies in the main blog posts and in the comment section at this blog for Christian domestic abuse survivors:
    A Cry For Justice

    Many Christian women, when in an abusive marriage, first seek help from a preacher or some kind of church group or staff, not the police. Some of them have been taught that divorce for any reason is bad or wrong, so they want to see if the marriage can be saved.

    When most Christian women ask their church or preaccher for help, they are often discouraged from seeking out the police.

    They are encouraged to stick to channels inside the church, or used church approved Christian arbitration groups, which are highly ineffective (there are examples of how miserably they fail at the Cry For Justice blog).

    Abused Christian women will often be told by other Christians that the abuse is their fault, they must submit more to their husband, pray more about the situation and/or cook the husband his favorite meals.

    The onus is put on the wife (by Christians) to “fix” the marriage, when the truth is her behavior has nothing to do with it.

    Many Christian women are in churches the support “gender complementarian” views, which tell women that their husbands are their leaders, heads, bosses, and that the woman must submit to the husband, even if he’s abusive. Such women are not going to be eager to go to a police station for help.

    Abusers abuse because they have a heightened sense of entitlement and want control over their victim; they don’t care about their victim’s needs or wants.

    These dynamics of abuse (and others) are quite often overlooked or ignored by churches, preachers, and many average Christians.

    So, Christian women in abusive marriages are often “stuck” in such marriages for years.

    Some women (not all, but some) walk into abusive marriage as codependents, and there could be any number of reasons for that, such as, they were abused in childhood and think abuse is “normal.” These women lack boundaries and never learned in their formative years that it is acceptable for women to be assertive.

    Such women might not realize they deserve to be treated better by a husband, so it will not cross their mind to press charges against a spouse with the cops.

    Some women start out strong in a marriage with a normal level of self esteem, but if the violence becomes very dangerous, they may use codependent coping methods to avoid being killed by their spouses.

    Some women are financially dependent on their abusive husband and don’t want to leave him or report him to the police for fear of not getting their rent paid or the electric on.

    You are stunningly ignorant of domestic violence.

  164. I did not mean to put all the rest of my post in 164 in A HREF format. I must have overlooked to put the closing tag on my last A link. Sorry.

  165. Daisey,
    “Spend a good long time reading the testimonies in the main blog posts and in the comment section at this blog for Christian domestic abuse survivors:”

    No

    Now answer my 161

  166. Thank you, Daisy. Thank you also, Michael. Your blog levels the playing field. Those with power control the narrative without forums such as these. God bless you both.

  167. Martin Luther’s Disciple says:

    Daisey – what is your advise to a young woman the very first time her husband punches her? I will bet lots of money your reply is the same as mine.

    You can lead a horse to water but cannot make him drink it.

    You truly do not understand the dynamics of abusive marriages. Telling a woman to call the cops after the first punch assumes a lot of things about that woman, her level of self esteem, etc.

    She may not be in a place mentally to feel secure calling the cops. The husband may have been verbally abusing her daily for months and months, until the point she is convinced by him that she deserved the punch.

    The man may be the “breadwinner” in the relationship, earning the pay check, so she will not report him to cops for fear she will go hungry, homeless,etc.

    A lot of abusers isolate the victim, so she won’t have friends or family to run to and stay with should she need a place.

    Some states, IIRC, had to change the law to force the cops to always arrest a husband if the wife did ever call in with an abuse report (or the cops at least have to show up and investigate) because many wives were too scared or reluctant to press charges against their abusive spouse.
    What The Police Can Do For You [Domestic Violence]

    Most troubling, your reply assumes if a woman says she was hit by the man but does NOT call the cops about it, she must be lying about being hit.

    You are wrong. That is not how the psychology of abuse victims works.

    Educate yourself, read the book Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft .
    You can also watch videos of speeches for free by Bancroft on domestic violence on You Tube where he explains all this.

  168. Daisy – do you have daughters? What have you taught them?

  169. Martin Luther’s Disciple says:

    January 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm
    Daisey,
    “Spend a good long time reading the testimonies in the main blog posts and in the comment section at this blog for Christian domestic abuse survivors:”

    No

    Now answer my 161

    So you refuse to be educated and remain in ignorance.

    You are part of the problem, why so many Christian women in abusive marriages refuse to report their abuse to anyone or are too afraid to divorce their abuser.

    You keep spelling my screen name wrong, too, Martian Loother Disheveled.

    I don’t have to answer anything of yours. You can get bent.

    I wonder why the guy who runs this blog permits you to post (no offense to him, I mean, he seems okay, but I am truly baffled by why he lets you stay on here)? You are a hateful little troll.

  170. 169. I would not teach them the garbage you do.

  171. “Most troubling, your reply assumes if a woman says she was hit by the man but does NOT call the cops about it, she must be lying about being hit.”

    Well you just made that up – I didn’t say anything like that. If this guy is a wife beater, he should be put in jail. I don’t see how I can make this anymore clear.

    But in the mean time – I definitly will raise all the females in my family what their first response should be… and I can tell if they are being verbally abused and having their confidence removed and will intervene.

    But again, do you have daughters and what have you spoken to them? This goes right to your credibility – so, don’t be trying to lead me to water (that’s manipulative on your part.) Answer please.

  172. 166. Martian Loother said, “Martin Luther’s Disciple says:
    January 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm
    Daisey,
    “Spend a good long time reading the testimonies in the main blog posts and in the comment section at this blog for Christian domestic abuse survivors:”

    No

    Now answer my 161”
    ———————-
    And by the way, I already answered your question several times over in posts above. Not my fault if you don’t like my answers.

  173. Martin Loother said,
    “But again, do you have daughters and what have you spoken to them? This goes right to your credibility – so, don’t be trying to lead me to water (that’s manipulative on your part.) Answer please.”
    ——————

    Having daughters or not has nothing to do with anything in this conversation; it does not add or take away to credibility.

    I’m a woman who has been 1. verbally, 2. emotionally and /or 3. financially abused by a sister (1, 2) and an ex fiancee (definitely 3 and a bit of 1 and 2).

    I also have done far more reading on abusive relationships than you have, apparently, and I’ve also interacted with and read countless testimonies by Christian women who were in abusive marriages – something you just said above you don’t care to do, you refuse to actually talk to or listen to victims.

    I understand all too well how abuse works and why some women stay in abusive relationships – and why some do not call the cops at the first punch even if daddy taught them to.

  174. Daisy,
    This blog has been here since 2002 dealing with issues like this.
    MLD has been here for close to 10 years.
    You may disagree with him, but you can get bent before you march in here and dictate terms on my blog .
    This community can handle disagreement, but we won’t tolerate rude strangers coming in to insult and lecture .

    It’s a pretty senseless way to speak if you want to be heard.

  175. Daisy,
    “169. I would not teach them the garbage you do.”

    Well, I have already stated that I teach them to get out the very first time, report it to the police and then deal with the issue.

    So if you would not teach them what I teach mine – you must be telling them to stay and take it for a while. With advisors like you the problem will remain. You don’t need to bring up what a poor response come out of Christians – you seem to have no problem delivering the message of enablment yourself. Are you really a Calvary Chapel pastor in disguise?

  176. “I also have done far more reading on abusive relationships than you have, apparently”

    Well I don’t need to read up on abuse – I choose to live a non abusive lifestyle – and to teach others to do the same.

  177. Wow, MLD . Can you really be so awful?? Why are you even allowed to post on a Christian forum?? I am horrified at your comments. You cannot possible be a Christian. Who are you? I was abused, and I took pictures of my bruises because of people like you. My husband once held a knife to my throat while threatening me. I now realize that this is a crime I didn’t at the time. It’s a crime called ‘menacing with a weapon’. I didn’t call the police. I had two daughters with this man. I loved this man; why would I call the police? I just wanted him to stop. I was a public figure – a teacher in my public school for 28 years. If I had called the police it would have tainted my career, my children’s lives,. I was terrified enough and trying to hold onto my life.

  178. OK – don’t call the cops. Live your life the way you want. But Christianity does not require women to stay around and be a punching bag. God has given us the authorities to protect us.

