The Tennessean Press Items
The debt ceiling debate in Washington isn’t just dividing political parties — religious leaders are speaking up on both sides of what they’re calling a moral issue.
A divide is deepening over budget priorities. As legislators and governors make "hard choices" — all the while ignoring excessive military spending and corporate tax loopholes — activists protest against cuts that punish the most vulnerable among us. As Jim Wallis of Sojourners: Christians for Justice says, "A budget is a moral document." Every line item, Wallis explains, demonstrates who and what we value as a society.
Early last month, a diverse group of the nation's faith leaders announced that "they have prayed and discerned how they might contribute to a more civil and moral tone in the nation's political discourse.''
That was in April, when 126 religious leaders publicly invited Christians to sign on to "A Covenant For Civility: Come Let Us Reason Together,'' which calls for that better civic discourse.
One need not place stock in Louis Farrakhan's claim that Obama is the messiah to validate the expectation of salvation abroad in the land.
"He is the one," said Oprah Winfrey. "The reason I love Barack Obama is because he is an evolved leader who can bring evolved leadership to our country."
Left-wing evangelical writer Jim Wallis called Obama's rallies revivals.
Through music (performers include Derek Webb, Buddy Greene and Odessa Set tles), taped interviews (including author/minister Jim Wallis and scholar Randall Balmer) and the merriment of the Tokens Radio Players, Camp hopes to trigger and share something rare, a politics of grace.
Jim Wallis, an evangelical Democrat and editor of Sojourners, pushed for the new abortion language. He says that with the right economic and social supports, fewer women will choose abortions. That's a more effective way of dealing with the issue, he says, than trying to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In his book God's Politics, the progressive evangelical Jim Wallis writes: "The United States of America was established as a white society, founded upon the genocide of another race and then the enslavement of yet another." This may seem to be a jolting reminder of American history, but as Samuel Johnson said, "People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed."
Shaun Casey, the Obama campaign's new senior adviser for religious affairs, was speaking to a group of Church of Christ scholars about faith and public policy when someone asked what the government could do to save the American family.
Shaun Casey, faith adviser for the Barack Obama presidential campaign and former faith adviser to Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 election, and Stephen V. Monsma, author of Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy, will hold a one-on-one discussion about how their faith has led them to their positions on opposite ends of the political spectrum from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday in the Ezell Center, Room 301.
That's the view of many religious leaders today, including author Jim Wallis and Shaun Casey, faith adviser to the Barack Obama campaign. Both men will be in Nashville June 26-28 for the Christian Scholars Conference at Lipscomb University to represent a growing group of Christians who believe traditional evangelical politics do not express their deepest moral convictions.