Catholic activism to end war

July 9, 2007, 2:05 am | Posted by

On July 3, in an unprecedented move, fourteen Catholic members of Congress asked the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for help in stopping the Iraq war. Read the actual letter here.

The letter says, “If we understand the Catholic tradition correctly, thoughtful church leaders around the world do not believe that the war in Iraq meets the strict conditions for a just war or the high moral standards for overriding the presumption against the use of force. Our concerns are rooted in both the political realm and in our faith and manifest in our efforts to enact legislation that will bring an end to this war.”

How far would you go to stop a war? “The Camden 28,” airing on PBS’s “P.O.V.” series on September 11, 2007, recalls a 1971 raid on a Camden, New Jersey draft board office by Catholic activists protesting the Vietnam War and its effects on urban America.

Arrested on site in a clearly planned sting, the protesters included four Catholic priests, a Lutheran minister and 23 others. “The Camden 28″ reveals the story behind the arrests — a provocative tale of government intrigue and personal betrayal — and the ensuing legal battle, which Supreme Court Justice William Brennan called “one of the great trials of the 20th century.” Thirty-five years later, the participants take stock of their motives, fears and the costs of their activism — and its relevance to America today.

add a comment »

Barbarians? Us?

July 7, 2007, 4:45 pm | Posted by

Normally, FPL is thrilled to see our work and that of our partners get out into the media. A recent series of pieces floating around the conservative Catholic press, however, gave us some pause.

Maryann Kreitzer, founder of the Catholic Media Coalition, last month called FPL “Barbarians attacking the city of God” who seek to do harm to the Catholic Church with “selective public discourse” which ignores abortion and gay rights.

However, that piece and another article by Stephanie Block misrepresent the mission of FPL, which is to reclaim and expand the American values debate to better represent all of the values of religious Americans. FPL’s mission is not to advance a narrow policy agenda or to say issues such as abortion and gay rights should not be discussed.

In our work for the common good, we partner with groups which may have deep disagreement on abortion, gay rights and other important issues in the faith community. What our partners and what the groups represented on our map have in common is that they have put striving for real solutions to issues of justice and the common good, rather than fanning the flames of the culture wars, at the center of their work.

FPL is very proud to resource movements dedicated to reducing poverty, stopping torture, ending genocide in Darfur, responding to the global AIDS pandemic and reversing global warming. On these issues, and many others, we have seen faith leaders tear down traditional ideological “walls” to work together for a common goal, without compromising any of their faith principles.

add a comment »

Friday’s Top Faith News

July 6, 2007, 1:09 pm | Posted by

Moderate, liberal Baptists search for ‘common ground’

(By Rachel Zoll – Associated Press)

Presbyterian churches face decline

(By Rebecca Rosen Lum – Contra Costa Times)

Bloomberg Could Be First Jewish President

(By Rachel Zoll – Associated Press)

Romney Faces Uphill Battle for Evangelical Voters

(By Barbara Bradley Hagerty – National Public Radio)

The End of Integration

(By David Brooks – New York Times)

Hired guns

(By Christian Century – editorial)

Key GOP Senator Breaks With Bush

(By Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane – Washington Post)

Romney Criticized for Hotel Pornography

(By Glenn Johnson – Associated Press)

Religion in Anti-Gay Bias Case

(By Arthur S. Leonard – Gay City News)

Church helps gay community

(By Margaret Harding – Arizona Republic)

How law firms are failing New Orleans

(By Lisa Lerer –

Jim Wallis: American Ideals

(By Jim Wallis – God’s Politics Blog)

Democracy in the Dust: A Letter to George Bush

(By Amy Butler – Ethics, Column)

Developed Countries Urged to Help Africa More

(By Maria Mackay – Christian Post)

Fatah on shaky ground in West Bank

(By Ken Ellingwood – Los Angeles Times)

Siege tightens at Pakistani mosque

(By Mubashir Zaidi and Laura King – Los Angeles Times)

Global warming threatens alternative-oil projects

(By Daniel B. Wood – Christian Science Monitor)

For Muslim extremists, religion matters

(By Irshad Manji – New Republic)

Santa Ana urged to declare sanctuary status

(By Jennifer Delson – Los Angeles Times)

Sharpton: Wilson sentence ‘wicked,’ ‘illegal’

(By Jeremy Redmon – Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Like what you see? Click here to get the top headlines in faith, politics and policy delivered to your inbox each weekday!

add a comment »

What’s new in the neighborhood?