    But listen to what you and Daisy are saying. “If I go to a pastor, he will side with my abusive husband – so we abused women have nowhere to turn.” I say “yes you do, call the cops – call social services, call your dad or brothers.” But you say no to that also

    Do as you will – My advise still remains

  179. MLD: I went to my church. Calvary Chapel pastors told me to give my income, my inheritance ( 1/2 million) and any California State Teacher’s Retirement, to my husband. It didn’t matter what he did with it, they said. He could lose it all – it was his to do whatever he wanted with ! He was unemployed at the time, and it was 2009 – the middle of the Great Recession. Their attitude was that because I had a successful career and he didn’t, that all I had to do was give everything to him and he would stop abusing me. My husband’s abuse of me was never addressed by the pastor. This was a church I had attended for 35 years.

  180. I’m trying to get my mind around the context of the case at hand which is the focus of this thread before Daisy started to lecture us.

    Person One has a personal facebook following of a hundred thousand or so and with their shares a reach of hundreds of thousands more and when significant posts are written those posts become a media story extending the reach multiple millions more on top of that. Person One writes multiple times a week and speaks publicly all over the world.

    Person Two is in an Iranian jail and the only words this person can communicate must first be passed through Person One who can determine when, where, what and how any of Person Two’s words are shared.

    If the issue is who has the power to communicate in THIS relationship, let’s keep the above in mind.

  181. BofC, “My husband’s abuse of me was never addressed by the pastor. This was a church I had attended for 35 years.”

    You should have gone to the cops – they would have listened (I don’t know how much they would have done) but they would not have told you (1) to give him any money and (2) they would not have advised you to stick around to see if he would stop beating on you.

    Pastors are not marriage counselors unless they have trained for it like any other professional, license marital counselor.

  182. B of C – “MLD: I went to my church.”
    I hope you don’t think that was my advise – quite to the contrary.

  183. So there is no mistake, here is what I think we should do to wife beaters.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XMhDEnO9rg

    Now I should be in everyone’s good graces. 🙂

  184. To Steve’s 181, not only have we not heard from Person Two, Daisy believes we should never hear from him.

  185. Daisy,

    I am one of the ones you chose to lecture but I’m not going to spend my time responding to it.

    I will just echo Michael’s earlier reply to you that this place has long dealt with abusive situations. Most here are quite sensitive to abuse. You will find more thoughtfulness and advocacy for abuse victims here than most other places.

    Coming in here as a stranger and right off the bat aggresively lecturing a bunch of us is a very ineffective manner to be heard. If you really knew us, you would find that we actually have a lot of care and concern about the issues you are concerned with. At the same time, we’re not just going to automatically and blindly believe every single thing said by every single person who ever claims abuse. We will have questions when somebody is seriously contradicting themselves. Having questions and concerns of veracity is not the same as dismissing claims of abuse.

    And P.S. Just for your own sanity, you’re never going to win an argument with Martin Luther’s Disciple.

  186. Pastors are not marriage counselors unless they have trained for it like any other professional, license marital counselor.
    ——————————————————
    Even if in some rare case a pastor did have that experience, nobody should look to THEIR pastor for this role. Pick someone who is a total stranger, and whose only contact will be the one hour a week you are in his/her office, and when the counseling ends, you will never see again….that is the only way there can be the needed honesty and openness to share anything and everything without hurting or embarrassing the other spouse – and thus have some progress and growth as a couple.

    Besides, even the most unbiased pastor typically knows one of the two spouses better than the other and the suspicion (and often reality) of favoritism taints the sessions.

    But of course that means paying for this service….and in 20 years of pastoral ministry I assure you a whole lot of people who say they want counseling are really saying they want free counseling.

    (To be clear, I will talk to anyone and try to help them but often helping them is to encourage them to find professional help, whether medical, financial, psychological, lawyers or cops – a pastor’s expertise is spiritual…ONLY)

  187. I don’t agree with your assessment of the power there, Steve.

    He has high dollar celebrity friends who want to trot him out for there cause now. They can bury the woman in a heartbeat.

    She only has the public discourse. She has controlled it for quite q while so it is right now playing to her strength, but that could change quick. Franklin Graham tweets out tomorrow that Nagmeh is a lying adulterer, and she’s done. (Not saying Franklin would do that by any means, just pointing out that he has WAY more resources than her right now.)

  188. Josh – you sure don’t think much of women. This is a woman who has spoken out to world leaders and has testified before congress – yet you think she is somehow not up to the task of defending herself and her children. Obviously you have never seen a mama bear in action.

    But I do have a question – when you say “and she is done.” What does that mean? Done as what?

    Why am I the only one here speaking out for the truth that women are strong and capable? and everyone else wants me to read reports to the contrary. It’s a confusing world we live in folks.

  189. MLD,

    Women are strong and capable. Abused women are not always strong and capable because of their fear and their low self-esteem. See the difference?

  190. He has high dollar celebrity friends who want to trot him out for there cause now.
    ——————————————————-
    My post was in the context of the last two years, Josh. Saeed just got out and was greeted with the news that his wife felt led by the Lord to tell the world he likes porn.

    She has those friends first. She praised Franklin Graham last week and thanked him profusely. She stayed with him just a couple months ago. If he lies about her NOW she can answer back with the truth. And if he DOES lie the mainstream media will give her as many microphones as she can speak into because THAT will be news they will love to report.

    I don’t want this to get political but I do not share the same cynicism that Graham or the ACLJ that has supported this woman so strongly and fought for freedom now don’t give a crap about her, her children, or their marriage.

  191. He was also greeted with two temporary restraining orders. Quite a welcome indeed. I said yesterday that she is either very brave or dangerously crazy. I want to believe brave.

    I don’t think the congressmen and all care about her. I think in Saeed they see a way to publicly pat themselves on the back.

    You are right that she has controlled the narrative to this point, but that is what I said. That is her only grasp on power. The Franklin thing was hypthetical. I don’t think he would do that. I was just pointing out that her “power” is very fragile.

  192. “yet you think she is somehow not up to the task of defending herself and her children.”

    MLD – You misunderstood. I have contended that is exactly what she is doing.

  193. I don’t think the congressmen and all care about her. I think in Saeed they see a way to publicly pat themselves on the back.
    ———————————————–
    Congressmen! Well, that is a different story entirely. 🙂

    However, not sure most pols want the optics of being too chummy with a publicized wife abuser…war on women and all that….

    They have two other prisoners they can have photo-ops with…

  194. Josh,

    You’ve blessed my mean old soul with how you’re handling this.

    I know nothing about the ACLJ…but I know a lot about Graham.
    Nothing would surprise me from that snake.

  195. Ummm. I know one from my home state that didn’t even wait til he got to the US to go take a picture with him.

  196. Cash – I know the difference but Daisy was making the case that you can’t bring up your daughters and granddaughters to be strong or at least to know what to do day 1 of a punch out.

    Do you have daughters? If so what is your advise to them the very first time a husband pops them in the nose? If we advise them to stay with no intervention (so there is no shame of embarrassment) well, we have a n issue 5 yrs from now.

    But then what is the advise to the one who has put up with it for 10 yrs? I say it is still the same – call the cops or someone is going to call the funeral director.

  197. I have to call and get these meds changed.
    I just realized I’ve watched the whole Republican debate…

  198. It’s not over yet…

  199. Well, having been accused of being a non christian husband by 2 of the ladies here, I think I will go have dinner with my wonderful wife (I cook my own dinner).

  200. Michael, did you learn anything?

  201. Josh, I hear you. Lots of pictures now…that guy fought the fight hard and went to greet him in Germany. I thought we were talking down the road…raising money at campaign rallies etc.

  202. Michael, I am sincerely glad that you’ve been blessed.

    I do wish this situation was not so confusing.

  203. Jean,

    Maybe.

    My hand would cramp up and smite me before I could vote for most of these guys.

    Rand Paul seems like a very intelligent and decent person.
    Don’t agree with him, but I respect his mind.

    Jeb Bush would make a great Democrat circa 1970… I’d vote for him over Clinton any day.

  204. MLD,

    I do have a daughter and I understand what you are saying. But I think Daisy was talking about much more severe abuse than getting punched once in the face. For example, your advice is to go to the cops. But what if the abuser had threatened her that if she went to the police, he would not only kill her but her children. The psychological dynamics of that changes things. I think you and Daisy may have been talking past each other. Just my thoughts.

  205. Josh,

    You’ve been fair, but strong.
    That helps me, it helps the blog, and it just makes us better.
    I thank you.

  206. Cash,

    “I think you and Daisy may have been talking past each other. Just my thoughts.”

    Yep.

    She came in firing with both hands though.

  207. Jean,

    The other thing I’ve learned is that so far it seems like I’ve been sitting here for hours and no one has addressed the job market at all.

  208. A manipulative spouse, be they wife or husband, can make life hell. A few years under a master manipulator can get a person so twisted up that they lose themselves.

    If you are punched, the course is clear: call the cops and get to a safe place with the kids. Manipulation is more insidious and incrementally destroys a person day by day, year after year. And it’s hard to prove.

  209. Thanks Michael!

  210. Xenia,

    Well said.

  211. But what if the abuser had threatened her that if she went to the police, he would not only kill her but her children.
    ———————————————
    That is as serious as it gets but may I ask what one would expect the local pastor to do? A woman tells a pastor this…then what?

    I do have an answer, and we have a policy at our church in such a situation…but I am curious from those critical of pastors for not doing enough to protect women, what do YOU expect?

  212. I’m not a marriage counselor.
    We have one that works with us, for free if needed.
    I don’t deal with anything that I’m unqualified to do in these matters.

    I also would not hesitate to go to the police if someone was in danger.

  213. .Michael,

    “She came in firing with both hands though.” That she did, friend.

  214. Michael, the scenario is that if you call the police you will be putting her life in danger and the life of her kids….

    I agree we may certainly be used to help someone in support in reaching out to the police…but I am going back to cash’s scenario in response to MLD

  215. A lot of times people just want to be heard. They appreciate prayer and prayer is what a pastor can offer, as well as just someone to listen to their problem. They know the pastor can’t solve it.

    However, on occasion someone is asking for an actual solution, and when the pastor says, you need to speak to a lawyer, or your human resources manager, or the police, or your condo board, or a therapist, or whatever the right person with authority in that area happens to be it is met with excuses as to this or that….and politely you finally say, I am a little confused, what are you asking ME to do for you….hopefully they don’t then walk away pissed at the uncaring pastor and talk about it on the internet

  216. MLD, I am new here. You say that an abused woman should go to the police, and not go to her pastor for marriage counseling. You obviously know very little about Calvary Chapel. I attended CC North Park, CC Poway, and CC Vista with Brian and Cheryl Broderson, and then Pastor Rob after Brian left for CC Costa Mesa. I was married and had my pre-marriage counseling at CC North Park. We were taught to never use outside counseling, and that psychology was satanic. We were taught to settle everything within the church, and would have been shunned if we had ever admitted to seeking outside counsel of any kind. Saeeb and his wife were from Calvary Chapel of Boise. Women from Calvary Chapel are not allowed to go outside the church for help. I had a masters degree, but I believed everything Calvary Chapel taught. I was in that church for 35 years, and I have never attended any other church. Going against church teachings felt like going against my Lord and Savior. You don’t understand the control that Calvary Chapel exerts over its members. I’ve been following the stories of Calvary Chapel child abuse and how leaders discouraged members from reporting the abuse to authorities. the same dynamic applies to abused women in Calvary Chapel churches. For you to say that abused women “should” immediately go to the police completely disregards the control that churches have over their members. Their churches, which are their only support group, tells them NOT to do this. If they go to the police, then they lose their only support at a time when they need it the most.

  217. Violence is a crime — always report it. Other kinds of unkindness such as harsh words require remediation but not all abuse is the same and not all calls for the same remedy.

  218. BoC,

    As I said, I’ve seen that scenario over and over again.
    I’m working with someone now in that space…

  219. I have been away from this discussion so I am sure it has evolved past what I am about to say but Franklin Graham’s post is beyond irresponsible. It is the first step in reshaping this narrative. That a man of his influence can be either than irresponsible or that calculated is verging on malicious.

  220. BD,

    I’m glad someone else sees it for what it is.

  221. Bride of Christ – I am not making light of abuse at all – it fact I think it should take top priority in our society.

    So now that you know that the Calvary Chapel system is the wrong place to go for marital help, what will be your advise to the next person that comes to you and says “BofC, my husband has been beating on me and I am in fear of my life – what should I do?”

  222. Wow. I sure have missed a lot here. Price I pay for going away and reading a good book.

    Pastor Wright,

    I disagree. how much did they (Franklin and Saeed) discuss of this? I’m sure it’s reasonable to presume that they did, but who is to say Saeed’s version is accurate? Follow the logic here:

    Graham made a public statement saying not everything that has been reported to the media is true. Who reported information via the media?.. only Nagmeh; Saeed has been quiet. So Graham is addressing Nagmeh statements… He obviously believes Saeed’s word over hers. He is biased, and therefore, not qualifed to render judgment. Try selling that idea to the talking cow.

    If he really cared about this couple, he would remain silent, pray for them and hope that the two of tehm can work through this.

  223. Wow. So the one guy who knows them both, has ministered to them both, and both have expressed publicly their appreciation for might possibly believe one of them over the other on some point of fact and since that one believed is the man he is biased and not qualified to render judgment.

    I’ve repeatedly said that I have no idea if Saeed is a monster or not and am withholding judgement. There is more than one plausible scenario on all this that a whole lot of people are wondering about but this is a textbook example of the Lord’s warning about judging without knowledge.

    but I do know that Saeed did not write false emails to me for 14 months and I also know I have yet to hear an explanation or apology on why that was done by the person responsible for writing them.

    Some people always interpret silence as guilt when sometimes (speaking from my own experience) silence is love and mercy and grace in action.

    And sometimes silence is wisdom when you have been locked in an Iranian jail for 3 years and might still need to get used to your wife posting all day to random strangers on facebook all day.(See Michael’s post #94)

  224. Maybe you missed this chestnut she wrote today

    After the 6 months he got access to the phone. He was on the phone with me 6-8 hours a day and then watching Movies on my Amazon account and then sleeping. Definitely not praying for 20 hours a day for the last few years of his imprisonment.”

    Do you just take that at face value, no questions asked? That this is what jail in Iran was all about for an ex-Muslim Christian tried as an enemy of Islam and the State of Iran?

    Folks, none of us got involved until after those six months..Every bit of contact and every effort was after that timeline. Sounds like a nice long vacation in Club Tehran for a monster like Saeed. Verbal abuse over the phone, catch a flick, take a nap…repeat for a couple years…

    And yet what about all those updates. All those urgent reports. Beaten,. Dying. Isolation. No contact for weeks! Either lies now, or lies for all these months, I’ll wait for the truth to be discovered to answer that one and anyone with factual knowledge is welcome to contribute…

    (maybe I should post that anniversary letter after all…she chose to send it to all of us, maybe it should be seen by the whole world and an explanation demanded – maybe Graham and the ACLJ conspired with Saeed and sent some goons to the house to force her to write this letter, and they approved the contents before she hit send to make sure it had just the right amount of “rip the church’s heart out before breakfast” content.)

    My regret is that I deleted so many of her emails – the ones that really had little to do with Saeed information….I wish I could look at those again too and remind myself what exactly she was bothering to write us about anyway…and how many there were.

    Truth usually lies in the middle in broken marriages…that has been my experience every time….why is this one any different?

  225. Pastor Wright,

    Follow the logic. Graham took sides publically. It reads like good old fashion damage control, and I’ve been around long enough to know what it sounds like. however, this turns out for these two, it will be whitewashed and eventually you will get to hear Saeed speak at a conference near you. not only do we love our heroes (and I for one thought Saeed was one), we just can’t seem to live without them.

  226. Maybe…maybe.

    One thing we know for certain. SHE sure got to speak at a LOT of conferences these last couple of years and it wasn’t because she was telling the world that Saeed was sleeping and watching movies every night with his internet phone.

  227. Yep. There is something not right ( no pun intended) about this whole scenario. But she also can out about their marital dysfunction some time ago. Stayed tuned and make a connection.

  228. I have no doubt their marriage was messed up before he went to Iran. That fact seems fairly well established…

  229. You know my family was really screwed up, my parents made tens of thousands of mistakes and all that. I had the list typed out but all that to say, I am glad I waited bided my time and went back and reconciled with them and had the privilege of helping to take care of them when they needed me. I mean they gave me life and put three meals all the time even if they went without. I paid a price not having a family of my own but it was a conscious choice I would not have been able to devote the amount of time I did, to the work I do or my earthly family and even to some degree as a member of faith communities. I got to reconcile in my strange way with many of them though not like I would have. I was a crappy son in my opinion, mainly because I lacked the financial resources to help more.

    But it was worth it. I have shared more here than pretty much anywhere else and I have kept most of the situations in my life very personal as I am actually a very private person. I dont even share much with God as I don’t wish to be a bother and that seems to work out best for both of us. I will admit to being a bit stupid concerning this entire situation, as my cynic meter went off really early in the situation after reading just a few of her posts and seeing her on a few videos and when ACLJ got involved I had to replace several meters but I thought no this one I’m going to ride out and believe the very best. I am glad he is free and would not fault him a bit if he cashed in on the prison thing. I hope his wife and children remain safe which is the only thing that actually really does matter.

    ****If and note I say if this is a big if please not IF*** it turns out he / she or they are working the business it really would not bother me too much, they are merely following if the footsteps laid out by others before them climbing the ladder of the corporation. I was talking to someone online about the book “She Said Yes” and the movie after reading the FBI reports and several other well-documented articles concerning the situation at columbine and this other person was quite upset about the idea that maybe she did not say yes or whatever. I remember saying would it make any real difference truly. I mean would it change the fact that her death was a tragedy at the hands of those creeps or the wondrous work God obviously did in that wonderful young lady’s soul. Life is not ever that clean, we are all broken and being built anew on a daily basis. I think someone said above we are looking for heroes, yes but they are all around us in the broad sense of the word. We also like to pick at our heroes to find the wounds so maybe we don’t feel so alone.

    I go to this church service down the street around the 4th of July where they have CMH’ recipients speak and to a one they come off as just normal folks doing extraordinary things through the grace of God.

  230. So I live in a third world country. I can totally see a prisoner with the right amount of funds getting easy access to a smart phone. Of course it’s against the rules, but if you got the money, it can happen. But you wouldn’t be able to advertise the fact. If the prison officials and guards lose face over it, you’re phone is gone (at the very least). I assume N. and ACLJ know that, and don’t want to jeopardize his access communication. As to other manipulations going on connected to said access, you guys have discussed at length…

  231. The pastor’s wife also said he demanded three months ago that she do certain things that she did not detail in order to promote him in the eyes of the public or he would end the marriage.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    All gossip unless she tells us what those certain things are. Maybe he just asked that she stop trashing him in the media, Even if he is guilty of certain things what husband is going to put up with this kind of negative media attention? I suspect she just wants out and think MLD’s #84 is most probable.

  232. You guys are getting me stirred up.

    So we were all played for 3 years?

    It was already clear that dishonesty was the soup de jour.

    Now this conversation implicates that ACLJ was in on this dishonesty

    A serious investigative reporter would have lots of big religious fish his net looking into this.

    I have been trying to posture myself as staying above this fray now I am feeling used

    Someone should ask questions.

    Steve where did that cell phone nugget come from?

  233. Andrew,

    The timeline of events is when these supposed demands came from Saeed, it was when Naghmeh still had been nothing but publicly supportive of Saeed and full-blown working for his advocacy. It was only after these demands that Naghmeh then sent the email to her supporters alleging the abuse. This was the first time she had ever said anything negative about Saeed and it was after the demands, not before. This is assuming Naghmeh is being truthful as to the timing of when the demands came.

  234. BD,

    The cell phone nugget came from Naghmeh herself in replying to some of the comments of this most recent Facebook posting of hers. She says that after the first six months in jail, Saeed then got a phone at which point he then spent 6-8 hours a day talking on the phone with her and also watching movies on it.

  235. Josh details some of her comments in #91, #92, & #95.

  236. Probably neither one of them felt he would never be released in a million years. Maybe they both felt it was time to move on. What is odd about the timing is after she came out with this negative press it was not long after he was released. I see a messed up situation but I also see God’s hand at work. Not sure if this will have a happy fairy tale ending but I am praying for both of them

  237. So if we put this stuff together we see

    1- Naghmeh’s self reporting about her own information flow was not truthful
    2- ACLJ had a ton to gain off these reports and while their advocacy was important the cashflow was enormous.
    3- The family at home was financially sustained by the public appearances and flow of sympathy from public
    4- The level of physical persecution Saeed endured is unknown and the veracity of the reports is in question
    5- Naghmeh very freely reported all kinds of things to prayer list and no one should be surprised that it was leaked as someone could plainly see that everything was not as it seemed and the public was getting hosed
    6- She went silent when it became clear that the questions would get loud if she kept talking
    7- A lot of posturing is going on now that he is back

    Oh and those questions about how sexual abuse can go on via a cell phone are not as far fetched as people think if you know how people are actually relating via cyberspace these days.

    Now I am officially slimed and sliming other by this slime

  238. I do believe it is interesting that shortly after she “confesses” about the abuse that he is free. Maybe that is how the Lord is working all of this out. The truth truly does set us free.

    As our beloved Em would say, “Dunno, just thinking.”

  239. You guys are getting me stirred up.
    ————————————-
    I feel like Bruce Willis “Welcome to the party, pal”

    I wish one of you were in that same google group all these months and gotten all the emails. We could compare notes.

    Nonnie, the problem is she didn’t confess publicly. They were leaked and she immediately said she never should have written them, blaming stress at the time…now she has gotten so much support she is declaring her apologies for not telling us about it before.

  240. 6- She went silent when it became clear that the questions would get loud if she kept talking
    —————————————————————-
    Well..silent about the issue at hand. She did continue to give us 21 days of devotions, telling us all the Lord was showing her about handling trials in life, which, if you recall, you and a few others expressed dismay over on this very blog.

  241. Steve, confessing something very embarrassing, humiliating, and shameful to “friends” (thousands of them) could be the same as “confessing yours sins one to another.” To humble yourself and tell another person is a very hard thing to do, especially if a woman has been emotionally beaten down for most of her marriage by a man who is called “Pastor” and they have an image to live up to.

    The timing just seems “coincidental” to me. Just something I’d been thinking about.

  242. Steve,

    After advocating with everyone here and on Facebook I had several times when I almost threw my whole church into this but each time I was restrained and could not quite pull the trigger. I did not do the prayer gatherings or the corporate fasts. I did not do a church event when I could have and I did not stay in private contact with Naghmeh after establishing that connection.

    I always felt a little guilty about it but I could not quite get there in my actions.

    Now I am glad. So I did not get the effusion of private conversation. Right now I feel like we all stepped in the dog pooh and tracked it in the house.

  243. IF, and I mean IF, what she is saying is true and he was mentally, emotionally, sexually abusing her for many years, I can completely understand how a young wife/mother could be torn over whether to say anything or not. He had the title of Pastor, he had a reputation to uphold and to support their family. Three years of being on her own could empower her to come to realise that what went on was wrong and sinful and she is under no Biblical obligation to continue in that kind of relationship.

  244. Nonnie, I want to make clear that I completely agree with THAT part. She was abused and has no obligation to continue that relationship. I agree 100%.

    My concern now has nothing to do with the abuse claims, but with the inconsistency of everything else that we were told.

  245. Now I do want to say that I agree with MLD about the wood chipper and the police. However, I also can understand what Daisy and Bride are saying about some Christian Women staying in an abusive relationship because they are so wanting to please God, who they (wrongly) believe wants them to submit to their abuser.

  246. The pastor’s wife also said he demanded three months ago that she do certain things that she did not detail in order to promote him in the eyes of the public or he would end the marriage.
    —————————————————–

    In the sake of truth I also think it is important that people know that in the two leaked bombshell emails (the 2nd email was pretty much a followup to verify she indeed sent the first – like I said, I thought she was hacked and I am sure many others did too. Not a lot new in the 2nd email)

    In these two emails there is not one mention of Saeed asking her to do something that she could not do that somehow was the last straw. It was about how the Lord has been speaking to her and she (quote) “can’t live a lie anymore”.

    She does not detail the abuse only that it was terrible since the day they got married (11 years prior) continued in prison (insert the phone detail) and gotten worse with fame. The only abuse detail was her telling us he is addicted to porn and thus she is sexually abused by that.

    Capped off with a “there are many details I can’t share” (but she could share about his porn addiction to the world???) – and all the speaking engagements she was going to now cancel (except the ones with signed contracts she makes clear) to stay home with the kids and seek the Lord.

    To repeat something from above, the last couple of months before the bombshell the emails were much more about asking for prayer for her and her travels and speaking engagements and much less about Saeed. I didn’t think anything of it in fact was praising God that He was using this injustice to give Naghmeh a platform to speak to Muslims, politicians and churches about Christ.

