Sojourners’ Wallis: Obama’s Troop Surge “A Mistake.”

posted by Shane Gleason

For the past several weeks Jim Wallis has published a series of blogs calling for Obama to change to a humanitarian approach to Afghanistan.

Obama’s recent escalation of forces has evoked a sharp response from Wallis:

We were promised fundamental change in the direction of U.S. policy around the world, and this isn’t it. We were promised change we can believe in, and this military escalation is not something many of us as faith leaders can believe in.

Wallis continues:

we will pray for our servicemen and women who will continue to sacrifice for a tragic strategy, for more innocent civilians in Afghanistan who will die from more military escalation, for a president whose deepest instincts we still trust, and for the soul of our own nation.

Sojourners: Wallis’ Afghan Appeal to be Presented to Obama

by Shane Gleason

A few weeks ago Sojourners appealed to Obama to rethink military strategy in Afghanistan and focus instead on humanitarian aid.

Now, a letter signed by a broad group of 187 NGOs has endorsed Wallis’ personal letter to the President which is set to be delivered to White House staff.

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

Sojourners: A “humanitarian and development surge in Afghanistan?”

Recent events in Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan suggest perhaps a change in policy toward humanitarian and developmental aid are on the way.

According to Jim Wallis, a change in direction, and pressure from the faith community is paramount:

Development and humanitarian assistance can no longer be an afterthought; they must be central to any strategy the U.S. government puts forward. It is time to stop arguing about the size of the hammer needed and begin looking at what other tools we might have in our belts.

Wallis: Americans are Sick of DC Politics

Commenting on the barely noticed 2010 election Jim Wallis argues Americans are tired of politics which lack a local and personal flavor. Commenting specifically on New York’s 23rd district where a Democrat has won for the first time since the Civil War:

I think people are tired of the power of money and the grip of power in politics. After 30 years in Washington, D.C., I know I’m tired of seeing the kind of influence money has in politics and was glad to see it resisted in several of the election results. I am sick of hearing the rants and raves of talk show hosts and demagoguery in politics, and the people of New York’s 23rd District showed quite clearly that they were not going to be steamrolled by it. One year ago, the majority of the people in this country voted for “a change they could believe in,” and many are still waiting.

Sojourners: Health care and Afghanistan

by Ruth Moon

Wallis highlights a health care ad produced by the American Values Network.

We need a new approach to Afghanistan, Wallis says.

Sojourners: Hate crimes legislation a milestone

by Ruth Moon

E-mail updates:

The health care reform bill introduced Thursday would “expand coverage to almost all Americans and overhaul the insurance industry while asking the wealthiest taxpayers to pay much of the tab.” An earlier update calls abortion and immigration “key sticking points” in the legislation.

Ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya could be returned to power, and odds aren’t looking good for a diplomatic solution in talks over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The hate crimes legislation that passed this week is a “milestone” that has been compared to civil rights legislation in the 60s.

A new law in Calif. gives attorney rights to poor people.

Recent sex trafficking raids in the U.S. resulted in charges against nearly 700 suspects.

America should take a new approach toward Afghanistan, Jim Wallis says: Lead by helping develop the country, and only use as many security forces as are needed for protection.