The Common Good

Despierta! Hispanic Evangelicals and Political Ping-Pong

Date: November 5, 2012

On the issues of poverty alleviation and educational equity, the Hispanic electorate has been very clear. What legislation will clearly protect the "least of these"? Our National Latino Evangelical Coalition is a signer of the Circle of Protection. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have responded to our call to lay out a vision for how they will respond to the issues of poverty at home and abroad. The nation's domestic budget and foreign aid commitments will be a marker for us to measure what this means. Latinos are disproportionately challenged by poverty, urban ecological challenges and educational disparity. In addition, our concerns with a disproportionate number poor Latinos living near power plants can't be ignored. We are looking for platforms that speak to these issues head-on. What political muscle will candidates leverage to ensure that "the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger" are cared for in the richest nation in the world? Our commitment to the Gospel requires us to ask this of the candidates.

My response to the recent Pew research on Latino Catholics and evangelicals is that they are absolutely correct. Hispanic evangelicals are multi-issue voters who seek the whole counsel of biblical wisdom and are looking at the candidates' full agenda. We are not a politically naïve electorate that will be one-issue voters. My advice to the candidates, from city council to presidential candidates, is to move to an agenda that addresses the full gamut of these concerns. The health of the nation requires in-depth conversations on major intractable challenges and Latino evangelicals are contributing and would love to continue to do so.