    As far as any of us know, maybe Saeed was angry that the mother of his children was away from them so often. It is one thing to speak to the UN assmebly, it is another to accept invites from churches all around the country for their womens conferences and special events….

    But all speculation at this point…..however that “last straw” demands needs to be clarified.

  247. I remember hearing a while back how people in the prison were being Saved due to Saeed’s witness. Does anyone else recall hearing that?

  248. Josh,

    My wife had heard Naghmeh speak at a women’s conference at our church and she told me at that time that Naghmeh had said as much.

  249. “Saeed has shared the Gospel with many of the prisoners he is with,” Nagmeh told me. “Some of them are political prisoners, former high ranking officials in the government. Others are hardened criminals. But many of them have given their lives to Christ — dozens of them.”

    Prison officials became so infuriated with Saeed for leading prisoners to Christ that they moved him to a different cell. But then more prisoners came to Christ. So they moved him to a different prison. But still more prisoners accepted Christ. Then they put him in a cell with the worst murderers on death row and warned Saeed not to speak of Christ or the inmates would kill him. But Saeed prayed that God would protect him and that God would soften the hearts of these murderers.

    That’s when he saw more miracles. Several of the inmates in his cell had dreams and visions of the Lord Jesus Christ appearing to them personally. They became followers of Christ. Now they are protecting Saeed and he is able to encourage them in their faith.

    A senior U.S. government official told Naghmeh that the Iranian government has told the U.S. that they are angry that Muslim prisoners are converting to Christ.”

    – That is from an interview with Nagmeh from September 2015

  250. I will be clear too. I support 100% abused women getting every bit of help they can to get out of that situation. We have shown that in action with real women at our church and I join those who are outraged at how some churches, including calvary chapels, that ignore or even make worse abusive marital situations. I take it as seriously as I do suspicions of child or elder abuse. And act accordingly.

    It is because of that experience that so much of this does not make a lot of sense. And I do go back to the emails for 14 months because I agree with what Nonnie and others have written about how abused women often feel they are forced to act but these emails go way out there….

    And some of you are going to get upset at this, but the pastors will likely all nod – I have seen a couple women use the word “abuse” very inappropriately once you got her and the husband in the same room to talk about what happened. What was “abuse” when telling it to the pastor solo, or to the womens ministry leader etc is simply not abuse in any legit sense of the word when everyone is gathered together and the real truth comes out.

    And when that happens it angers me because abuse is SO serious that whenever it is watered down and trivialized by a woman with an agenda it hurts real abuse victims trying to be heard.

    Maybe that is not happening here…maybe it is. But that is why some of us reserve judgment – not because (as some would say) “typical CC pastor covering for his own”

  251. Yes, abuse has become the silver bullet of unhappy marriages

  252. There is a lot here that needs clarified.
    I like how Dread put it…

    At this point, I might as well add to the soiled shoes.

    When our group was doing the heaviest social media advocacy I was more than a little frustrated that certain people didn’t jump on the bandwagon and help us.

    A couple of those people got tired of me saying so on the blog and tried to gently alert me that nothing in this case was as it seemed, nor had it been from day one.

    I was too busy being zealous to listen and they weren’t very forthcoming with details anyway.

    Someone is going to write a helluva book someday.

    Chapter one will have to be about why Saeed was sent out in the first place…

  253. Chapter 1 will be why I couldn’t jump on the bandwagon in the first place, as much as my heart hurt that a family (especially the children) was being broken. Sometimes what seems to be a noble cause on the surface is often the unintended consequences of misplaced political and/or religious zealotry. I am very impressed by the overall tone and integrity many of you are demonstrating in trying to sort out and discuss this quagmire. Peace.

  254. Something just hit me like a train. Her emails regularly were very clear CONFIDENTIAL. Please keep confidential!! We were in on the inside scoop and Iran was so evil that literally life or death might be at stake if we shared. (Something I have no doubt believing)

    It was her habit. She did it all the time.

    Except she did not do it for the most sensitive email she ever wrote us that she later says she did not want leaked or shared. Not one request or reminder about confidentiality.

    It also was written as a good-bye. She was shutting down the group and stopping the advocacy and telling us why (sort of). But no final plea for confidentiality? After including it in most every Saeed email.

    The second email came the next day and began ” The last email that was sent was from me. It was a glimpse into a new kind of battle I am in. The reason I shared it with you was that I believed you would not be forwarding the emails or sharing them with anyone else. ”

    Make your own application….

  255. Dread @243

    Then you might be spared having half your congregation come up to you (one by one) in a great state of confusion looking at you to explain it all to them….

    when the one they are asking is just as much in the dark…

  256. Michael @253

    “Pastors who had ever worked with Saeed gave me warning,”

    (what she wrote in the bombshell email)

  257. Steve, Michael, et all…..what you did, you did in love for a brother in chains, a family separated from their husband/father. What you (we) did, you did in love. We prayed and advocated for a man in chains.

    I don’t think any of us need be ashamed or regret praying for Saeed and his family.

  258. Nonnie,

    I agree.
    I’m ashamed that I didn’t follow my instincts and the counsel of my friends…but my life would have been pure hell had I raised questions about someone we considered a modern martyr.

    That’s why info will be really hard to get to clarify this mess.

  259. Nonnie, I agree. I don’t regret my public comments, advocacy and sharing.

    I am angry at living for 14 months with confidential heart-ripping secrets I did not even share with Dread, Michael or others here because I was asked not to and because the life of Saeed and his parents was at risk….secrets which now might very well have been all lies.

    Like I said yesterday, I didn’t need or ask Naghmeh to share her love letter to Saeed with me on their anniversary and her doing so did nothing to aid his advocacy but it might have gotten her another gig on the sympathetic speaking tour…

    Heck, we might have asked her to share at our place too if we had the sanctuary to hold the crowd…

  260. There is one person who can untangle this mess.
    That would be Bob Caldwell.
    Now, his hands are tied as to confidential matters in the marriage.

    His hands are not tied to discuss why, if Abiding was “convicted of domestic abuse” why, he was even on staff and why he would send him out on a mission that was fraught with peril from the beginning.

    That’s where this needs to start…

  261. I want to thank my Pastor Bob Caldwell who has been with me through my spiritual journey and my Christian walk. He has been a father, friend, mentor, example and much much more to me.
    ————————————————
    facebook

  262. I agree, Nonnie. Those who set up the situation, misled and continue to do so are the only ones who should be ashamed. Not those who responded with compassionate hearts to a cause they believed was something worthy of their loving efforts. Sadly, the ones who should feel the most shame are usually those least likely to do so.

  263. Steve,

    I don’t know about you, but I I’m questioning all statements.

  264. Michael you have seen in the past and know as well as anyone, once someone can lie publicly for the purposes of manipulation and sympathy, everything else ever posted (or written privately) becomes suspect.

  265. We now how two people who have become Christian icons with large fan bases.

    Questioning either is going to to result in much condemnation for the one who dares ask.

    We have people behind the scenes creating narratives to support the celebrity.

    We have little chance of ever knowing the truth.

  266. i agree with Nonnie, the praying efforts were a good thing… this thread, however, is beginning to drift into a good conspiracy theorist’s playbook

    i am under the impression that, within the Muslim world – at least in the Middle-East – their men seem to be pretty gross in all their intimate dealings with women (the whole family dynamic, loving or otherwise, is strange)… could be wrong

    i can see where the Iranians themselves could have given Saeed access to internet and the outside world in order to monitor a whole lot of stuff that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise… the conjecture goes on and on… some opportunist Christian author will probably try to do a spy novel based on this

  267. Keep in mind that I stand by my position that none of this nonsense is any of our business. However, because I am a hypocrite and because I am incredibly naive about technology, I am wondering how if Saeed had a cell phone and could watch movies from it, doesn’t that require the internet? If so, then didn’t he have access to all that was written and said about him on the internet? If he had access to the internet and was free for 6-8 hours a day to talk on the phone and watch movies, couldn’t he have created his own FB page? This is just strange and all the more reason why we need to learn and pray fervently before we go world wide with our personal issues.

  268. I find it odd that Iranian hell holes have better wi-fi than I have at home…

  269. Sure looks like many folks are getting played… Can’t stop thinking about how whatever the truth is, and however this ends, kids will be damaged in the process. Shame on their parents for dragging them through this.

