The Common Good

Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Offer Alternative Pro-Life Position

Source: Sojourners
Date: October 30, 2008

*******MEDIA ADVISORY******

Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Offer Alternative Pro-Life Position

"Ad Campaign Encourages Faithful to Vote All Values, not Single Issues"

Recorded Teleconference Audio:

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WHAT: During a teleconference on Thursday, October 30th, evangelical and Catholic leaders challenged people of faith to evaluate candidates as to whether they are really "pro-life" enough. Our faith calls for a consistent ethic of life that protects life from the "womb to tomb" and requires us to consider a broad range of issues such as poverty, war and the environment as pro-life issues. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good also outlined their print, billboard and radio ad campaign in key states calling upon people to be more than single-issue voters and instead to "vote the common good."

WHY: The outcomes of too many elections have been decided based on the single issue of abortion while the number of abortions remains the same. We need a new approach of finding common ground in reducing the abortion rate. While abortion is an important "life" issue, it should not dictate the approach and outcome of every other social, economic and foreign policy issue which also affect life. Christians need to vote all their values in this election, reflecting a broader pro-life platform.

INTERVIEWS: All of the spokespeople are available for interview.

Jason Gedeik: 202-745-4633 / jgedeik@sojo.net

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DISCUSSION:

REV. JIM WALLIS, President of Sojourners and best-selling author of God's Politics and The Great Awakening

"We want to evaluate candidates as to whether they are really pro-life enough. We want to focus on a consistent ethic of life that leads us to challenge both political Parties and sometimes the selective moralities of the Left and the Right. Unborn children and poor children are both in the category of the vulnerable and the category that Jesus asks us to defend. We need to make abortion reduction and poverty reduction a non-partisan issue and a bi-partisan cause."

ALEXIA KELLEY, Executive Director and co-founder of Catholics In Alliance For The Common Good

"Our objective through these billboards, radio, and print ads is to stress the fact of our interdependence: that as human beings we are fundamentally interdependent, our well being hinges on the well being of our neighbor and society as a whole. What the current economic crisis underscores is that unemployment, foreclosures, lack of health care are not just "somebody else's problem" anymore - and in fact they never were. By taking care of the least among us, we also take care of our own needs and society's needs as a whole." To learn more of the ad campaign visit: www.catholicsinalliance.org

FATHER THOMAS REESE, senior fellow at the Woodstock theological center at Georgetown University

"It's not enough to say that abortion is the only issue. You then you have to answer the next question of which candidate will in fact do the most to reduce the number of abortions. That's a question about political strategy instead of a question about moral theology. The Bishops have no expertise in choosing political strategies, which is the responsibility of politicians and the laity."

REV. SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

"The universal Christian symbol is the Cross. However, historically White Evangelicals have focused on the vertical values, while Ethnic Christians on the Horizontal. Hispanic Americans and the new generation of evangelical leaders say it's not either or, it's both and. A viable pro life platform is not found on the high end of the Vertical or on the right or left of the political/public policy spectrum. A sustainable realistic pro life platform exists where the Vertical intersects with the Horizontal; the strongest point of the Cross, The Middle. It is impossible to address abortion reduction and contextualize a Pro Life narrative without addressing poverty, health care, education, the Hispanic high school drop out rate, teen pregnancy and immigration reform."