Clergy Lead Thousands in Immigrants’ Rights March in Denver

August 27, 2008, 2:45 pm | Posted by

Faith Leaders call for action from political leaders

DENVER – Thousands of immigrants’ rights advocates will gather at Rude Park Thursday morning at 9 am for “We Are America” – a march and rally featuring the state clergy coalition We Believe Colorado and national religious leaders dedicated to just and moral immigration reform.

With the Democratic Convention ongoing in Denver, and the Republican Convention next week, the faith community is calling for just immigration reform to be a centerpiece of the moral agenda.

The event will feature interfaith prayer and a performance by Agape International Choir, visiting from Los Angeles for the Democratic National Convention. A police escort will accompany participants on a one-mile march down Colfax Blvd to La Alma/Lincoln Park.

The march will culminate in a rally at 11:30 at Lincoln Park, where a diverse group of prominent faith leaders will speak and pray for the immigrant community and for just and moral immigration reform. As the election looms, now is the time for a faithful witness on this common good issue.

WHAT: Thousands march and rally for immigrants’ rights in Colorado and across the country.

WHERE: Start at Rude Park (Howard Place and Colfax), marching down Colfax to La Alma/Lincoln Park.

WHO: Rev. Butch Montoya, HS Power and Light

Imam A. Rahim Ali, Northeast Denver Islamic Center

Father Bernie Schmitz, Catholic Archdiocese of Denver

Rev. Adam Taylor, Sojourners/Call To Renewal

Rev. Ron Stief, Faith in Public Life

Dr. Michael Beckwith, Agape Spiritual Center

WHEN: 9 am at Rude Park, arriving at La Alma/Lincoln Park 11:30 am.

Media note: GREAT VISUALS: Marchers will have signs and banners.

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Poll on Southern Evangelicals’ Attitudes toward Torture

August 12, 2008, 3:33 pm | Posted by

Results to be Released During National Summit on Torture in Atlanta

ATLANTA — Results of a new poll of Southern Evangelicals on their attitudes toward torture and its connection to their faith and moral values will be released next month in conjunction with a national summit on torture sponsored by 15 diverse faith groups. The conference, titled “Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul,” will convene on Mercer University’s Atlanta campus Sept. 11-12.

The poll results will be released at 10:45 a.m. on the first day of the conference. Commissioned by Mercer University and conference co-sponsor Faith in Public Life, the poll is the first major survey of Southern Evangelicals — a group that has been disproportionately supportive of the Bush administration’s foreign policy — on the issue of torture. Reporters may participate in the press conference in person or via teleconference. Dial-in instructions will be provided to journalists a week before the conference.

“Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul” is being organized by Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer. Among the more than 50 speakers, presenters and moderators scheduled to participate in the conference are academics from institutions such as Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, New York University, Seton Hall Law School, Morehouse College, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Princeton Theological Seminary and Mercer. Presenters will also include retired senior military officers and leaders from Christian, Jewish and Islamic organizations.

Among the other co-sponsors of the conference are the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Center for Victims of Torture, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Evangelicals for Social Action, Faith and the City, the Islamic Society of North America, Morehouse College, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, No2Torture, Rabbis for Human Rights, Sojourners and Third Way.

Journalists who plan to attend and cover the conference are asked to pick up media credentials at the media desk in the lobby of Mercer’s Administration and Conference Center, which will host the sessions. Credentials will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 11. The conference begins at 9 a.m. A media workroom with wireless Internet access will be set up in Room 240 of the Administration and Conference Center.

Additional program details, including a full schedule, are available at www.evangelicalsforhumanrights.org. For more information about the conference, call (678) 547-6457. For media-related questions, call (478) 301-5700.

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Faith Leaders Call for Defeat of Ballot Initiative Promoting Racial Profiling

July 28, 2008, 5:09 pm | Posted by

Diverse religious and community leaders will gather on the steps of the Denver City and County Building today from 5:00 – 5:30pm to urge voters to vote NO on Denver Initiated Question 100 on the August 12 primary ballot. If passed, the measure would increase the likelihood of racial profiling and place a tremendous burden on law enforcement and other agencies. The speakers are announcing an unprecedented effort to educate their congregations on the harm this initiative would produce.

“Discriminatory laws clearly do not fit with our understanding of the Common Good, and that’s why We Believe Colorado is embarking on an extensive campaign to encourage people of faith to vote no on Initiative 100,” said the Rev. Jim Ryan, Council Executive of the Colorado Council of Churches and member of We Believe Colorado.

“We’re working hard to defeat Initiative 100 in order to preserve and protect the dignity of all persons and to prevent racial profiling,” says Rabbi Steven Forbes of Congregation Emanuel.

Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, Father Bernie Schmitz says:

“In a city as diverse as Denver, the atmosphere we want to create is one of courtesy and respect for the dignity of every human person. Initiative 100 would only create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion for anyone of diverse ethnicity-whether they are citizens or not. The Archdiocese of Denver urges Denver residents to oppose Initiative 100.”

