Rev. Wallis on Tucker

February 20, 2007, 11:02 am | Posted by

Get warmed up after the long weekend with an interview featuring Rev. Jim Wallis on Tucker’s MSNBC show…

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Get to know the Oregon Center for Christian Values

February 16, 2007, 6:46 am | Posted by

The Oregon Center for Christian Values is located in Portland and started after Jim Wallis stopped by on the God’s Politics book tour and more than 2,000 people showed up.

Lead by a ecumenical mix of activist Oregon grassroots leaders, the OCCV board includes evangelicals, Presbyterians, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Catholics all working for the common good.

According to them,

“In spring 2006, OCCV officially registered as a non-profit in the state of Oregon. We have since been faithfully working to engage local Christians in both action and dialogue around important issues in their communities. OCCV played an active role in promoting Christian support for the Payday Reform bill that recently passed the Oregon legislature, calling for an end to predatory lending practices that are morally unjust. We have also formed partnerships with a number of local organizations who are working to help broaden Christian moral leadership in public life, to include issues like caring for creation, supporting economic fairness, and working for the common good.”

OCCV has two community organizers who work with local religious leaders to train congregations on witnessing activities like the recent Interfaith Advocacy Days. They are especially interested in broadening the moral values debate to include issues such as:

* Economic Fairness

* Health Care

* Creation Care

* Human Rights

* Global Justice

* Arts and Culture

Coming up “on April 14, 2007 the Oregon Center for Christian Values and Oak Hills Christian Reformed Church are presenting a summit on faith and the environment. A key purpose of this event is to restore Christian leadership in caring for God’s creation by reframing Earth Day as a Christian event called ‘Creation Day,’ to be celebrated on Sunday, April 22.”

They note that “this is a day for Christians to meditate on our call to environmental stewardship, yet it is also an opportunity for us to uplift God as Creator through our example.”

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What’s New in the Neighborhood: Unbeliever! edition

February 15, 2007, 5:16 am | Posted by

Faithful Democrats and Atrios links to Faith in Public Life’s post noting the declining support for the Iraq war even among Bush’s traditionally most loyal base, those who attend church weekly. Atrios‘ is puzzled “why some religious people seem to get upset by more outspoken atheists.”

Noting a recently up tick in bloggers discussion religion at Street Prophets, Pastor Dan notes a problem, yes, “they’re talking about the religious left, rather than, you know, talking to the religious left.”

Commenting on Atrios, Xpatriated Texan is havin’ none of it and in light of the Edwards blogger critique: “Isn’t it possible that there’s something in between 100% pro-life and 100% pro-choice?” Adventus weighs in as well and finds both sides wanting.

kos writes a massive post entitled Religion, Values, and Politics. He states:

“If a candidate sincerely gets his or her values from religion, then that’s fine. The Bible is a wonderfully liberal text. And when it’s sincere it doesn’t come across so grating, so imposing. Compare Obama’s talking about religion to Bush’s “favorite philosopher” b.s.

But religious values are no more superior than the values I learned from my abuelita (and most Latinos will get a good sense of what my value system looks like just by referencing the word “abuelita”). They are no more superior than the values Tester learned on the farm from his farmer father and grandfather. Or the values that Webb learned while proudly wearing his uniform. Or the values someone might learn by contemplating the great philosophers. Or whatever.

Values are important, and Democrats must be comfortable talking about them. Voters will respond to those better than any laundry list of issues.

But that doesn’t equal “talking about religion”. We have Democrats who proved their ability to win in tough districts based on values-heavy campaigns. So stop looking at Ford’s losing campaign as a model for the future.”

In the Street Prophets diaries section, M. Scott Lee has a two parter on why secular politics must take religion seriously: one and two.

Over at DailyKos, Frederick Clarkson posts on John McCain’s personal Christian nationalist.

On the Iraq debate, the Rev. Chuck Currie shares his wish: “ideal resolution would have involved sending the president and vice-president to Iraq where they could take personal charge of the chaotic situation they themselves created. But we rarely live in the ideal world.” Amazing Grace Sunday is comin’ up, and his church will be participatin’ in remembering the abolition work and the 27 million slaves around the world these days.

