The Huffington Post Press Items
Today in Washington, D.C., several of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian leaders will join together to announce a statement of principles that they hope will spur Congress and the president to finally pursue comprehensive reforms to our nation's dysfunctional immigration legal system.
Both Republicans and Democrats have a religion problem and it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, abortion or religious liberty. Rather it is budgets, deficits, and debt ceiling deadlines that are their serious stumbling blocks.
In the fall of 2010, we saw a disturbing rise in religious intolerance in the U.S. From the much-politicized opposition to a proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City to a fundamentalist pastor's threat to burn Qurans, a wave of Islamophobia appeared to be sweeping the country.
Through her encouragement and guidance, I volunteered at Sojourners Neighborhood Center, tutoring youth in an after-school program. I also accompanied refugees from El Salvador returning to their homeland from Honduras, traveling to El Salvador three times in one year.
After an official investigation, the Vatican seems pretty upset with the Catholic Sisters here in the United States. They have reprimanded the women for not sufficiently upholding the bishops' teachings and doctrines and paying much more attention to issues like poverty and health care than to abortion, homosexuality and male-only priesthood.
Today, the Supreme Court is hearing a case about the constitutionality of Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. It will be months before the case is decided but a broad spectrum of the Christian community already has their minds made up.
This legislation is not just ethically bankrupt but undermines basic Christian values and American ideals. The court will decide whether it is legal, but it is already clear it isn’t moral.
We are both evangelical Christians. One of us is white and one of us Hispanic. It is our common faith commitment, not the color of our skin, that unite us on the need for comprehensive immigration reform and in opposition to patchwork punitive legislation like we have seen in states like Arizona and Alabama.
Wednesday afternoon the Nebraska state legislature approved a bill (LB1161) that will allow Nebraska to proceed with a $2 million study to find a route for TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through the state. Gov. Dave Heineman is expected to sign the measure into law. It's a case of Big Red going for the black by jeopardizing the green. But what does this mean?
A 2010 study conducted by the Paul B. Henry Institute showed that while 44 percent of evangelical pastors said they publicly supported a political candidate in the last election, 40 percent of mostly liberal mainline protestant pastors said the same. Progressive Christian author Donald Miller shamelessly campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008, and Jim Wallis gave the Democratic weekly radio address after the 2006 midterm elections. They certainly have the right to engage in such things as private citizens, but as Christian leaders, must also recognize the implications of their actions.
When we last spoke we talked about what it takes to create a movement -- to move from addressing isolated incidents (the "Underground Railroad") to creating a cultural shift ("Abolition"). Obviously, it takes a change of heart and mind. But as Jeremiah Wright quoted Jim Wallis at the National Press Club, "We haven't confessed of racism, much less repented."
"There is a way to reduce the deficit and ensure that those who are struggling get the helping hand they need," said Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing at Sojourners, a progressive Christian nonprofit.