Feeling patriotic this weekend? Take some action to ensure that all of your fellow citizens have equal access to the vote. The Voting Rights Act is among the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation in our nations’ history. It enjoys broad bi-partisan support, but is being held up in the House by a determined group of GOP legislators. Check out this page to see how faith leaders are speaking up to break this Congressional logjam before the VRA can expire. For more info, check out www.renewthevra.org. Happy 4th!
According to the New York Times,
“House Republican leaders abruptly canceled a planned vote to renew the Voting Rights Act on Wednesday after a rebellion by lawmakers who said the civil rights measure unfairly singled out Southern states and unnecessarily required ballots to be printed in foreign languages.”
And as the Los Angeles Times points out,
“The effort to amend the requirement that nine states clear election laws with the Justice Department was led by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.). The requirement, he argued, unfairly singled out Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.”
Of course, these states do have a long history of discriminating against minority voters, and recent studies of Ohio and Florida show that the statist tendency continues to manifest itself by disenfranchising American voters.
So, who is Lynn Westmoreland?
Oh yeah, he’s the guy who appeared on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report on Monday to chat about his other agenda: posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings to help folks remember the Rules.
Watch the clip to see what happens when Stephen Colbert asks Rep. Westmoreland if he can remember those rules himself.
It’s an exciting time to be a blogger interested in faith and progressive politics. There are more of us every day (we’ll be featuring some of the best here at FPL), and national leaders in our community are becoming more and more aware of how important blogs can be in spreading the good news about their work. With all that energy in the cyber-air, it’s almost providential that we get to announce that the first ever Progressive Faith Blog Con is on its way.
The Blog Con will take place from July 14-16 in Montclair, NJ (just outside of New York). It’s the brain-child of some of the best minds in our corner of the blogosphere, and will feature Velveteen Rabbi, Mainstream Baptist, Chuck Currie, Pastor Dan of Street Prophets, XPatriated Texan, Talk to Action, Philocrites, CrossLeft, JSpot, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, and many, many more. Check out the site for more details on attending. You won’t want to miss it! The buzz about the event is already building here, here, here, here, and, well, you get the point.
We at FPL are thrilled to be working on this, and will be sure to keep you all up to date as the calendar ticks down to July 14. Register now (space is limited!), spread the good word on your blogs, and make sure you’re there for this landmark event.
Welcome to Faith in Public Life’s corner of the blogosphere! We’re glad to join the hundreds of bloggers out there in this growing and exciting community. Like any responsible new neighbor, we’ll try to make a good first impression, keep the yard looking tidy, and not make TOO much noise.
As you’ve hopefully noticed from the rest of this website, Faith in Public Life isn’t a normal organization. We exist as a resource center for faith communities working for justice and the common good. When we do our jobs right, we provide faith leaders and community members with the tools they need to more effectively carry out their work. When our partners win, we win, so to speak.
In keeping with this mission, this blog won’t be entirely normal either. We’ll feature our share of staff-written content on current events at the intersection of religion and politics, but we’ll spend most of our time featuring the best work of others, in an attempt to build up the strongest voices for justice and the common good in our community.
What does it mean to use a blog to provide resources to the community? We’ll frequently feature cross posts from bloggers whose voices add to the national debate on faith in politics. We’ll have guest blogs from our board members and partners who don’t maintain regular blogs but who are excited by the chance to engage in conversations with this community. We’ll put together a weekly highlight reel of the most interesting posts from far and wide in the faith blogosphere. And we’ll use the blog to post audio and video clips of our partners making an impact in mainstream media outlets.
We hope that this blog can play a role in building up this exciting community. Leave comments, tell us all what you think, and spread the word about Faith in Public Life as a resource center for bloggers who care about faith, justice, and the common good.