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. of the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church says, “I stand in opposition to this unnecessary ballot initiative. It is contrary to the values of Denver’s religious

communities as it encourages discrimination and harassment based on language, ethnicity, and race.”

Imam A-Rahim Ali of the Northeast Denver Islamic Center says, “We firmly believe that the values of tolerance will supplant the politics of fear, and that voters will soundly defeat this divisive and discriminatory measure.”

Where: Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, front steps

When: Today, July 28, 5:00 – 5:30 pm.

What: Diverse religious and community leaders urge voters to vote NO on discriminatory ballot initiative

Who:

• Imam A-Rahim Ali, Northeast Denver Islamic Center/Greater Denver Interfaith Alliance

• Rev. Andrew Simpson, Vice-President , Colorado Council of Churches, Presiding Elder, African Methodist Episcopal Church

• Rev. Janet Forbes, on behalf of Bishop Warner Brown, Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church

• Councilmember Paul Lopez, Denver City Council, cosponsor of Council Proclamation to oppose Initiated Question 100.

• Father Bernie Schmitz, on behalf of Catholic Archdiocese of Denver

• Rabbie Steven Foster, Temple Emanuel

• Lisa Duran, Executive Director, Rights for All People

• Rev. Lucia Guzman, United Methodist Church minister

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Clergy Put Political Ads to the Test

July 15, 2008, 10:36 am | Posted by

Debut New Tool to Evaluate ’08 Campaigns

(Columbus, OH) – As the campaign season heats up, We Believe Ohio is stepping up its effort to make Ohio a “Political Sleaze-Free Zone.” Clergy will introduce the Sleaze-Free Zone Test – a new tool they will use to determine whether political ads are truthful and instructive OR polarizing and dishonest. We Believe clergy will demonstrate how the Test works by evaluating political ads that have recently aired in Ohio.

Leaders will also distribute the Test at their houses of worship so their congregations can join in the effort to monitor this election season’s political ads.

We Believe clergy believe that people of faith have a moral obligation to call for clean, instructive campaigns that promote democracy and keep the focus on the critical issues of the day and the people of Ohio.

WHAT: We Believe Ohio introduces and demonstrates the “Sleaze-Free Zone Test” – a tool for evaluating ’08 political ads.

WHEN: Thursday, July 17, 2008, 11:00 AM

WHERE: First Congregational Church, 444 E. Broad Street, Columbus

WHO: We Believe Ohio Diverse Clergy Leaders

Governor Ted Strickland and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner have endorsed We Believe Ohio’s “Political Sleaze-Free Zone” campaign and many area ’08 candidates have already signed on. We Believe Ohio asks all citizens of Ohio to sign its petition calling for a “Political Sleaze-Free’’ state by going on-line to http://www.webelieveohio.org/.

We are called as people of faith and loyal Americans to be united in dialogue and action to say:

YES to justice for all; NO to prosperity for only a few; YES to diverse religious expression; NO to self-righteous certainty; YES to the common good; NO to discrimination against any of God’s people; YES to the voice of religious traditions informing public policy; NO to crossing the lines that separate the institutions of Religion and Government.

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Evangelical Group to Convene Interfaith Summit on Torture

July 7, 2008, 9:46 am | Posted by

Mercer University to Host, Faith in Public Life to Co-Sponsor National Conference in Atlanta on 9/11

ATLANTA — An unprecedented national summit on torture sponsored by 15 diverse faith groups will convene on Mercer University’s Atlanta campus Sept. 11-12 to examine how U.S. government policy in recent years came to sanction torture and discuss ways Evangelical Christians and Americans of other faiths can mobilize to secure a “no torture-no exceptions” policy.

Titled “Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul,” the conference is being organized by Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer. Among the more than 50 speakers, presenters and moderators scheduled to participate in the conference are academics from institutions such as Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, New York University, Seton Hall Law School, Morehouse College, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Princeton Theological Seminary and Mercer. Presenters will also include retired senior military officers and leaders from Christian, Jewish and Islamic organizations.

“I have believed for some time that the descent into torture is primarily a spiritual issue,” Gushee said. “I picked September 11 for the conference date intentionally, to address the spiritual realities of fear, grief, and anger that fueled our national turn to officially sanctioned torture, as well as address our subsequent national unwillingness to renounce torture once it was discovered.”

Gushee, who also serves as president of Evangelicals for Human Rights, a conference co-sponsor, said the program is designed to “go to the source of the problem, to diagnose how we got here, and to chart a way forward to a better American future.”

Among the other co-sponsors of the conference are the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Center for Victims of Torture, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Evangelicals for Social Action, Faith and the City, Faith in Public Life, the Islamic Society of North America, Morehouse College, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, No2Torture, Rabbis for Human Rights, Sojourners and Third Way.

The conference is limited to 250 registrants. Online registration and additional program details are available at www.evangelicalsforhumanrights.org.

For more information, call (678) 547-6457.

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