JSpot notes the growing cooperation between Jews and Sen. Obama’s campaign.

Jesse takes on Tim Russert’s repetition of the meme that Republicans talk about religion best.

Jim Wallis is excited that Christian Churches Together finally has happened and that they are talking about poverty.

Fr. Jake talks Episcopal politics.

Thinking about women’s rights and the faith community, dotCommonweal re-views Sisters of Selma and Hand of God.

Faithful Progressive posts on the leak case, Dick Cheney, the CIA, and Bob Graham.

And the NCC blog notes how community organizing helps strengthen synagogues.

And Akram’s Razor notes a recent op-ed that suggests that France actually might be the future of model Muslim/non-Muslim relations.

And finally for V-day, author Sara Miles writes about, Gay Marriage–A Sign of Christ’s Love for the Beatitudes Society.

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Support for Bush Policy in Iraq Continues to Erode Among Frequent Religious Service Attendees

February 14, 2007, 6:42 pm | Posted by

Just got some cross tabs from Susan Page at USA Today on the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll. Some encouraging news, considering the history of support* for Bush’s Iraq policy among the majority of white evangelicals…

A majority of those who attend religious services weekly oppose President Bush’s move to increase U.S. troops levels in Iraq and support the idea of Congress setting a timetable to bring U.S. forces home by the end of ’08.

Those who say they attend religious services weekly were more supportive of the administration’s move to increase U.S. troops levels in Iraq. But a majority still opposed that idea.

Attend church weekly: 46% favor troop increase, 53% oppose.

Nearly weekly/monthly: 35% favor, 62% oppose.

Seldom/never: 34% favor, 63% oppose.

Those who say they attend religious services weekly were the least likely to support the idea of Congress setting a timetable to bring U.S. forces home by the end of next year. But a majority still supported the proposal.

Attend church weekly: 56% support, 41% oppose.

Nearly weekly/monthly: 68% support, 31% oppose

Seldom/never: 65% support, 33% oppose

[USA Today/Gallup Poll, Feb. 9-10, 2007]

Since last month, four percent of weekly-church-attendees moved from the “don’t know/undecided” category into “oppose” President Bush’s proposed increase in U.S. troop levels in Iraq:

Attend church weekly: 46% support, 49% oppose

Nearly weekly/monthly: 39% support, 60% oppose

Seldom/never: 30% support, 68% oppose.

[USA Today/Gallup Poll, Jan. 12-14]

Looking at the numbers another way, we also know from last month’s AP Ipsos poll, 60 percent of white evangelical Christians oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq.

[AP Ipsos, Jan. 8-10]

*(According to an October 2006 Pew poll, 58% of white evangelicals surveyed felt the US made the right decision in using force in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, compared to 71 percent in a previous poll in September 2006.)

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Faith and Politics at Yale

February 13, 2007, 5:12 pm | Posted by

Yale Divinity School just concluded a most interesting conference titled, “Voices & Votes: Religious Convictions in the Public Square.” As you’ll be able to tell by the conference agenda, the panelists were both distinguished and from across the ideological spectrum. Not every day you get to see Ralph Reed and Eric Sapp at the same conference. In between jokes about who sat to the left of whom at the presenter tables, there was a good bit of serious discussion of the state of religion in American public life today.

Many themes resonated throughout the day, perhaps none moreso than the increasingly diverse political priorities of the evangelical community in America. Whether driven by disenchantment with the Bush Administration or a theological dedication to what Ron Sider called Biblically balanced politics, evangelicals are prioritizing things like creation care, protection of human rights, and combating global AIDS with increasing vigor. As Rich Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals pointed out, this isn’t only good policy, but makes good news when working with media outlets that expects little political diversity from the evangelical community.

Hopefully some of the day’s proceedings will be available through the Internet at some point. The discussions, even when touching on points of serious disagreement, featured an honesty and civility that could be a model for our discourse on faith in public life.

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