In addition to providing capacity-building tools, resources, and trainings to local, state, and national religious leaders and organizations, Faith in Public Life also proactively identifies moments of opportunity when a targeted event or campaign can effectively broaden or shift the values debate. FPL works to insert its perspective into ongoing political debates and to find avenues to amplify the voices of progressive and moderate people of faith at key moments. FPL then works with partners to develop and implement the initiative. For example:
Establishing a Moral Economy Narrative: Throughout 2011, Faith in Public Life helped create a broad narrative about people of faith and their commitment to economic fairness and moral priorities of budgeting and reducing the deficit. The day after Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown, FPL held a press conference with Jewish, Catholic, and evangelical Protestant national religious leaders and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), urging Congress to focus on the human lives at stake in their budget negotiations and protect the most vulnerable. FPL ran radio ads in Rep. Paul Ryan’s district, challenging Ryan (GOP chair of the House Budget Committee and a practicing Catholic) on his extreme budget proposal from a Catholic perspective. FPL held a counter-event at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in June 2011, a Religious Right confab featuring most of the GOP presidential candidates and other prominent conservative politicians, challenging their economic priorities on religious grounds.
Faith in Public Life also fueled a growing split between Christians on the question of Ayn Rand vs. the Bible: Republican leaders like Rep. Paul Ryan claim Rand’s ideology of selfishness as an inspiration to their policy proposals, and FPL has equipped and amplified the voices of Christians challenging conservative leaders like Ryan to pick the Bible over Ayn Rand. FPL even staged a confrontation with Rep. Paul Ryan, delivering him a Bible and urging him to reject Ayn Rand and re-read the Bible’s teaching on economic justice.