  270. In cases like look to Romans 8:28

    If….they both love God and are called according to His purpose. Then God is going to ALL thing’s to work together for good. I have a good sense about Naghmeh. Touch em both Jesus.

  271. didn’t he have access to all that was written and said about him on the internet?
    ————————————————————-
    “Saeed has had access to phone (I was told by ACLJ that I could not share this publicly) and he has been able to read all of the social media and has been in contact with me via phone and Skype. His abuse has continued over the last 3 years and it has gotten worse as his name has grown.”

    That is her claim…

  272. “Saeed has had access to phone (I was told by ACLJ that I could not share this publicly) and he has been able to read all of the social media and has been in contact with me via phone and Skype. His abuse has continued over the last 3 years and it has gotten worse as his name has grown.”

    That is a shocking claim and it certainly doesn’t do anything positive for her credibility over the the past 3 years. She is either a delusional woman, a bold face liar, or an abused woman who is finally coming to her senses and spilling the rotten beans, and not letting her husband or any other powerful man run her life anymore. I confess, i don’t know what to believe.

  273. kids will be damaged in the process. Shame on their parents for dragging them through this.
    —————————————————–
    Shame indeed!

    I sincerely hope and pray that these kids as they get older never begin to question whether they were used as props in all this. I know their parents love them but even at their age they must wonder about all the praise for reuniting with dad while the same day filing paperwork to make sure there is division once more.

    As you may know, the children were the focus more than Naghmeh, and many of the email updates were about their birthdays, Christmas away from Dad, Mr. Obama please bring my daddy home….

    Speaking for my wife and I, that was where the real heartbreak rested with us….

  274. So basically, the abuse has continued and gotten worse for 3 years because his name has grown? Why wouldn’t a brutal, merciless institution like an Iranian prison just take away his phone privileges? Anyone else wonder what kind of a prison allows a prisoner access to electricity to charge a phone? Weird…

  275. The internet is one thing, even skype maybe but it is very difficult for anyone in Iran to access facebook or twitter. They are illegal and filtered by the government. It absolutely blows my mind to think they would make whatever effort was needed to let the Christian prisoner have it so he could read about what is happening in the land of The Great Satan – unless of course a LOT of money was involved to make it happen. (And of course the same guy never even once sent out a private note or message to his public)

    Or it is a lie…

  276. Like Dread, I think I know whats she’s talking about when she speaks of abuse by phone.
    This isn’t the proper forum to detail that, but it is surely possible.

  277. No doubt. Her claim is 6-8 hours of phone calls and the implication is this was pretty much daily…..No doubt someone can abuse over the phone…

    And yet the only person to ever get an update was his parents for their short weekly visit and sometimes those visits didn’t happen and so weeks would go by with no word…

    that was the steady diet…it is one thing to be afraid to admit the abuse, it is another to make up stories out of whole cloth to tug in heartstrings and get speaking engagements.

  278. Steve,

    The question I have is whether she was handed this narrative or made it up herself.

    The kids were my concern too…and I think if I wasn’t thoroughly medicated I’d be enraged right about now.

  279. Some of her friends are suggesting the group emails were scripted by lawyers.

  280. Could the Iranian government be behind any of this? Could it just be the Iranian government didn’t want a Christian pastor that has suffered for his faith to be welcome back to the US as a hero and could they have orchestrated what we see? Just thinking of other possibilities to this quagmire.

  281. I don’t think any conspiracy is necessary. We can come to a few very safe conclusions going only on the facts we know.

    Saeed had a phone, but had it become public knowledge, he would have lost it.
    The stories of isolation, etc., were wildly exaggerated to keep us invested.
    She does not want to continue is a relationship with him.

    Honestly, that is the full story.

  282. I’m glad the prisoners were released.

    Honestly, if my wife were trapped in a foreign country, there is no lie I would not tell to get her home. Sorry. It’s true.

    So, I don’t really blame them for this charade. They got me. I was duped. Now, they have what they wanted. To expect any further support, or even understanding, from people who were manipulated as part of your plan is insane.

    3 years ago I had never heard the name Abedini. Today, I plan on forgetting it again.

  283. We’re going to need Michael’s help to forget the name.

  284. I just spent some time reviewing her Facebook thread.

    Josh was asking bold, clear, but polite questions about the differing narratives we’ve been given.

    It did not go well for Josh.

    She answered other inquiries, but ignored Josh and the few who acknowledged the legitimacy of his inquiries.

    That’s wrong.

    I feel that I’ve been used and defrauded and then did everything I could to defraud others.

    I have limited time and energy, but I’m going to turn some rocks over.

  285. You’ll also note, that more often than not, I started my posts with “I believe she was abused, and I believe she did right to protect herself.”

    Still, the questions were not allowed.

    We were duped. They got us.

    She may have been abused, but she is lawyered up and took out restraining orders against Saeed. She doesn’t need my help. She has started her new life. Good luck to her, but I won’t be following.

    Saeed is most likely complicit in fraud, and was likely an abusive husband. He’s out of jail now, and his powerful friends can look out for him. Hope they all enjoy themselves from here out. I’m done.

  286. Josh,

    You couldn’t have been more courteous.
    I was very impressed.

    My task now is to try to make sure no one dupes us further.

    I have no doubt they will try.

  287. I hope this is just a case of something that grew out of control.

    It certainly has gotten that way.

    Longing for the day when we will not shape truth but just tell it.

  288. Michael, I am going to let some more dust settle….and if nothing new develops I am going to write a polite letter to the ACLJ as a CC pastor (like Saeed) and #freesaeed organizer (We know they remember that effort as they acknowledged it at the time and saw the results of the hearing called within a day or two of its conclusion). Also as a conservative who has been a strong supporter and follower of their work for years.

    I will also be writing as one of the recepients of the private emails and make it clear I am concerned for the truth as to this phone and communication with the outside world. Not for details of their marriage issues (if ACLJ even knows of them) but that this phone’s existence if true and to the level reported means that a lot of fraud has been perpetrated on the Body of Christ and even worse, this fraud had the direct connection to their fundraising efforts.

    I am not a journalist, but I can speak to the power of influence in this day of the internet and urge a reply.

    My sincere hope is that like many spouses in crumbling marriages, there has been great exagerration and the phone’s existence was a rare and fleeting occurrence for whatever reason and the details of his torture, isolation and suffering were true.

    I think I owe my congregation if not the Lord, that effort of followup. And if they choose not to reply, that will still be a reply.

  289. Steve,

    Keep us posted on the response you get, if any.

  290. I’m sure I will reference Gospel for Asia and multiple pastoral scandals over the years that have not made me a cynic but have made it clear that NO organization is above answering legitimate questions for accountability sake and nobody can let their past reputation alone answer for the present.

    And while I gag as I type it…maybe the Obama Administration seemingly was not concerned all this time because they knew the truth too? Knew the true conditions of his imprisonment. I remember I used to think the Iranian government would never be so stupid as to let Saeed die in prison because they would bring such a storm down on them that would leave nothing standing….maybe the Iranians, evil as they are, weren’t stupid and made it clear to our government Saeed is fine. Sekulow will love reading that…

  291. Josh,

    I gave you all kinds of hard times over this.

    Looks like I was wrong and you were right.

    I don’t regret my restraint.

    I do regret how this is unfolding.

    We probably still have a bunch of surprises but it may just be a woman who was trying to manage the trouble she has and take care of her children.

    It may come down to a man who is of mixed character who gets his laundry hung out for everyone to see.

    And it may come down to “follow the money”

    Right now it feels pretty unsavory.

  292. Dread,

    My guess is that it’s all of the above…

  293. If I do not get a satisfactory reply, then in the instruction of the Bible, I will ask you and Alan, Bryan and Daniel to join me and we will craft a similar letter as the organizers of #freesaeed.

    If no reply to that one, I say we sick the whole internet world on it – at least to the degree the internet world knew about it….which is a big degree.

    Above reproach but not ignored…

  294. Bride of Christ @ nr. 217:

    I got reeled into the Calvary Chapel thing as a young Army vet way back during the Vietnam Era. I endured it for the better part of two decades before the cognitive dissonance and the black-and-white-authoritarianism got to be too much. It’s really emancipating and exhilarating to be free of all that sort of thing at present day. You too can be free if you’re only willing to free yourself. Sometimes the worst prisons are the ones in which we are our own jailers.
    There is no ‘perfect church’, but here in America it’s a Baskin Robbins smorgasbord of religion if you will, there’s a place for everybody (churchwise) if you’re so inclined.

