What’s New in the Neighborhood?

November 16, 2006, 1:28 am | Posted by

What bloggers are saying about the Faith in Public Life/Zogby survey on the election, the “shrinking God gap,” and Obama hangin’ with Rick Warren. . .

University of San Francisco professor of media and fifteen minute bloggin’ man, finds the Faith in Public Life/Zogby survey results “heartening.”

Commenting on the results as well, Pam’s House Blend points out: “Poll shows Iraq, not the homostraw man, was focus of voters.”

And Jim Wallis confirms that conclusion, noting: “The moral agenda of religious voters has broadened beyond the two issues of abortion and gay marriage. When Focus on the Family’s James Dobson says the “moral values” voters stayed home, he is simply wrong, and the data shows it.”

Speaking of that, Deb Hafner posts a handy list of what the election gains mean for people who care about issues such as abortion rights and gay marriage. It also debunks the common media theme that this new congress is conservative.

And pastor Jeremy concludes that “as far as the “God Gap” goes, I think Evangelicals are finally figuring out that just because you stamp the name “Jesus” on something, doesn’t make it holy, pure, and wise.”

Melissa Rogers, always thoughtfully commenting on “religion’s intersection with public affairs,” writes about Rick Warren inviting Barack Obama to speak at Saddleback. Back in 2004 Warren listed five non-negotiables that included abortion, stem cell research and gay marriage – issues that Obama would “fail” on. In light of this Melissa wonders:

“Am I too optimistic in thinking that Warren himself might cringe at this kind of pitch today, especially in light of his increasing focus on issues like AIDS, the Darfur genocide, and worldwide poverty? I’m not looking for Rick Warren to issue a new heavy-handed “issues” statement that screams Democrat rather than Republican. But I would hope that Warren would talk differently about these things in the run up to the 2008 election. If he does, that will be progress in the journey toward a better conversation about faith and politics in America.

The Rev. Chuck Currie lays down the law with Trent Lott: “It seems to me he has a real choice now to either follow his old instincts of dividing people based on race or he could answer God’s call for justice. It’s up to him.”

The liberal Adventist Spectrum Blog posts youtube video of blogger Andrew Sullivan lecturing about how conservatives sold their soul by embracing fundamentalist-informed governing philosophy. Speaking of that, Johnny rips into popular young Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll who blames Ted Haggard’s wife.

Islamicate says goodbye to Rummy. Father Jake draws attention to the Episcopal resolution for ending the war in Iraq. Reaping the fruits of their resolve, CrossWalk America hosts some guest bloggers, including two UCC writers they met while walking through Indianapolis.

And finally, Rabbi Jill Jacobs at Jewish Funds for Justice, writes on the new NYTimes section on “Giving” which includes an article on tithing, which, if I recall, is the democratic method of supporting the good work of religion in society.

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Zogby Poll Analysis

November 15, 2006, 11:12 am | Posted by

The results of a new exit poll commissioned by Faith in Public Life and conducted by Zogby International show that Iraq was the top moral issue influencing voters in the mid-term elections and that most Americans consider poverty and greed the most urgent moral problems in our culture. Voters who heard from faith groups urging people to vote on ‘kitchen table’ moral issues like peace in Iraq and poverty responded much more favorably than voters who heard from faith groups urging people to vote on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and stem cell research.

Click here for the 2006 Zogby Exit Poll Memo.

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Daily Show: Gov. Dean notes shift in God gap

November 14, 2006, 9:12 pm | Posted by

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Religious conservatives and secular folk together?

November 13, 2006, 6:32 pm | Posted by

Amidst the post-election brouhaha over conservatives and secular folk, it’s worth noting the following TIME op-ed about the first Muslim elected to Congress:

“Now secular liberals and culturally conservative Muslims are united in their intense opposition to Bush’s policies at home and abroad, especially in the Middle East. And it should be no surprise that an African American like Ellison has emerged as a key broker in this coalition. About one-fourth to one-third of all American Muslims are African Americans. These are not “black Muslim” followers of Louis Farrakhan, but orthodox Sunni Muslims, accepted as such by their brethren from traditionally Muslim societies.”

Perhaps America is better off when we work together against injustice. Because sometimes when we work together for the common good, those old terms just don’t make sense.

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Seeing Red: A Journey Through the Moral Divide

November 10, 2006, 6:30 pm | Posted by

“Two Jews, a Hindu, and a born-again Christian, disillusioned after the 2004 election and troubled by the idea that their nation is bitterly divided over morality, set out to investigate the power of evangelical Christianity in American political life.”

The result is a new documentary: Seeing Red: A Journey Through the Moral Divide

“From Megachurches in Texas, to Music Festivals in New Hampshire to MTV protests in New York, they discover that the fanaticism characterized in the mainstream media tells only one side of a diverse and fascinating story of religion and politics.”

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