Evangelical, Catholic Leaders Post-Election Teleconference on the Values Vote

November 7, 2006, 7:19 pm | Posted by

Christian evangelical and Catholic leaders will hold a press teleconference on Wednesday to discuss how faith and values impacted the evangelical and Catholic vote in the 2006 election.

The leaders on the call will proclaim that this the “common good election” in which religious voters were more influenced than ever by faith and values issues like poverty, integrity in government and the war in Iraq, rather than the Religious Right’s narrow agenda. They will discuss the impact that the growing prophetic movement and its common good agenda had on voters across the country, particularly in Ohio, and will explain how this faith community intends to hold Congress accountable by advocating forcefully for the common good agenda.

WHAT:

Evangelical and Catholic post-election tele-press conference on understanding the values vote.

WHO:

Rev. Jim Wallis, author of God’s Politics and founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal

Dr. Tony Campolo, founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education

Sr. Simone Campbell, National Coordinator of NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby on Capitol Hill

Eric McFadden, Field Director, based in Columbus, OH, for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Steering Committee member, We Believe Ohio

WHEN: Wednesday, November 8 at 2 PM Eastern

WHERE: Call-in number: 1-800-658-0035

Password: Common Good

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Hundreds to Rally for Final Values Voters Rally

November 2, 2006, 9:32 am | Posted by

Sojourners/Call to Renewal * We Believe Ohio * Let Justice Roll * Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Columbus, Ohio – Once again in the national spotlight, Ohio values voters are embracing a broader and deeper moral agenda that advances the common good. On November 2nd, hundreds of Ohio voters will join Jim Wallis — the best-selling author of God’s Politics and founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal — to demonstrate their values through Prayer, Praise and Music.

This “get-out-the-vote” rally, cosponsored by We Believe Ohio, Let Justice Roll Ohio, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, is the final event of the “Voting Our Values” national values voter campaign, which has mobilized thousands of Ohioans in recent months at events in Columbus, Cincinnati, and on Ohio college campuses.

The Reverend Rich Nathan of the Vineyard Church of Columbus will offer an uplifting message on a moral agenda that reflects compassion for the poor and solutions for creating stronger families and communities. The event is free and open to the public.

WHAT: A “get-out-the-vote” rally. Faith voters will raise their voices in prayer, praise and music. The event is free and open to the public.

WHO: Rev. Jim Wallis, best-selling author of God’s Politics

Pastor Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church of Columbus

Rev. Dr. Jim Zippay, Senior Pastor, Heritage Christian

Revs. Tim Ahrens and Eric Brown, We Believe Ohio

Fr. Vinny McKiernan, St. Thomas More Newman Center at Ohio State

Rev. Paul Sherry, National Coordinator, Let Justice Roll

Gospel music from the Raymond Wise choir and the Raise Mass Choir

WHEN: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2 at 7:00 PM (Doors Open at 6:30PM)

WHERE: Broad Street Presbyterian Church (760 E. Broad St., Columbus Ohio)

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Tele-Press Conference: Jim Wallis & David Saperstein to Media: Correct “Moral Values” Misinformation of 2004

October 31, 2006, 11:22 am | Posted by

A single poorly-worded question in the 2004 Election Day exit poll created lasting confusion about how “moral values” impact American voters. Rev. Jim Wallis, author of God’s Politics, and Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, will hold a tele-press conference Wednesday calling on the media outlets that commissioned and prepared the erroneous 2004 “moral values” exit poll question to correct the mistake, both in their 2006 election polling and news coverage.

Wednesday’s teleconference will follow a letter Wallis and Saperstein sent today to the heads of ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News — the news organizations that formed the National Election Pool in 2003 to provide exit poll data and avoid exit polling mistakes of previous years — as well as the pollsters that execute media-sponsored polls.

Wallis and Saperstein will discuss how news organizations, pollsters, reporters and commentators can draw upon findings from recent surveys to ask better questions in 2006 election surveys and provide more accurate analysis about how values impact American voters. They will also predict how the moral priorities of American voters will influence the outcome of the 2006 elections.