    You might want to try MLD’s religion or even Zenia’s. Theirs are ancient traditions with distinct advantages over the head-honcho-fundagelical types, namely that there’s less chance of suffering under a ‘biblical control tyrant’. They have a kind of church governance which makes it hard for those types to set up shop.

  295. “If no reply to that one, I say we sick the whole internet world on it – at least to the degree the internet world knew about it….which is a big degree.”

    I know how to do that… 🙂

  296. I think the ACJL probably has some answering to do on this matter. It won’t surprise me a bit if there are a series of articles about them just like we saw with GFA.

  297. Andrew, that is certainly the picture Naghmeh is painting….if true then we need to know. If not, and she is lying, I am guessing they will not let her take down the whole ship.

  298. Really feel sorry for the kids. Tried reading the Facebook thread and it’s a train wreck of thousands of comments – everything from “I’ve got proof of your boyfriend” to “you could do no wrong”. Can’t imagine what those kiddos are going to go through in a few years time.

    My inclination is to always stand with the party that cries abuse and I don’t doubt the reality of that here (someone posted to the leaked 2007 assault charge in the thread if more concrete evidence is needed) but there is so much going on…I truly hope she’s not buried by powers that be and I equally hope since things are and have been publicized light shines on any deception (from ANY party, be it a spouse or machinations of third party/ies – the latter seeming a bit more likely).

    Thanks Michael and others here for the followup and shining light on any dark corners.

  299. Thank you, Brandon…I think we’re all going to stay engaged in this to some degree or another.

  300. “In 2007, Saeed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in Ada County Magistrate Court. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended, and placed on probation for a year, according to online Idaho court records. The case file was not immediately available for review.”

    http://magicvalley.com/news/local/domestic-abuse-national-spotlight-pastor-s-wife-speaks-further-about/article_3da9fe59-01ac-5ae9-b0de-cf5f634dd576.html

  301. Dread, I don’t know what’s right and wrong in this.

  302. Steve, it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Many folks deceive themselves and when this happens I don’t want to call them liars because they seem to believe their own deception. It happens all the time. The only way to see the truth is to pray that God remove all the blinders. We all have blind spots and this is why I really don’t want to take sides in this at all.

  303. I agree with you Andrew. Especially in marriage battles the truth is often somewhere in the middle. But my focus is the imprisonment details stated by Naghmeh and confirmed by the ACLJ and believed by us all….did she even write these things?

    The quotes I have been referencing that I received as a prayer partner leave no middle ground when stood next to her words now. They specifically focused on his limited contact with the outside world and his constant isolation how crucial it was for his dad to be granted even those once a week visits and how terrible it was to hear “no news from Saeed” sometimes weeks at a time. Often they were filled with “Keep this quiet, we can’t let the government know or they will revoke visas etc” sort of stuff…

    And now we find out he spoke and badgered his wife 6-8 hours a day in between movies and naps?

  304. I should probably do this in a separate article.

    That story about his conviction was released today.
    Yesterday, we had Franklin Grahams statement.

    This story is in response, in my opinion.

    The reporter did an excellent job of covering her source…that court record is sealed and when it was up you couldn’t see what it was even about.

    The details had to have been leaked to the reporter.

  305. I just checked, the case is still sealed.
    She is filing for the separation under her maiden name.

    The stuff is getting so deep, the bull might drown…

  306. Sometimes as the truth trickles out…this eventually is the result.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHS_HPvGJH4

  307. I thank God I don’t have a Facebook profile because I can’t even keep up with what’s happening on this blog. I will say that organizations like ACLJ use questionable fundraising all the time. In my view, they are charlatans who use God’s people to further a political agenda-not a spiritual one. It’s so important to have discernment in these matters.

    That’s why I thank God for this blog, because I trust Michael will at least do his best to ferret out the truth of the matter, just as he has on so many things in the past.

  308. Cash,

    Thank you…this is one tangled mess.

  309. Saaed was in prison for a long period of time. The conditions and circumstances could have changed numerous times to destabilize him. In reality inconsistent treatment is psychological warfare at its core. I think the body of Christ needs to be consistent with one voice in welcoming Saaed back to the US. His marital woes should be kept private in my humble opinion.

  310. while i understand the interest and sense of responsibility to find the truth that pastors and other posters may have regarding this – we have way bigger problems fomenting now – and at least 2 of the front runner candidates for the Presidency this year are really scary and will do us damage … IMHO
    the way i read it now, this government is above the law and is developing a history of exploiting personalities within our churches… the way the imprisonment of Saeed has been played and played out seems to be a current example
    the high profile Christian personalities (our leadership? not) may be exploiters themselves or they may have a sense of importance (doing God’s work, even) by being in with the power brokers – dunno

  311. I’m not going to trash the ACLJ (yet) – their fundraising supports their pro bono work as attorneys for people in need, people typically who are the underdogs going up against some political or corporate machine, fighting for their religious liberties.

    Naghmeh needed a lawyer and she got an excellent one in Sekulow. How many people can be represented by a guy who has argued literally a DOZEN cases before the US Supreme Court? They were tireless in their fight and had every right to encourage donations in response.

    Assuming there was no fraud. And that is why this is a big deal Naghmeh has thrown them under the bus, whether she realizes it or not, and if it was proper and truthful for her to do so then that needs to be known and dealt with….if not, they need to speak up for their actions.

    If their agenda seems “political” recognize the political attacks against Christian liberty tend to come from one side of the aisle (not the entire aisle mind you, but not too many ACLU lawyers give campaign donations to conservatives and eat lunch at Chick Fil A)

    Charlatans don’t get before the Supreme Court on a regular basis.

  312. Andrew,

    I agree but it is way too late for that

  313. @-308… “I thank God I don’t have a Facebook profile because I can’t even keep up with what’s happening on this blog.” me too (i trust Michael and the posters here, also) and amen

  314. BD, its never too late to do the right thing.

  315. “Charlatans don’t get before the Supreme Court on a regular basis” … that’s what i’m thinking also – i’ll wait and see on this organization… it may be a mixture of good works and exploitation, also …?… dunno

  316. This is so convoluted political agenda is surely involved. Steve, you assume a lot when you attack the left for any of this. You yourself said, assuming there was no fraud.” This mess is on the right side of the aisle and I assure you charlatans from both sides argue before the Supreme Court all the time.

  317. The conditions and circumstances could have changed numerous times to destabilize him
    ————————————————–
    Andrew you are correct. And that needs to be explained and we can find out if she exaggerrated then, now, always or never….or if forced to write something by others…

    I have seen many marital battles where something that happened twice over 3 years ago is brought up by the angry spouse in such a way that it sounds like it is a daily ongoing occurrence….

  318. “His marital woes should be kept private in my humble opinion.”

    Your own statement proves they have not been kept private but I sympathize with your intent.

  319. I might be the only one who feels this way, but if I had known this “pastor’ had prior convictions for domestic abuse I sure as hell would not have been much of an advocate and I would have been asking a whole lot of different questions.

    How the hell does this guy qualify for the ministry?

    This was an ongoing issue since at least 2007 and Bob Caldwell was unaware of it?

    Really?

  320. Cash….read carefully. I don’t attack the left for any of THIS at all….but I sure as hell am not blind as to who is running the homosexual, Islamic, secular activist train in this country and who is in opposition….

    You threw the first political shot there….you ever had to hire an attorney? The meter gets running up there pretty quickly and maybe we all could ponder the 3-year legal bill Naghmeh would be facing even if she had hired someone from the back of a matchbook cover.

    In America, free stuff comes from other people my friend. Taxes, donations…but somebody.

    Now, I’m keeping this on this case but I recognize the ACLJ is hated by a lot of people for political reasons only and wanted to be clear that they too deserve to be seen as innocent until shown guilty when we are talking about fraud of this magnitude.

  321. Michael…see my post #257 above..

  322. And the fact that he had a conviction for domestic abuse shows Nagmeh is at least telling the truth about that. Why should we not believe her now when he has a history of this crap?

  323. Actually Steve you brought up politics about this first, not I. But I guess that is a silly argument for us to have.

  324. Steve,

    Did you post that email somewhere?
    I can’t find the applicable passage…

  325. Cash…your #308 “I will say that organizations like ACLJ use questionable fundraising all the time. In my view, they are charlatans who use God’s people to further a political agenda-not a spiritual one.”

