The next generation of faith and politics

January 11, 2007, 1:32 am | Posted by

Recently the Generation Next project at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released some new findings on emerging trends in religion and politics for 18-25 year-olds.

First, they point out that “forty-four percent of young American adults agree that religion is a very important part of their lives.”

Often this faith is tied to what the next generation grew up with, but increasingly, the study finds that many attitudes toward other religions are changing. What I find significant is that attitudes toward some of the hot button issues of the past couple of decades seem to be shifting away from interest in the agenda of the religious right.

For instance, study director Judy Woodruff points out:

“In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, nearly 60 percent of young adults feel that conservative Christians have gone too far in trying to impose their religious values on the country.

And even young evangelicals sometimes question their elders when it comes to issues like abortion and gay marriage. Support for Democratic candidates by young, white evangelicals jumped 10 percent this past election, a bigger increase than any other age group.”

Check out the PBS resources and streaming video here.

Also, Get Religion takes a critical eye to the paucity of specific examples.

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AUDIO: AP Covers Faithful Opposition to Iraq Escalation

January 10, 2007, 1:31 pm | Posted by

Yesterday, Faith in Public Life hosted a press teleconference that highlighted faith leaders who are working to hold the new Congress accountable on the issues that were of greatest moral importance to Americans in 2006. The teleconference has already yielded hits for our partners, and a great AP Audio spot on faithful opposition to President Bush’s pending announcement on escalation in Iraq. Click here to hear the audio! It features Rick Ufford Chase of Christian Peace Witness in Iraq, Jeff Carr of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, and Paul Sheery of Let Justice Roll.

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AUDIO: NPR Spot on Faith in the New Congress

January 5, 2007, 3:48 pm | Posted by

Talk of the Nation with Scott Simon featured an interesting segment yesterday on the role that religion will play in the new Congress. The interviews cover a lot of ground, including Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), and William D’antonio, fellow at the Life Cycle Institute at Catholic University. Click on the icon at the right for the first twelve minutes of the show. For the complete show, click here and follow the link from NPR’s website.

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VIDEO: Rep. Ellison applies the golden rule to Rep. Goode

January 5, 2007, 9:00 am | Posted by

Faith voices around the country have started a petition calling for Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) to apologize to Rep. Ralph Ellison (D-MN). If there is any doubt that Virgil Goode needs to hear the calm voice of American tolerance, watch the two videos below.

Compare Goode’s rant to Ellison’s gracious behavior on the floor of Congress yesterday. Watch below to see who goes over to introduce himself to Rep. Goode.

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ACTION ITEM: Oppose Discrimination in the House

January 4, 2007, 3:52 pm | Posted by

Happy 2007 and best wishes for the new year! Today marks a series of milestones in the American Congress. Among them is the swearing in of Rep. Keith Ellison as America’s first Muslim member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As you may know, Ellison’s fellow Congressman, Virgil Goode, has been less than hospitable in his welcome. See the note below from the petition organizers for a quick way you can take action and speak out as a person of faith on behalf of tolerance and religious freedom.

As religious people from diverse traditions, we call upon Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode to re-examine his opposition to newly-elected Representative Keith Ellison, a Muslim, taking his unofficial oath of office using the Qur’an, and to apologize for his statement that, without punitive immigration reform, “there will be many more Muslims elected to office demanding the use of the Quran.” Please read the statement and add your signature.

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