Background:

When asked in 2004 exit polls which issue mattered most in deciding how they voted, 22% of voters chose “moral values”, ranking it above all other options, including the economy and jobs, terrorism, and Iraq. The conventional wisdom immediately accepted from the left and right was that “moral values” was code for opposition to gay marriage and abortion and that this unprecedented showing of “values voters” had delivered victory for President Bush.

Within days, pollsters and columnists debunked this “moral values” myth. In the ensuing two years numerous surveys have shown that the most urgent moral issues voters name include the Iraq War, integrity in government, and poverty. Still, conventional wisdom remains mired in the erroneous view that Americans who vote their values are most concerned with gay marriage and abortion.

WHO: Rev. Jim Wallis, author of God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It and founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center o f Reform Judaism

WHEN: Wednesday, November 1

3:00 PM

WHERE: Call-in number: 1-800-658-0035

Password: “Moral values”

The text of the letter sent to media outlets follows:

A single poorly-worded question in the 2004 Election Day exit poll sent the media and political commentators into a tailspin and created lasting confusion about how “moral values” impact American voters. Today we call on you, the media outlets that commissioned and prepared the erroneous 2004 exit poll question – ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News – to correct the mistake, both in your polling and news coverage.

When asked in 2004 exit polls which issue mattered most in deciding how they voted, 22% of voters chose “moral values”, ranking it above all other options, including the economy and jobs, terrorism, and Iraq. The conventional wisdom immediately accepted from the left and right was that “moral values” was code for opposition to gay marriage and abortion and that this unprecedented showing of “values voters” had delivered victory for President Bush.

Within days, prominent pollsters and political analysts debunked this “moral values” myth. Gary Langer, director of polling for ABC News wrote, “this hot-button catch phrase had no place alongside defined political issues on the list of most important concerns in the 2004 vote. Its presence there created a deep distortion – one that threatens to misinform the political discourse for years to come” (NYT op-ed, 11/6/04).

Nine days after the 2004 election, the nonpartisan Pew Research Center released its post-election survey. Director Andrew Kohut concluded, “We did not see any indication that social conservative issues like abortion, gay rights, and stem-cell research were anywhere near as important as the economy and Iraq.”

A Zogby post-election poll found that the war in Iraq was the moral issue that most influenced voters, far beyond those who cited abortion or gay marriage. When voters were asked to choose the most urgent moral crisis in America, poverty and greed scored well above either abortion or gay marriage.

In the ensuing two years, polls have affirmed these findings. An August 2006 Center for American Values in Public Life poll of 2,502 eligible voters found that when asked “what comes to mind when you think about voting your values,” more voters mentioned the honesty and integrity of candidates (39%), protecting personal freedoms (23%), and eliminating poverty and guaranteeing access to health care (21%) than keeping marriage between a man and a woman (9%) or working to restrict access to abortions (3%). Likewise, a February 2006 Center for American Progress poll (conducted by Financial Dynamics) found that far more Americans cite our country’s most serious moral crisis as kids not being raised with the right values (22%) or corruption in government (18%), than abortion and homosexuality (4%).

Nonetheless, conventional wisdom remains mired in the erroneous view that Americans who vote their values are most concerned with opposing gay marriage and making abortion illegal. The 2004 “moral values” question so deeply misinformed political discourse, that none of the myriad polls released subsequently managed to undo the damage.

As you hone your polling questions for this election, we call on you to choose those that will contribute to a more accurate picture of the American electorate, and clarify and correct, once and for all, the misinformation generated from the 2004 “moral values” question. Reliable data on how values impact American voters is indispensable in shaping the crucial national conversation we so urgently need about the real moral threats facing America.

