The Common Good

BREAKING: Sojourners Launches Election Year Campaign - SojoMail 04.19.12

Sojomail - April 19, 2012

 QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another. People are starting to connect the dots.” Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned a new poll that showed 69 percent of Americans believe that extreme weather was probably made worse by global warming. (Source:   New York Times)

+ Sign up to receive "Verse and Voice" - our daily quote and Bible verse e-mail

 GUEST COMMENTARY by Tim King


What is Post-Candidate Politics?

Get a free trial issue of Sojourners Get a free issue of Sojourners
Donate to Support Sojourners
Donate to support
Sojourners

We have big, breaking news for you today. Sojourners is launching its election season campaign!

You may be wondering why we’re launching so early… it’s only April. A lot of voters, especially young ones, are sitting out of the elections entirely. With all the influence of big money and Super PACs, we need to make sure that Christians are the voice for poor and vulnerable people.

That’s why for this election season, a group of young Sojourners Christians created a video to start a new kind of conversation.

If you count yourself as one of the people who are disengaged, their challenge to you today is this: don’t lose hope. Don’t vote for a candidate; vote for the issue you care about. Watch the video today – and help us spread this video online.

karlaelection.jpg

Here is what Tim King, a young evangelical and our communications director, has to say about the campaign:

For a lot of voters, President Barack Obama’s tenure hasn’t turned out quite as they hoped. On the other side, the presumptive GOP nominee, Gov. Mitt Romney, isn’t the candidate that many voters seem ready to believe in.

Traditional political parties are in decline. In December 2011, Gallup reported that 45 percent of the U.S. population identified as politically independent. At the same time, the direction of our two parties is more and more influenced by political movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.

While there is an unprecedented level of money flowing into elections from wealthy donors and corporations, social media has democratized access to fellow voters. You can spend millions of dollars buying airtime on traditional TV stations—but it is entirely possible to craft a compelling message that will reach millions for a relatively small cost.

As a young evangelical Christian, I’ve seen a lot of bad examples of how Christians engage politics. Wherever there is a lot of power, there are a lot of dangers. Seeing a lot of others get something wrong can make the task seem daunting but isn’t necessarily a good excuse not to try at all.

A politically disillusioned electorate, a huge influx of money for attack ads, and historically poor leadership from religious and political figures is a challenge to our country’s democratic processes. The danger, especially for my generation, is to tune out from political and civic engagement entirely.

The opportunity is post-candidate politics.

The mistake that a lot of voters—and young people in particular—have made is to put our faith for social change in a very narrow definition of politics. Parties, personalities, and elections will never accomplish everything that we hope they will.

Politics doesn’t begin and end at the voting booth. Politics is all the things we decided to do together. It includes, but is not limited to, the things the government does. That means that being a faithful citizen requires being both a local practitioner and a national advocate for justice.

Volunteering, entrepreneurship, being a good neighbor, building strong families — are all ways to build communities and, in a sense, are political acts.

Voting is important, not because a properly cast ballot will solve the world’s problems, but because it’s a voice for people and issues that we care about.

Many young people have felt disconnected from “values” discussions because the values being promoted aren’t the ones that they hold. That’s why Sojourners worked with young Christians to produce this video that gives voice to a broader range of concerns.

Politics, electorally and more broadly, is worth engaging. It might be frustrating to see the influence of money or a shallow focus on personality, but that won’t change unless we demand more from the system. Online modes of communication create the possibility of getting out a message that wouldn’t be heard otherwise.

Help us spread this message. Share the video and start a discussion with your friends and families about the people and issues that motivate you.

This November, vote for US.

Chip in 5 dollars to help us out! If you contribute today to help us get this video out we’ll send you a free bumper sticker so that you can promote the issue you care about this election. Choose from: End Poverty 2012, Immigration Reform 2012, Creation Care 2012, or Wage Peace 2012.

Tim King is Communications Director for Sojourners. Follow Tim on Twitter @TMKing.

E-mailE-mail this article to friends
FacebookShare this article on Facebook
CommentComment on this article on the God's Politics Blog


 ON THE GOD'S POLITICS BLOG

+ See what's new on the blog of Jim Wallis and friends

Rachel is Weeping: Ending Racial Profiling in America
by Lisa Sharon Harper

The following written testimony was submitted by Lisa Sharon Harper, on behalf of Sojourners, to be included in the April 17 U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Hearing on "Ending Racial Profiling in America."

We believe every human being is made in the image of God and therefore equally worthy of protection of human and civil rights under the law. Racial profiling not only threatens the psychological and emotional well-being of targeted communities. As demonstrated above, the practice can lead to death. 

Lessons from Caine’s Arcade: The Vital Joy of Making Things
by Anna Broadway

But maybe Caine's story strikes us because in him we see the embodiment of something we'd like to think the American people still are, but haven't seen in evidence much anymore. Creativity like his is part of the mythos of America, but we all know — even musician Jack White knows — that it's increasingly hard to find these days.

Kids vs. Global Warming
by Jack Palmer

A lawsuit, which has been dubbed a 'David vs. Goliath battle,' sees a group of young adults taking on high-level government officials, states, energy companies and big businesses over their collective failure to adequately protect our planet for future generations.

Anders Behring Breivik and Muslim-Christian Relations
by Anne Marie Roderick

When we look closely at our media in the west, at the social and political climate of our times, we have to acknowledge that we are actors in a society wrought with the same kind of fear and distrust for Muslims that led Breivik to commit his crime.

Spirituality and Sexuality: Deconstructing Boundaries
by Dani Scoville

I didn't expect that deconstructing my sexual boundaries in the name of faith would cause me to develop boundaries. But these new ones aren't oppressive, because they come from an understanding of myself. No one else came up with them but me. Now when the temptation to get a momentary intimacy fix is there, I'll have my own voice and story reminding me to not give in and wait for something rooted in love.

 SOJOURNERS IN THE NEWS

+ Sign up to receive our "Daily Digest" e-mail - the latest headlines on critical issues

Top Stories:

Can Young Evangelicals Move Beyond the Religious Right?
The Washington Post
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.

Budgets Are Moral Documents
Taunton Daily Gazette
This week the nation funds our priorities as we pay our annual tax bill. “Our budget is a moral document and it is either going to reflect the best of who we are or the worst." This was so eloquently stated by the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners.

"Sojourners in the news" articles are the most recent news clippings that mention Sojourners in any way - whether favorably or unfavorably. Though we provide the text on our site for your convenience, we do not necessarily endorse the views of these articles or their source publications.

 
 

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!
 
 
 
  

Sojourners Free Teleconference on State Immigration Laws. Join us on Thursday, April 26, 2-3 p.m. EDT, as policy experts and faith leaders discuss how the recent surge in anti-immigrant state legislation across the country has been negatively affecting our communities, towns, and churches. Sign up today.
 

Christians and Democracy: Designed to spark discussion and thought about how to live out God's call for justice in our world.
 

Is God green? What does the Bible tell us about protecting the earth? Find out with Sojourners' four-part study guide, Christians and the Environment. Learn more.
 

Inspiring Christians to change the wind since 1971. Subscribe to Sojourners today!

 

  
 


Click Here!
 

GIVE TO SOJOURNERS: Donate now to support this voice for justice and peace.

GET THE MAGAZINE: Subscribe today

CONTACT US: General inquiries: sojourners@sojo.net | Advertising: advertising@sojo.net | About Us

PRIVACY NOTICE: Sojourners won't trade, sell, or give away your e-mail address. Read our privacy policy.