With Religious Right figures like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry dominating the Republican primary field, the spotlight is once again on the so-called “values voter.”
Too often – and especially in elections years — “values” are treated as the sole territory of the Religious Right.
While FPL and others have done a lot of work to show exactly why this is not the case, progressives and people of faith concerned about social justice need to continue to work hard to make sure their voices, and values, are heard.
Enter Faithful America’s Real Values Agenda which calls on people of faith to stand up for basic values such as economic justice – much needed pushback when leading figures on the Right are advocating for shifting more of the tax burden to the poor.
Check out the Agenda and endorse it here.
Real Values Agenda
- We stand for integrity in word and deed, holding our elected leaders accountable and advocating prophetically for what’s right. We do not tolerate the abuse of faith to score political points or using lies and smears to promote an ideological agenda.
- We believe the moral measure of America is judged by how those who have the least are treated, not Wall Street profits. It is not compassionate or responsible to expect wealth to “trickle down” while children go hungry and parents can’t pay their medical bills. The wealthiest should pay their fair share before struggling families are asked to sacrifice even more.
- We believe we’re all in this together, and that real leaders put the common good ahead of self-interest. Our communities and nation are strongest when we keep our promises to seniors, protect safety nets that save lives and create jobs that honor the dignity of work.
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Progressive leader Van Jones has launched a new campaign called the American Dream Movement to counter the Tea Party and shift Washington’s focus back to the struggles of working Americans.
Faithful America was proud its members participated in the campaign’s platform-building process and were excited to be included as an example of the diversity of the coalition Jones’s mentioned in an interview with Aaron Krager at In These Times:
What kind of leaders does this campaign need?
The good thing about the leadership of the American Dream movement is that it looks like America. We’ve got everybody from Planned Parenthood to Faithful America to the Sierra Club inside one network fighting for a better economy. Once we release the Contract for the American Dream, more voices will rally around it. More will lift it up and say this would be good for my community–I’m Latino, I’m lesbian, I’m a student, I’m Asian, I’m a farmer, but this contract would help me.
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**The following is a guest post from Julie West, a Faithful America member and small business owner in Altoona, Iowa.**
As a member of Faithful America, I had the opportunity to participate in a peaceful rally at the Iowa State Capitol on August 9th to challenge the social injustices and dishonest rhetoric promoted by the Religious Right’s “Values Voters” bus tour, which coincides with the GOP presidential candidate debate and Straw Poll held this week. Our group of 14, holding up a banner that read “Thou Shalt Not Lie”, held a brief program declaring our belief that caring for the needy, upholding social justice, and truthfulness in political campaigns are faith and values issues. We then stood in solidarity along the sidewalk across the street from the tour bus, which was emblazoned with the message “Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Religious Liberties,” as political operatives advanced their a discriminatory, fear-mongering agenda while proclaiming their “faith” and “values”.
Our goal at the event was to show that the “Values Voters” tour doesn’t speak for the majority of the faith-based community. Unfortunately, a political bus tour draws a lot more attention. However, we did share our message with several media organizations, and our message was included in TV, radio and print media coverage. They also reported that the media outnumbered the “Values Voters” supporters, which were fewer than twenty.
After the grandiose dialogues ended and the bus headed to its next stop, several of us from Faithful America chatted with a journalist with the Norwegian Business Daily, who was covering the GOP events this week. I asked him what he thought of the message the “Values Voters” were promoting. He was silent for a moment, then said “They are kind of crazy, aren’t they.” He shook his head repeatedly as we discussed their lack of substance. So, THAT’S how the rest of the world sees these people. I hope and pray that it’s contagious in the United States.
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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) has been a strong voice calling for moral budgets in the political conversation of the last few months. While comical, his characterization of last week’s debt ceiling deal as a “Satan sandwich” summed up how many people of faith felt about the proposal that included unfair cuts to programs that serve working families and vulnerable Americans and asked for no shared sacrifice from the wealthy and powerful.
This morning, Faithful America members from the Kansas City area met with Rep. Cleaver to share their thoughts on the debt deal, the budget and the status of our moral economy. We’re thankful to Rep. Cleaver for his willingness to engage his constituents and his leadership on these issues.
Photos from the event this morning:
Credit: Rep. Cleaver’s office
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Over the last week Nick has been posting about our fantastic finalists for America’s Next Top Faith Voice.
Today, we are thrilled to announce our winner is Rev. Nicole Lamarche!
Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Nicole is currently starting a congregation in Silicon Valley. She’s a former Miss California who is now an advocate for veterans suffering from PTSD and for a more just economy and now she’ll be an advocate for progressive people of faith in the media.
Here’s Nicole’s application video:
Faithful America’s bringing Nicole to Washington, DC, for extensive media and politics training, and our top-notch media team stands ready to amplify her voice. If you’d like to support Nicole and Faithful America in their efforts you can make a donation here.
Thanks to all who voted!
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