Over the past year, faith leaders in Ohio have been organizing to advance justice and the common good and to confront the divisive partisan politics of some on the Religious Right. They’re called We Believe Ohio, and are among the most energetic faith organizations in the country. See the below segment from Nightline for an in depth view of their work around Ohio!
Protestants for the Common Good is among the nation’s leading state and local organizations working to secure justice and the common good through political advocacy. Listen to the audio to the side as Rev. Jennifer Kottler describes their work and faithful mission. They also get to lay claim to bringing the common good into their name before it tripped off the tongue of mainstream political candidates!
Center for American Progress’ Jennifer Palmieri discusses faith and values and their impact on the campaign trail and voters this election season.
It is hard not to be gleeful when an opponent goes down by his own sword. I know I saw smirks on many faces when they heard of the allegations made against Rev. Ted Haggard on Wednesday. To see such a staunch opponent of gay rights accused of the very thing he had so often called “a deviation from the Creator’s planâ€ is enough to make any gay rights advocate’s day.
But if you take a step back and consider the bigger picture, the apparent irony of the situation reveals a rather sad state of affairs. Perhaps Freud was right when he claimed that “the essence of repression lies simply in turning something away, and keeping it at a distance, from the conscious.â€ This seems especially true if you compare Haggard with The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who spoke here at an event cosponsored by Faith in Public Life yesterday. Both are religious men, yet their attitudes on sexuality seem worlds apart. Robinson’s faith tradition allowed him to openly express his sexuality, and while his road was certainly difficult, he hasn’t walked alone in shame. The evangelical background from which Haggard comes condemns such lifestyles, and forced him to repress what would scandalize his community. Haggard not only denied his own sexuality, but also became a vocal opponent of the gay and lesbian community–perhaps in order to keep reality “at a distance from the consciousness.â€
It is also interesting to note the stark contrast between the negative attitudes towards gays that come from the Religious Right and the compassion Rev. Robinson seems to feel even towards those who would condemn him. Here is a man who truly seems to embrace Jesus’ call to love your enemies. Robinson also spoke yesterday of the importance of understanding that your opponents are usually grounding their arguments in fear and spoke of the rampant anxiety in our society, which he called the greatest enemy of promoting the common good. Such a perspective makes me wonder: was it perhaps this anxiety that led Haggard to condemn the very lifestyle that he himself wished to embrace?
Yesterday afternoon as Rev. Ted Haggard resigned his position with the National Association of Evangelicals and temporarily stepped aside from his church in Colorado Springs, CNN’s Situation Room featured an extended spot on the disillusionment with the Republican party in the evangelical community. See the below story, featuring an interview with Religious Right poobah Jerry Falwell.