Faith in Public Life: The Problem of Hunger

posted by Shane Gleason

Just in time for the holidays Faith in Public Life has drawn attention to the New York Times’ coverage of the large increase in the use of food stamps in the recession.

They go on to highlight the pivotal role churches of several denominations are playing in remedying hunger.

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Faith in Public Life Weighs in on FRC feud with Represenative DeGette

by: Shane Gleason

Recently, the Family Research Council has engaged in a war of words with House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette over the role of Catholic bishops in the health care debate. Faith in Public Life’s reply is highly critical of the FRC. Faith in Public Life joined a broader group of commentators calling for FRC to revise its statement.

The next day the FRC changed its position, yet stopped short of what Faith in Public Life would consider an accurate and true statement.

To provide context:

In an interview with ABC Rep. DeGette stated:

“I gotta tell you, last I heard we had separation of church and state. I don’t think the Catholic bishops are in charge of writing our healthcare bill. I think that they are one of many groups that we should listen to, but in the end they should be concerned that 36 million more people in this country will get healthcare. Many of them are their parishioners.”

Which the FRC interpreted as:

“religiously-affiliated groups…should be shut out of the process” in the health care debate because of their support for the Stupak/Pitts amendment. She told The Hill, “Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”

Which was revised as:

“However, Rep. DeGette accused the Catholic Bishops of controlling the outcome of the health care legislation and also accused them and other conservative Christians of violating the ‘wall of separation’ between church and state.

Faith in Public Life: Pastors Lobbied Hard for Senate Health Care Bill

by Shane Gleason

Writing two days before the Senate vote to move the health care bill to the Senate floor Faith in Public Life reports several religious leaders planned on mobilizing on key Senators whose votes appeared in question in order to ensure debate on the Senate floor.

The Manhattan Declaration: Christians Unite on Life, Marriage, & Liberty

by Tobin Grant

Yesterday, a coalition of Christian leaders (some political, some not) announced the “Manhattan Declaration“.  Most of the leaders were Evangelicals, but conservative leaders from Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox churches were also signatories.

The Declaration is a call “to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good…These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.”

You can read more about the Declaration at the NYT.

Most of the signatories are conservatives, both politically and religiously.  However, there were many influential conservative groups that are part of this coalition.  Here is a breakdown of which of the groups we tracked signed the Declaration.

Groups that were original signatories:

  • ADF
  • Al Mohler
  • Chuck Colson/Break Point
  • Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Richard Land
  • Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Family Research Council
  • Focus on the Family Action
  • Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • Susan B. Anthony List

Groups that were not original signatories:

  • ACLJ
  • AFA
  • AUL
  • CBN
  • Center for Just Society
  • Center for Moral Clarity
  • CWA
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Liberty Counsel
  • National Right to Life Committee
  • Relevant’s “Reject Apathy”
  • Sojourners
  • Traditional Values Coalition

Faith In Public Life: LDS Church Backs Gay Rights Ordinance

Faith in Public Life is reporting the LDS (Mormon) Church has backed Salt Lake City’s proposed gay rights ordinance. According to a church representative:

“The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage,” church spokesman Michael Otterson said in the presentation. “The church remains unequivocally committed to defending the bedrock foundation of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Faith in Public Life has taken no position either in favor or against the move.

Faith in Public Life: Gay Marriage and the Role of Evangelicals in the 2009 and 2010 Elections

In a summary of  last week’s elections Faith in Public Life highlights the role evangelicals played in working for gay marriage in Maine

Moreover, the Virginia governor’s race and the New York 23rd District race, offer two competing visions for evangelicals in politics:

-It’ll be interesting to see whether the Virginia strategy or the upstate New York plan predominate in 2010. The religious right’s role in a changing GOP hangs in the balance.

Faith in Public Life: Hate crimes and health care

by Ruth Moon

Faith-based groups are still calling for an affordable health care plan.

The hate crimes legislation passed last week likely won’t affect pastors in the way many faith groups are claiming.

NPR has a map of U.S. hate crimes legislation.