Radio Ads Urge Candidates Not to Bear False Witness in Presidential Debate

September 24, 2008, 10:07 am | Posted by

Listen to Ad Here

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Katie Paris or Kristin Williams at 202.459.8625

September 24, 2008

FaithfulAmerica.org is flooding the Mississippi airwaves this week with radio ads demanding accountability and honesty from the candidates at Friday’s presidential debate because, as the ad states, “the Ninth Commandment wasn’t just a suggestion.”

“In Mississippi, we teach our kids to let their ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and their ‘No’ be ‘No,’” the ad begins, echoing the Sermon on the Mount. “Unfortunately, politicians are often more interested in scoring political points and attacking each other than in telling us the whole truth about how they’re going to lead our nation.”

The ads encourage voters to contact debate moderator Jim Lehrer to request that he “hold both candidates accountable when they bear false witness about themselves or their opponent.” Faithful America members nationwide are joining in this call to action as well.

FaithfulAmerica.org is an online community of more than 80,000 of people of faith. Members made contributions to run the ads in response to an email alert sent Monday. “[This Friday’s] debate is on foreign policy, but the issues won’t matter if the candidates aren’t honest with us,” the email stated.

The ads are running on Christian and Country radio stations throughout Northern Mississippi and Western Tennessee. You can listen to it here.

AD SCRIPT

In Mississippi, we teach our kids to let their ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and their ‘No’ be ‘No.’ These age-old values are the foundation of a strong and trusting community and are vital to our democracy…because to make the right decisions, we need to know the facts.

Unfortunately, politicians are often more interested in scoring political points and attacking each other than in telling us the whole truth about how they’re going to lead our nation.

But this Friday, Mississippians have a chance to make sure that doesn’t happen at the Presidential debate at Ole Miss.

We are asking voters to flood debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, with requests that he hold both candidates accountable when they bear false witness about themselves or their opponent. You can email Jim Lehrer at Newshour@pbs.org, or get his phone number and find out more at WWW.FAITHFULAMERICA.ORG.

FAITHFULAMERICA.ORG sponsored this ad without approval from a candidate or campaign because our politicians need to understand that the Ninth Commandment wasn’t just a suggestion.

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Faithful America, sponsored by Faith in Public Life, is an online community of tens of thousands of citizens motivated by faith to take action on the pressing moral issues of our time. Faithful America is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization.

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Poll shows support for torture among Southern evangelicals

September 16, 2008, 10:40 pm | Posted by

A new poll finds that nearly six in 10 white Southern evangelicals believe torture is justified, but their views can shift when they consider the Christian principle of the golden rule.

The poll released Thursday, commissioned by Faith in Public Life and Mercer University, found that 57% of respondents said torture can be often or sometimes justified to gain important information from suspected terrorists. Thirty-eight percent said it was never or rarely justified.

But when asked if they agree that “the U.S. government should not use methods against our enemies that we would not want used on American soldiers,” the percentage who said torture was rarely or never justified rose to 52%.

“Presenting people with this argument and identifying with the golden rule really does engage a different part of people’s psyche and a part of their heart, their soul, and really does shift their views on torture,” said Robert Jones, president of Public Religion Research, which was commissioned to conduct the poll.

The findings of this poll, which did not define torture, compared to a Pew Research Center poll from February that found that 48% of the general public think torture can be justified.

The new poll found that 44% of white Southern evangelicals rely on life experiences and common sense to determine their views about torture. A lower percentage, 28%, said they relied on Christian teachings or beliefs.

The poll was released on the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and comes after several religious groups have joined a public campaign to oppose the use of torture in interrogating suspected terrorists.

Results were unveiled during the National Summit on Torture at Mercer in Atlanta, which was co-sponsored by Evangelicals for Human Rights.

David Gushee, a Christian ethics professor at Mercer and the president of the evangelical group, said the poll numbers should tell leaders, including presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain, who oppose torture that people can change their minds about this issue if it is discussed from a moral standpoint.

“Opinion on this question is movable,” he said.

Pollsters also found that 53% of white Southern evangelicals believe the government uses torture in its anti-terrorism campaign, despite claims by government officials to the contrary. About one-third, or 32%, said the government does not use torture as a matter of policy.

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Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim Leaders Call for Moral Response to Hurricanes

September 15, 2008, 11:05 am | Posted by

107 National Faith Leaders Urge Next Congress and President to Make Human Rights and Gulf Coast Rebuilding a Priority

CONTACT: Jeffrey Buchanan, RFK Center 202-257-9048 buchanan@rfkmemorial.org

September 15, 2008

TELECONFERENCE TODAY AT NOON

Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim Leaders Call for Moral Response to Hurricanes

Rebuilding and Human Rights are National Moral Priority

(September 15, 2008) – Today, 107 leading religious officials – including, Rev. Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals; Richard Stearns, President, World Vision; Rabbi Steve Gutow, Jewish Council for Public Affairs; Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, National Council of Churches; Dr. Ingrid Matterson, Islamic Society of North America; Fr. Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities USA; Rev. David Beckmann, Bread for the World; and Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners – are calling for not just a charitable response but bi-partisan resident-led federal solutions helping families. They’ll discuss a letter sent today to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama and members of Congress addressing the crisis.