July 5, 2007, 6:43 pm | Posted by

The Rev. Chuck Currie posts a sermon remembering the immigration bill that couldn’t thanks to the current swell of nativist fear-mongering in the MSM.

And speaking about immigration and voting rights and terrible comparisons to the Holocaust, JSpot’s Rabbi Jill Jacobs writes:

How would Jews manage to talk about political issues if not for the Holocaust? Jeremy has already taken to task one writer who compares civil disobedience against immigration law to civil disobedience against the Nuremberg laws. While I have great sympathy for the plight of unrepresented DC residents, it seems unlikely that the next move will be to set up a ghetto in Dupont Circle.

Pastor Dan, over at Street Prophets notes the news story in which Catholic politicians are calling the U. S. Bishops to prophetic action. Yup, this time it’s going the other direction.

After attending the Aspen Ideas Festival, Jim Wallis opines on American Ideals:

Many have pointed out how some of the most famous framers of the Constitution itself failed to live up to its ideals. And American history has been nothing less that the steady battle of a country trying to live up to its ideals. When it comes to their practice, we have certainly fallen short of the truths that we hold to be “self-evident.”

The Evangelical Ecologist writes about Kilimanjaro and the science.

The Rev. Deb Haffner hearts Michael Moore’s documentary SiCKO:

At one point towards the end of the movie, Mr. Moore explains that we need to move from a profit driven system to one where “WE means more than ME.” I thought to myself that this is what the Scriptures mean by “love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s what the book of Matthew means when it tells us that we will be judged in heaven by how we took care of the least among us. It indeed is speaking truth to power.

Velveteen Rabbi talks about schoolin’ and bloggin’:

In a nutshell? I love the learning, and I also love the thoughtful, compassionate, inspired community of people with and from whom I’m privileged to learn. I continue to feel deep in my bones that this is the work I’m supposed to be doing — that I’m getting better at it, which is exciting — and that these are the teachers I want to emulate in my own rabbinate, when I get there.

The Rev. Anne Howard wields some righteous indignation over the Libby commutation:

Well, it seems that neither the Ten Commandments, that basic Judeo-Christian code of behavior for human communities, nor the American rule of law applies to the Office of the Vice President of the United States, once again.

Xpatriated Texan takes on Chuck Colson’s attack on pagans. Apparently in the scheme of things, making sure that Wiccan soldiers offering their lives for America don’t deserve a chaplain of their faith.

WoodMoor Village titles-forth: Cheney: Executive, Legislator, Unaccountable Megalomaniac?

And finally, Progressive Islam notes a suburban California mosque excommunicates an overzealous convert.

add a comment »

Thursday’s Top Faith News

July 5, 2007, 1:43 pm | Posted by

Students Take to the Road for Social Justice

(By Virgil Dickson – Washington Post)

Catholics in Congress seek ally against war

(By Maria Garriga – New Haven Register)

Conservative rulings have groups rethinking advocacy strategy

(By Ron Kampeas – Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Stars, stripes and spirituality? Debate stirs Hoosier faithful

(By Robert King –

Cal Thomas Compares Muslims to ‘Cancer’

(By Bob Allen – Ethics

Marriage, Trademarked

(By Kenji Yoshino – Slate Magazine)

True or False: The Major Religions Are Essentially Alike

(By Stephen Prothero – Newsweek)

Bush’s church-state mess takes liberties with ours

(By Robyn Blumner – St. Petersburg Times, Opinion)

Iowa Renews Contract for Bible-Based Prison Program

(By Doug Huntington – Christian Post)

Christian Law Firm Defends Courthouse Jesus Painting from ACLU

(By Doug Huntington – Christian Post)

The Not-So Superfund

(By Chelsea Ross – In These

Conservative Rabbis Adapting to Ruling on Same-Sex Unions

(By Jennifer Siegel – Jewish Daily Forward)

Repairing the World Has Torn Us From Our Senses

(By Jeffry Mallow – Jewish Daily Forward)

Contractors Back From Iraq Suffer Trauma From Battle

(By James Risen – New York Times)

Exodus of Christians hits Baghdad district

(By Ned Parker – Los Angeles Times)

Cleric at radical mosque detained

(By Munir Ahmed – Associated Press)

British arrests cause dismay in India

(By Henry Chu – Los Angeles Times)

Oil bill mired in religious fighting

(By Mike Drummond and Hussein Kadhim – McClatchy Newspapers)

Like what you see? Click here to get the top headlines in faith, politics and policy delivered to your inbox each weekday!

add a comment »