Sincerely,

Rabbi David Saperstein Rev. Jim Wallis

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Sojourners/Call to Renewal

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Let Justice Roll Airs Christian Radio Ads Urging Minimum Wage Increase

October 30, 2006, 11:25 am | Posted by

(Cleveland, Ohio) – Let Justice Roll announced today that they will air ads on Christian radio to urge people of faith to vote Yes on Issue 2 to Raise Ohio’s Minimum Wage.

The ads will begin airing throughout the day on Saturday, October 28, on 95.5 the Fish and will air through Election Day on November 7.

“Our ads will speak to our conviction that simple justice for low wage working people and families demands a raise in our state’s minimum wage; that a job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it. We are convinced that our listeners will agree with us and vote for Issue 2,” said Rev. Paul Sherry, National Coordinator of Let Justice Roll.

The ads are part of Let Justice Roll’s grassroots campaign to mobilize values voters to Raise Ohio’s Minimum Wage. In Cleveland, grassroots supporters and volunteers will get-out-the-vote for Issue 2 by participating in community walks, distributing flyers, making phone calls, handing out literature, and working outside the polls on Election Day.

Let Justice Roll, a fast-growing nonpartisan partnership of more than 80 faith and community groups, played a leading role in getting the proposal to increase the minimum in Ohio on the ballot this year. The coalition also played a major role in recent state minimum wage increases in Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and helped win victories in California and Massachusetts. In addition to Ohio, Let Justice Roll is currently working to pass minimum wage ballot measures in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri and Montana.

A recent poll showed that more than three-quarters of all Ohioans support raising the state minimum wage. Because Congress has not raised the federal minimum wage in more than nine years, it has lost more than a fifth of its value since the 1997 increase to $5.15 an hour, and has less buying power than the minimum wage of 1950.

The ad script:

Let Justice Roll Ohio, a coalition of churches and community groups believes a job should keep a worker out of poverty, not in it. That’s why they’re urging you to vote Yes on Issue 2 to Raise Ohio’s Minimum Wage.

It’s your chance to help 700,000 people lift themselves out poverty in Ohio. Because ending poverty isn’t about politics, it’s about doing what’s right.

On November 7, Vote Yes on Issue 2 to Raise Ohio’s Minimum Wage. Visit www.letjusticeroll.org to find out more about how to get involved.

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http://www.letjusticeroll.org/

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Evangelical Leaders Announce The Great Warming Call to Action Ads: Christian Radio Ads Call for Action on Climate Change

October 17, 2006, 11:53 am | Posted by

Prominent Christian evangelicals — including leaders of the Christian Coalition and National Association of Evangelicals — will host a press teleconference Thursday to announce The Great Warming Call to Action to convince people of faith that creation care and environmental stewardship must be a top policy priority.

The leaders on the call will announce extensive plans to promote a new Statement — signed by high-profile religious leaders from across the faith and ideological spectrum, key policy-makers, celebrities, environmental groups and many of the most respected scientists in the world — calling on our country to take immediate action to address climate change.

Plans to promote the Statement and Call to Action include airing ads on Christian radio stations across the country and widely distributing the statement to people of faith through churches and national and local religious organizations.

Speakers on the teleconference will address the importance of this issue to their communities and will take questions from reporters about the Statement, the Call to Action and the potential implications of both on the American religious and political landscape.

The Call to Action precedes the release of The Great Warming in Regal Cinemas on Nov. 3. The documentary will be initially shown in the top 50 markets in the country — a bigger initial release than that of Al Gore’s The Inconvenient Truth. Regal Cinemas, which does not generally release independent documentary films, committed to a national release of The Great Warming following months of calls from people who viewed the documentary in their communities and churches and became convinced that the movie must reach a broad audience in order to galvanize action on climate change.

WHO:

Rev. Dr. Joel Hunter, president of the Christian Coalition and Pastor of the 12,000-member Northland Church in Longwood, Fla.

Rev. Dr. Paul De Vries, National Association of Evangelicals board member and president of New York Divinity School

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta and civil rights leader

Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education and professor emeritus at Eastern University

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Call-in number: 1-800-658-0035, password: Great Warming, or visit http://www.thegreatwarming.com/

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