What: Media Teleconference: 107 National Faith Leaders Urge Next Congress and President to Make Human Rights and Gulf Coast Rebuilding a Priority

When: Monday September 15th, 12:00pm ET

How: Members of the working press, please RSVP to buchanan@rfkmemorial.org

Teleconference Call in: (866) 443-5810 Conference ID: 64628175

Who:

Moderator: Stephen Bradberry, National Campaign Coordinator, ACORN, New Orleans, LA

Rev. Alfred Carter, President, Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing, Thibodaux, LA

Julie Kulinski, Director, Women in Construction, Moore Community House, Biloxi, MS

Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III, Senior Pastor, Friendship-West Baptist Church, Dallas, TX

Sr. Simone Campbell, Director, NETWORK, a Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez Jr., Executive Director, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Hadar Susskind, Director, Washington Office, Jewish Council on Public Affairs

Rev. Michael Livingston, Co-Chair, National Council of Churches Special Commission on the Just Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast

Background: Three years after the current administration first promised to rebuild the region devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the slow pace of recovery and recent devastation of hurricanes Gustav and Ike have created a moral crisis in the Gulf Coast. The collapse of local institutions, homelessness, internal displacement, poverty, abusive labor practices and environmental degradation in the Gulf Coast demands a powerful response from people of faith and bi-partisan resident-led federal solutions helping families return and participate in rebuilding their communities, creating living wage jobs, restoring the coastal wetland and ensuring human rights in the Gulf Coast region a national priority.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign is a nonpartisan partnership of community, faith, environmental, student, and human rights organizations in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi and their national allies advocating for federal legislation based on HR 4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act and urging national leaders to make creating jobs, rebuilding infrastructure and affordable housing, and restoring natural flood protection along the Gulf Coast a national priority.

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Release of poll on Southern Evangelicals’ attitudes toward torture

September 11, 2008, 10:14 am | Posted by

Poll memo available here

(ATLANTA) — Results of a new poll on Southern Evangelicals’ attitudes toward torture were released at a press conference on September 11, at 10:45 am. The press conference was held at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus during the opening day of A National Summit on Torture, and streamed live over the Internet.

Sponsored by Mercer University and Faith in Public Life and conducted by Public Religion Research, the poll is the first major survey of Southern Evangelicals on the issue of torture.

Among the key findings:

• While a majority of white evangelical Christians in the South think that torture is often or sometimes justified, they are significantly more likely to oppose torture if they rely on Christian teachings or beliefs to form their views on the issue.

• A majority of white evangelical Christians in the South agree with the Golden Rule argument against torture—that the U.S. government should not use methods against our enemies that we would not want used on American soldiers.

Read the poll memo here. The results of the survey are based on telephone interviews with 600 white evangelical Christians in the South conducted under the direction of Opinion Access Corp. August 14-22.

WHEN: Thursday, September 11, at 10:45 am

WHO: Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University and President, Evangelicals for Human Rights

Tyler Wigg Stevenson, Director, Two Futures Project, a nuclear disarmament initiative centered around

young evangelicals

Dr. Robert Jones, President, Public Religion Research

Moderated by: Katie Paris, Director of Communications Strategy, Faith in Public Life

WHERE: LIVE STREAM: The press conference was streamed live over the Internet and the video is available at http://events.thefaithlab.com/index2.html.

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Online Faith Community Runs Ads Thanking Community Organizers

September 10, 2008, 11:13 am | Posted by

View the ad here.

FaithfulAmerica.org, an online community of more than 80,000 of people of faith, will run ads this Sunday thanking community organizers of the past, present and future. Last week, in St. Paul and then Cedarburg, Wisconsin, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin remarked that “a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” FaithfulAmerica.org’s ads will run in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. You can view the ad here.

FaithfulAmerica.org members made contributions to run the ads in response to an email sent Friday evening. “This is not a partisan issue,” the email stated. “Faith-based community organizing does not pit Republicans against Democrats, but rather brings people together to improve their communities. Our faiths call us to walk humbly and work for justice, and organizers at the grassroots level do just that. It is worthy of praise, not punchlines.”

Last week, Faithful America circulated statements from faith-based community organizing leaders about the “actual responsibilities” of community organizers and their tremendous impact every day on the lives of millions of Americans.

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