Post-Election Special: What’s New in the Neighborhood?

November 8, 2006, 2:29 pm | Posted by

“RELIGIOUS OUTREACH BY DEMOCRATS TRUMPS REPUBLICAN VALUES-SPEAK,” heralds Jesse Lava, head of Faithful Democrats. He writes:

“One of the most significant revelations to emerge from the 2006 election is the Democrats’ enormous success with faith-based outreach. Democrats who were willing to share their faith with voters consistently exceeded expectations. Lost causes became close races. Close races became solid victories. Solid victories became landslides.”

Why? Perhaps because, “Work should work,” as Jim Wallis points out on the God’s Politics blog. Among many up late last night, Wallis writes:

“Minimum wage initiatives are winning in Missouri, Ohio, and Arizona, and winning handily. In Missouri the proposal to increase the minimum wage is winning by almost three to one. Voters are saying that work needs to work; and that if you work hard and full-time in America you shouldn’t be poor.”

Over at Street Prophets, Chuck Currie celebrates the church work in pushing the success minimum-wage campaigns. He quotes Let Justice Roll:

“Minimum wage hikes won in every state they were on the ballot, winning by a resounding 76 percent in Missouri, 73 percent in Montana, 69 percent in Nevada, 66 percent in Arizona, 56 percent in Ohio and 53 percent in Colorado (latest totals).”

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, of Jspot, points out a constituency that won big last night: Jews. Oi, this will be the most Jewish Congress ever with 13 in the Senate and about 30 in the House. But being non-partisan, she adds, “Here’s hoping that that other famous Jew–George Allen–doesn’t add to the numbers.”

While David Buckley is right that the God gap is over – there certainly is a YHWH gap, with 87 percent of Jews voting Democratic.

CrossLeft posts Rabbi Michael Learner addressing some lessons learned:

“For much of the past two decades, the religious right was able to convince Americans that the great ethical issues were about sexuality and abortion. In this election, voters in many states repudiated local initiatives sponsored by the Right. Spiritual Progressives convinced many that war, poverty and the environment are central issues.”

Sounding a similar note, the Rev. Deb Haffner reflects: “I think the American people sent a message. Stop politics as usual. Do something about ending the Iraqi War. Return to a nation characterized by fairness and compassion. Overall, a satisfying evening. We didn’t get everything we wanted; we didn’t lose everything we needed. Sort of like life.”

In honor of the first Muslim elected to Congress, listen to Provoke radio’s excellent show on Muslim-Christian Understanding. Guests include: Dr. John Esposito, director of the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University; Dr. Zahid Bukhari, director of the American Muslim Studies program at Georgetown; and Mr. Ibrahim Ramey, director of the American Muslim Society, human rights division.

The Commonweal blog also notes the loss of the God gap and points to the details of the Catholic vote. Very interesting.

Jews, Catholics, Muslims, what about those Unitarian-Universalists? Philocrates has the election results.

Pam’s House Blend (always steamin’) gets excited as some conservative folks start the values blame game over the GOP losses. Always reaching out, CrossWalk America preaches that Love is not just a choice, but a human action.

And finally, Wolfie sounds a similar note at Street Prophets, reminding us – with a great map – that we really do live in a purple country.

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We Believe Ohio Featured on Nightline!

November 7, 2006, 2:05 pm | Posted by

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!

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AUDIO: NPR Spot on Faith Leaders for the Common Good in Chicago

November 7, 2006, 1:58 pm | Posted by

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!

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Some evangelicals feel used by the GOP

November 6, 2006, 11:32 am | Posted by

Center for American Progress’ Jennifer Palmieri discusses faith and values and their impact on the campaign trail and voters this election season.

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One Day, Two Views of Sexuality Play Out

November 3, 2006, 3:32 pm | Posted by

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 plan” 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.” 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.”

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?

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