Think Progress Press Items
Members of the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) mid-Atlantic conference voted to boycott the Washington Redskins football team this weekend, the latest in a series of efforts by local faith communities to pressure the club to change its controversial name.
Rudy Lopez, a faster with the organization Fair Immigration Reform Movement, was carried up to the main platform where he was supported by core fasters including Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon, Cristian Avila, Lisa Harper, Rev. Jim Wallis, and others. Lopez abstained from food for 22 days.
Rev. Jim Wallis is a conservative faith leader and President of the Christian media site Sojourners. He is fasting for two days because “all of us are responsible. The fix will require all of us. There’s no good reason to oppose immigration reform– there’s no policy reason. It is fear. And it is self-interest and dysfunction.” He added, “today we’re praying for a miracle or in January, or in February, and we will not go away until [reform] passes… I think fasting and prayer shouldn’t end until we get comprehensive immigration reform.”
Cramer’s sloppy theology is only the latest in a series of attempts by Republican House members to use the Bible to justify cutting programs that help feed the poor. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) also cited the 2 Thessalonians passage to support cutting SNAP at a hearing in May, a move that was widely condemned by religion writers, Tennessee faith leaders, and faith-based activists such as Rev. Jim Wallis of the Sojourners, a Christian advocacy group.
Yet in the last year alone, several new groups and initiatives like Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate have sprung up, major faith mobilizers like Sojourners have more publicly stepped in, and longstanding interfaith climate organizing networks like Interfaith Power and Light have redoubled their efforts.
Several of the coalition members are also working to counter the ads purchased by Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative more directly. Sojourners, a DC-based social justice group, is running a campaign known as “Love Your Muslim Neighbors” that will now be coming to DC. The associated ads will run at the U Street and Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metrorail stations, two of the four AFDI ad locations.
In a press release, Timothy King, Chief Communications Officer of Sojourners said, “We have a Christian obligation to counteract this hatred wherever it is, but these ads have come right to our doorstep. Sojourners has been in this neighborhood since the mid-70’s, so it’s especially important for us to be a witness in this community, and this city.”
The counter-ads will run for as long as Pamela Geller’s ads do. AFDI also ran its campaign in San Fransisco and may be coming to Washington, D.C. in the near future. United Methodist Women is already preparing to run counter-ads in the nation’s capital, possibly in partnership with local social justice campaign, Sojourners.
Lisa Sharon Harper from Sojourners: “It is simply unconscionable to balance the budget on the backs of struggling Americans while protecting tax breaks for millionaires. Churches and faith-based nonprofits are already fighting an uphill battle to meet the needs of their communities. They don’t need politicians making their work even harder because Congress is dead set on politicizing a simple duty of common sense governance.”
The Bible is clear about the importance of societies protecting the poor and vulnerable.
As the Republicans haggle over whether to support their own plan for raising the nation’s debt ceiling, an “unprecedented” coalition of religious leaders are urging President Obama and Congress not to sacrifice the needs of the poor in the name of debt reduction.