capitol hill

Ed Spivey Jr. 05-12-2014

Illustration by Ken Davis

...although maybe we should have kept a little for ourselves.

Jim Wallis 11-27-2013

Mementos in the fasting tent in remembrance of those who have come before us. Photo: Sojourners/Brandon Hook

The debate about immigration reform has been very productive in America over these past several years. And that debate has been won — by those who favor a common sense agenda for reform.

Two out of every three Americans now favor fixing our broken immigration system — two out of three! According to a recent report by the Public Religion Research Institute, 65 percent of Americans say that the U.S. immigration system is either completely or mostly broken. That same report found that 63 percent of Americans favor immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship, crossing party and religious lines. 60 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Democrats favor a pathway to citizenship.

However, a minority of lawmakers — almost all white legislators in artificially gerrymandered white Congressional districts — is blocking a democratic vote on immigration reform. The Senate has already passed a bipartisan bill to reform the immigration system; written and forged by an impressive coalition of Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. And if a similar bill was put to a vote in the House of Representatives, it would also pass.

Lincoln Memorial, Oct. 6, 2013, closed due to government shutdown. Photo: RNS/courtesy Flickr user reivax via Wikimedia Commons

As the government shutdown enters its second week, some religious groups are starting to feel the pinch, and they’re also finding ways to reach out.

More than 90 Catholic, evangelical, and Protestant leaders have signed a statement rebuking “pro-life” lawmakers for the shutdown, saying they are “appalled that elected officials are pursuing an extreme ideological agenda at the expense of the working poor and vulnerable families” who won’t receive government benefits.

Starting Wednesday, evangelical, Catholic, and mainline Protestant leaders will hold a daily “Faithful Filibuster” on Capitol Hill with Bible verses on the poor “to remind Congress that its dysfunction hurts struggling families and low-income people.”

RNS photo courtesy Secular Coalition of America

The Secular Coalition for America's new leader Edwina Rogers. RNS photo courtesy Secular Coalition of America

Their issues are predominantly liberal and their constituency strongly leans Democratic, but a leading secularist group hopes a high-rolling Republican lobbyist is just who they need to open doors on Capitol Hill.

The Secular Coalition for America on Thursday (May 3) hired Edwina Rogers, who has worked for two Republican presidents and four Republican senators, as its new executive director. The SCA has 11 member groups -- many of them officially at odds with Republican politicians and policies -- including American Atheists and the American Humanist Association.

Jack Palmer 12-06-2011

Religion Powerful Force In 2012 Race; Groups Prepare To Bring Occupy Protests To Congress; Occupied Washington; South Carolina's Christian Conservatives Focus More On Economy, Less On Social Issues; GOP Candidates' Promises To Secure The Border Could Prove Impossible; Shias Targeted In Deadly Afghan Shrine Blasts.

Lydia A. Morton 07-29-2011

In the wake of the tragic bombing in Norway this past weekend, we are left with an unsettling picture of the state of anti-Islamic sentiments in the United States. There were broad attempts to blame the bombings on Islamic terrorism before all of the facts of the attack were out, and even after the attacker became known as Anders Behring Breivik, a self-proclaimed Christian extremist, the discussion focused on Breivik's statement that he was responding to the threat Muslims pose in Europe.

Jim Wallis 06-23-2011

Last evening, President Obama made his long-awaited announcement on beginning withdrawal of the 103,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Hannah Lythe 05-18-2011
On April 14, Jim Wallis attended a press conference on Capitol Hill.
It is time for those of us who have been advocating for comprehensive immigration reform to rethink our strategies.
Jim Wallis 03-24-2011
The extreme budget cuts proposed to critical programs that save the lives, dignity, and future of poor and vulnerable people have crossed the line.
Peggy Flanagan 03-11-2011

During my Lenten journey this year, I will be looking to my Muslim brother, Congressman Keith Ellison, to understand what it truly means to live a life grounded in love, respect, inclusivity, and justice. Yesterday, I watched Rep.

Shane Claiborne 02-28-2011

Growing up in the Bible belt in east Tennessee, I can remember an entire campaign built around "What Would Jesus Do?" There were WWJD bracelets, stickers, and T-shirts everywhere.

Kiran Thadhani 01-26-2011
"To win the future" was a catch phrase for President Obama during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
George Mitrovich 01-19-2011
Sargent Shriver was one of the most attractive, dynamic, and accomplished men of his time. When President John F. Kennedy chose Mr.
Heather Wilson 12-15-2010
Interfaith leaders and graduating high school students from across the United States joined hands to pray in the Hart Senate Office Building yesterday at the end of a http://www.christianp
Holly Burkhalter 11-17-2010

I have been an international human rights activist and lobbyist for 31 years in Washington. There have been times when issues I cared about and worked hard on simply didn't bear fruit, and I wonder at those times if I've just been at this too long. Congress adjourning in October without passing the Child Protection Compact Act (S3184/HR2737) was one of those down-in-the-dumps times!

The CPCA would provide additional authority and funding for the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) to designate "focus countries" and reach an agreement with them on the eradication of child trafficking. "Child Protection Compacts" would open the door to multi-year funding to help countries rescue victims and prosecute and convict perpetrators.

Karen Lattea 09-10-2010

In 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter announced the installation of solar panels on the White House roof.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 06-10-2010
The brazen chutzpah of Big Oil and Big Coal is amazing.
Jim Wallis 02-25-2010

Yesterday, the Senate passed a jobs bill by a 70-28 vote, showing that even in today's polarized political climate, bipartisan solutions to the major problems facing the country are still