The New York Times Press Items
At sunrise, the Rev. Jim Wallis said a prayer with Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.
Its flashing message was “Praying for immigrants. Praying for Congress.” Groups of evangelical Christians prayed on the Capitol lawn for the Senate to pass its bill. Mr. Noorani’s group, the National Immigration Forum, has worked with Southern Baptists and other large evangelical denominations to coordinate prayer campaigns and run pro-overhaul spots on Christian radio stations in states where lawmakers might be persuaded to change their views.
The group, the Evangelical Immigration Table, issued a statement of principles calling for an eventual path to citizenship for immigrants who would gain legal status under proposals that lawmakers in both houses of Congress are considering. “This call is rooted in our biblically informed commitment to human freedom and dignity,” the group said.
While this article may be a shock to many, faith leaders from the Circle of Protection have been tirelessly advocating for our elected officials to protect those living in poverty in the budget debates of the last several years. The critical entitlement programs serving low-income Americans that are protected in the sequester is evidence of the faith coalition’s effectiveness.
“Enforcing a broken system aggressively right before we’re about to change it is not just not compassionate, it’s cruel,” said Jim Wallis, the chief executive of Sojourners, a Christian social action group. “If you are breaking up families because of politics, we’re going to speak out against you.”
Evangelical leaders, business groups, labor unions and the well-organized young advocates known as Dreamers are ready to urge on deal makers in Congress. Hope is running high. Our big fear is that Mr. Obama and the Republicans are merely getting ready to blame each other if a deal blows up, setting back reform several more years.
More than 40 religious leaders have signed on to a letter they plan to release on Tuesday calling for politicians to take steps quickly to prevent gun violence. The letter is being released by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition formed two years ago, after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her staff members and constituents outside a shopping mall in Arizona.
In Washington, leaders of a coalition that unites conservative law enforcement officials and clergy with business leaders — they described themselves as “Bibles, badges and business” — held a strategy session Tuesday on how to push for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, which would include “a road to lawful status and citizenship” for 11 million illegal immigrants.
Rabbis for Human Rights – North America and the group Sojourners, led by the Christian author and social-justice advocate Jim Wallis, are unveiling their campaigns on Monday. Their ads will be placed near the anti-jihad ads in the same Manhattan subway stations, leaders of both groups said and transit officials confirmed. The groups said their campaigns were coincidental.
Sojourners’ campaigns manager, the Rev. Beau Underwood, said, “An essential tenet of Christianity is to love our neighbors.” He added: “In the face of religious extremism, the best response is to treat others like we would want to be treated. Our ad campaign has a simple message that is at the heart of our faith.”
Sojourners, together with some local interfaith communities, recently put up “Love your Muslim neighbors” billboards in Joplin, Mo., where a mosque was burned in August.
When organizers of the 1973 National Prayer Breakfast invited him to address Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and other conservative luminaries (the Vietnam War was a “national sin and disgrace,” he told them), he based his remarks on a text written by a renegade seminarian named Jim Wallis — a former member of Students for a Democratic Society who believed that being “pro-life” meant hating war and poverty as much as abortion.