The Associated Press Press Items
Jointly sponsored by Peace Catalyst International, the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, Sojourners, Evangelicals for Social Action, and the World Evangelical Alliance.
Some Christian activists around Arizona plan to deliver a petition to Gov. Jan Brewer, seeking a retraction of her executive order to bar public benefits for illegal immigrants.
Obama, who is Protestant, won the presidency partly because of his ability to attract religious moderates, including white Catholics and some evangelical voters. In a much-quoted 2006 speech at the Call to Renewal conference, organized by the evangelical anti-poverty group Sojourners, Obama said secular Americans were wrong to ask churchgoers to "leave their religion at the door before entering the public square." But he also said religious groups must recognize "ground rules for collaboration" and the importance of church-state separation. Obama reaffirmed the importance of religion just last week in a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, saying his faith is a driving force on economic policy and other matters.
Speaking at a 2006 Call to Renewal conference, organized by the religious anti-poverty group Sojourners, Obama said secular Americans were wrong to ask churchgoers to "leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."
Washington-based Sojourners says the pipeline "would have been a backward step in the administration's professed commitment to investing in clean and renewable energy sources."
Sojourner's spokesman Tim King says the administration decision shows "profits aren't the only part of the equation." King says "God gave believers the responsibility to care for the Earth."
Another delegation was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on Tuesday for an interfaith prayer service and tour. Among the participants are Jim Wallis of the progressive Christian group Sojourners and Rabbi David N. Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Both have served on President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
"This could be the real signature issue of this council," said Jim Wallis, founder of the liberal Christian social-justice network Sojourners. "If we're going to pursue this — and we must — you need to break up the left-right culture-wars polarities."
"What the president should do — and I believe would do — is find a church home that's good for his family," said Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical who speaks with White House aides several times each day and Obama frequently.
Jim Wallis, a member of the new advisory council, downplayed the significance of the hiring issue. He said it came up only once in transition meetings, and that poverty, human trafficking and the Middle East were discussed in much more detail.
"I'm sure it will come up, but it's not the dominant issue," said Wallis, founder of the liberal Christian social-justice network Sojourners.
"We have trusted the invisible hand so much that we forgot to bring virtue to bear on our decisions so the invisible hand has let go of some important things, like the common good," said theologian Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners USA.
"The common good has not been very common in our decision-making about economics for a long time," he said.