The Associated Press Press Items
Samuel Rodriguez, director of the National Council of Evangelical Latinos, and Lisa Sharon Harper, Christian social group Sojourners were also kept fasting during the same period but in different parts of the country, told AP spokesperson "Fast for Families" Casey Schoeneberger.
A day earlier, Biden and President Barack Obama plan to huddle with religious leaders to urge the House to act on immigration. Among the leaders that will meet with Obama, Biden and top aides at the White House Wednesday morning are megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson and Jim Wallis of the social justice group Sojourners.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners Christian social group, presented during the press conference wooden crucifixes to the four who began fasting on Tuesday and five others planning to join in the coming days to protest called "Fast for Families ".
With time growing desperately short for Congress to prevent a threatened Treasury default and stop a partial government shutdown, a group of ministers, the Circle of Protection, pray at dawn at the Capitol to draw attention to lawmakers that political divisiveness hurts the most vulnerable Americans, in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. From right are Kathy Saile, Gary Cook, Rev. Jim Wallis, and Major Carole Busroe of the Salvation Army. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, said the rhetoric in Congress reminds him of the Tower of Babel, where no one can understand what the other is saying.
Religious leaders who've been calling for immigration reform are pressing Congress to complete action on what they're calling a moral imperative. At a prayer service on Capitol Hill, Regent University President Carlos Campo asked God to change lawmakers' hearts to overcome what might otherwise be impossible opposition. Congress is preparing to break for a month-long summer recess at the end of next week without action in the full House on any immigration legislation, even after the Senate passed a bill last month that would create a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally. The Rev. Jim Wallis, who heads the Christian social action group Sojourners, said: "How we respond to 11 million people is how we respond to Jesus himself."
Added Jim Wallis, head of the Christian social justice group Sojourners: "This is the wrong place at the wrong time" to deal with the issue of gay marriage.
Outside the chambers, on the National Mall that stretches from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, gun control advocates prayed among 3,300 grave markers that they said represent the number of people who have died as a result of gun violence since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The religious leaders on the Mall, including several from Newtown, said that work should have started long ago.
Jim Wallis, head of the Christian social justice group Sojourners, said it's part of a "sea change" in the evangelical community, driven in part by the increasing numbers of immigrants in congregations. He said evangelical leaders have concluded that "we don't believe there are second-class images of God, and therefore we don't believe in a second-class status for people who are willing to follow an earned path to citizenship."
At the same time, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced a five-figure radio ad buy that, while it doesn't mention Graham by name, links support for immigration reform to the Biblical injunction to care for strangers.