    My replies to that. I agree. Let’s move on.

    Michael – She wrote in what I have called her bombshell email ““Pastors who had ever worked with Saeed gave me warning,” (in context of his abuse…she did not elaborate beyond that – who the pastors (plural) are, what they warned etc)

  326. “you ever had to hire an attorney? The meter gets running up there pretty quickly and maybe we all could ponder the 3-year legal bill Naghmeh would be facing even if she had hired someone from the back of a matchbook cover.”

    Hey, now, lawyers have to eat too. 🙂

  327. Haha Steve, way to get the last word, THEN agree to move on. 🙂

  328. And the fact that he had a conviction for domestic abuse shows Nagmeh is at least telling the truth about that. Why should we not believe her now when he has a history of this crap?
    ——————————————————
    I have seen the situation where a man is guilty of adultery – one time. Repents, wife stays with him…they continue their marriage for years and it is relatively healthy and then the wife decides she wants out because SHE met another man and brings up the old adultery from years past that had been forgiven and repented about as her proper Biblical grounds…

    Now I totally agree that if someone is guilty in the past they sure don’t get the benefit of the doubt when the same accusation arises again….and that is why some acts have to have consequences where a repeat can’t ever happen like child abuse….

    But 2007 alone, as terrible and in agreement with Michael, disqualifying for ministry as it is…does not in itself make the charges about the time in prison true. It would help if the details of the crime were leaked, because there too (and again, I am not justifying or defending in any way) I have seen people charged with a crime for things that were wrong, lost temper, something thrown, but could have not been pressed by the cops with some common sense. The light sentence this received speaks to something along those lines but once more, more questions than answers.

    That said, still disqualifying for ministry. Temper.

  329. Cash..it wasn’t MY last word…just letting your word get a second showing. 🙂

  330. Michael, based on my experience in CC Boise and with Caldwell specifically, this is par for the course. That church has a lot of baggage and secrets—Caldwell regularly abused (verbally, yelling, etc) his executive assistants and staff would be in tears and walking on eggshells whenever I would go in to visit them or do my daily volunteer work in that office. My disclosing that information—and exasperation at the lack of discipleship, despite asking for it repeatedly from the pastors (in multiple meetings from 2007-2011) led to me being fired from Red Letter Bookstore by the administrator, Steve Carlson (for “bitterness” and “spiritual immaturity”) which resulted in a meeting with him and Caldwell where I demanded to be brought back on staff, my concerns about Caldwell’s behavior addressed, and for me to get discipleship from _anyone_. (Back then I was much more of a young jerk than I am today.) Caldwell forbade me from ever going back to CC Boise, and that led to my moving from Idaho in 2011 to Redlands, CA (2012) and all that mess with the house church…

    Long story short, having known and met with the Abedini’s, known and experienced the hostile work environment at CC Boise, and followed this story from the beginning…

    …you will not like anything you find. I smell a rat, and you’re right—Bob Caldwell should answer why Saeed was on staff. I am so disappointed in my former church. (A secretary and friend of mine from that church posted on FB, and then deleted, how she was abused and then her daughter was molested by a staff member of the church, stating her support for Nahgmeh due to her own experiences in the same church.)

    This stuff is everywhere it seems.

  331. Meanwhile AP reports that 22 Clinton emails are ruled TOP SECRET

    Since we are talking bout private correspondence and the internet

    But I do wonder how long it will take CNN and MSNBC to report it they are way behind

  332. Only Saaed can fully explain his conditions in the Iranian prison not his wife Naghmeh. Has Saaed said anything publicly yet? Give the man a chance to defend himself before everyone starts piling on.

  333. @312

    “Charlatans don’t get before the Supreme Court on a regular basis.”

    Are you confident in that? What portion of their work is of God?

    ACLJ showed up on CSN way back at the start of the 2000’s. CC leaders should have been embarrassed.

  334. I can’t help but see a connection between the proximity of her accusations to his release. Keeping him in jail became no longer beneficial and/or a liability to someone, somewhere.

  335. just have to chime in on BD’s 332… i chanced on that information… i’d post the link, but it is a Fox lawyer’s assessment and that wouldn’t hold much credibility here… having had a secret clearance at one time and a husband with top secret clearance, it was taken pretty seriously, where us common folk are concerned – just breaking protocol could land you in jail
    but the Hillary’s carelessness – to put the best spin on it – was with material ABOVE top secret… have the powers that be gone completely haywire?

    making sense out of the Abedinis’ marital situation may be difficult, but i’m beginning to see that trying to sort out his imprisonment as a fool’s errand

    BTW-we have folks from both parties that shouldn’t be President of the U.S. for different reasons IMHO

  336. Dread,

    Amazing how this e-mail story appears 3 days before the Iowa caucuses. Hmm…wonder how that happened. Also, these e-mails were not classified Top Secret before they were sent or received.

  337. Lurkie Loo is onto something

    (also, sorry about the poorly worded, hasty post @336)

  338. okay here’s the link that does an excellent job of explaining classified Email problem – if Michael want to remove it, i will not be one bit offended
    BTW – some things are classified without necessitating a label

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/01/28/hillary-clintons-worst-nightmare-hint-its-not-bernie-sanders.html?intcmp=hpbt1

  339. It’s amazing what political bias does to one’s take on reality.

    My last comment on this one sidebar (pun intended)

    The Supreme Court rejects far more cases than they choose to accept. America is awash with attorneys and most attorneys will never, ever argue before the Supreme Court.

    Now, if doing so a dozen times is still no big deal, how about winning before the Supreme Court 7 or 8 of those times.

    How about having amicus briefs cited by a Justice in their rulings…

    Come on people….the guy is one of the top lawyers in the country when it comes to freedom of religion and the 1st Amendment. It’s OK to admit it…Naghmeh was blessed to have him in her corner, but all the more the need now to find out about what happened behind the scenes and if the public was manipulated using falehoods, and if so, by whom

  340. “This generation (millennials) seems to grasp the sad reality that for too many precious souls, inside the Church is always winter, but never Christmas.” quote from another author named Tchividjian

    just came from Linkathon – the above quote comes from an abuse article linked there – really recommend it to anyone reading this thread and finding themselves depressed by the state of affairs

  341. “It’s amazing what political bias does to one’s take on reality.”

    Steve, I am apolitical. Decided in third grade I was a conservative. This was before Christians became conservative on a large scale. (mid-70’s)
    ————————-
    “The Supreme Court rejects far more cases than they choose to accept. America is awash with attorneys and most attorneys will never, ever argue before the Supreme Court.

    Now, if doing so a dozen times is still no big deal, how about winning before the Supreme Court 7 or 8 of those times.

    How about having amicus briefs cited by a Justice in their rulings…”

    Can you identify ANY portion of Scripture that supports ANY portion of what ACLJ does?

    I agree with your last statement. We should know what went on behind the scenes. This feels like opportunist have exploited the good will of American Christians.

  342. are the briefs cited by one of the justices the work of ACLJ? if so, then i am impressed

  343. Can you identify ANY portion of Scripture that supports ANY portion of what ACLJ does?
    —————————————–
    Good grief. You mean like judges, laws, rulings and advocates…righteousness and justice? Freedom? Yeah, those notions are totally foreign to our God.

    Or specifically if I can find book, chapter and verse that mentions the Bill of Rights, Supreme Court, President and Congress…is that the test. You don’t enjoy a nice fireworks show on July 4th because it is not in the Scriptures?

  344. Couldn’t resist.

    “Can you identify ANY portion of Scripture that supports ANY portion of what ACLJ does?”

    Submitting to government also implies participation. Ancient democracies required citizen (free males, to be precise) participation, it was mandatory. They had to submit to their obligations.

    It depends on where I am on the 4th as to whether I even watch a fireworks display.

  345. You know I still can’t wrap my head around that many people being asked to pray for one person, I mean I think it was / is beautiful and special, which I understand is emotionalistic and totally pathetic. But I was / am struck by the sustained effort. I always spaced my “prayer” requests, when I made them, out over months and tried to make sure it was at the very bottom of the list and only posted one in the prayer chain so I would not appear as to trying to get attention, even though I was I guess. I finally got so tired of qualifying everything I just stopped asking.

    Again I found the effort on the part of so many regular folks inspiring, I am sure there is some sin on my part buried in there but well it is what it is.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

%d bloggers like this: