The Common Good

The Washington Post

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This is why Sojourners has kicked off our “Voting for Us” campaign with this video. We think there is an opportunity to build a “post-candidate” paradigm for engaging this election. It’s an approach that starts with people and issues instead of personalities or parties. We hope to engage young Christians in issue-based advocacy but at the same time re-brand for the rest of the country what it looks like to be a Christian engaged in politics. It doesn’t need to be replica of the old Religious Right with just a different list of policy concerns, and we don’t need to bow out of the electoral process all together. It’s not easy, but it’s worth doing because it matters to our service members overseas, to the clean air and drinking water of future generations, to those who are out of work, to the world’s poorest 1 billion people and to the young and to the old. It matters to all of us.
From a storytelling perspective, stories concerning religion have a sort of universal appeal, said Cathleen Falsani, the new media director for Sojourners and a prolific author on the intersection of religion and pop culture. “Art imitates life, and in this country and most of the world, religion, and certainly spirituality and faith, is a massive part of a lot of people’s lives, whether we’re embracing it or reacting against it,” she said.
Sojourners magazine put together a pretty good roundup of answers to the question, but there’s another source for another answer that’s been on TV most Sunday afternoons. One actually doesn’t have to look too much farther than the NFL this past year for a few good specimens of evangelicals. And they just happen to be among the best quarterbacks in the league, or at least in the case of one of them, the most talked about.
Simon may not understand it, but he’s been writing and singing a lot about it, and that has generated attention. One Irish blogger suggested “So Beautiful or So What” could be the best Christian album of 2011. Sojourners’ Cathleen Falsani, an evangelical who writes frequently about religion and pop culture, called it “one of the most memorable collections of spiritual musical musings” in recent memory.
Progressive leader Jim Wallis and Southern Baptist honcho Richard Land had organized the public “discussion” about faith and politics Wednesday night because they said they’re both worried that our desperate desire to create more jobs is squeezing out talk of moral imperatives and religious values.
In evangelical America, the Revs. Richard Land and Jim Wallis are odd bedfellows. Land is a leader of the huge, traditional Southern Baptist Convention who advises conservative talk show host Glenn Beck. Wallis is a staple on lists of the country’s most influential religious progressives.
Over the past few weeks, I have traveled both to “Liberty Plaza” to see for myself the young people “occupying” Wall Street and to Abu Dhabi to meet with CEO’s and business leaders at a World Economic Forum summit. While the two forums couldn’t have been more different, I was surprised to find that the heart of their concerns were the same. Both groups believe that our current governmental and economic systems are broken and that change will require both structural and moral overhaul.
"Perhaps the most unusual of the meetings was one Obama had last week with a coalition of Christian religious leaders who urged him not to hammer the poor in trying to reduce the national debt."
Reporter Peter Wallsten covers the recent work done by Circle of Protection members, specifically radio ads that Sojourners launched this week.
The Obama meeting Wednesday included a dozen faith leaders who spanned the political gamut, from the progressive Sojourners to more conservative leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals.