At a Sojourners presidential forum on faith, values and poverty this week, three Democratic frontrunners -- Clinton, Edwards and Obama -- connected their personal faith to policy issues such as poverty, health care, immigration and war. How might this new direction by Democrats change the conversation on faith and politics?
Posted by Sally Quinn and Jon Meachamon June 6, 2007 4:20 AM
FROM THE PANEL
The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy leads the nonpartisan educational organizations the Interfaith Alliance and the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, and hosts the latter's national weekly radio show, State of Belief. The “On Faith” panelist also serves as pastor for preaching and worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, La. Gaddy has written more than 20 books, which reflect his interest in the intersection of religion, media and activism as well as his progressive view of the Baptist church, including: I Give You My Word: Sharing the Language of Life ” with Walter Cronkite; Faith and Politics: What's a Christian to Do ?; Adultery and Grace: the Ultimate Scandal ; and A Love Affair With God: Finding Freedom & Intimacy in Prayer . Gaddy also is one of 20 religious members of the Council of 100 leaders, a group created by the World Economic Forum to foster dialogue between Western and Muslim countries. He has served in leadership roles at the national Alliance of Baptists, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Commission of Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance, Board of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Baptist World Alliance, and Southern Baptist Convention. The Interfaith Alliance was created in 1994 to celebrate religious freedom and to challenge the bigotry and hatred arising from religious and political extremism infiltrating American politics. Today, The Interfaith Alliance has 185,000 members across the country representing 75 faith traditions a well as those of no faith tradition. It is supported by 47 local activist groups and a cyber-network of 45,000 people. Gaddy earned his undergraduate degree from Union University in Tennessee and his doctoral degree and divinity training from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
Few questions were raised that lay outside the realm of popular hot-button issues.Welton GaddyLeader of the Interfaith Alliance | 8COMMENTS
Jun 8, 2007 at 10:49 AM
Jim Wallis is president and executive director of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, progressive Christian movements founded to fight poverty and promote social justice. He also is the author of the best-selling God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (2005). The “On Faith” panelist was raised in a Midwest evangelical family. As a teenager, his questioning of the racial segregation in his church and community led him to the black churches and neighborhoods of inner-city Detroit. He spent his student years involved in the civil rights and antiwar movements. While at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, Wallis and several other students started a small magazine and community with a Christian commitment to social justice that has grown into a national faith-based organization and network. In 1979, Time magazine named Wallis one of the “50 Faces for America’s Future.” Wallis also is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine and speaks at more than 200 events each year. Some of his other books include Faith Works; The Soul of Politics: A Practical and Prophetic Vision for Change; Who Speaks for God? A New Politics of Compassion, Community, and Civility; and Call to Conversion.Jim WallisPresident, Sojourners/Call to Renewal | 61COMMENTS
“On Faith” panelist Brian D. McLaren is a best-selling author, pastor and intellectual leader of “emerging church,” a Christian evangelical movement that seeks new ways to worship and understand the gospel in a postmodern era. He serves as a board chair for Sojourners/Call to Renewal, an evangelical social justice ministry, and is a founding member of Red Letter Christians, a network of progressive evangelical leaders who seek to apply Christian values to a broad agenda of concerns, including poverty, environmental care and advancing peace. McLaren, who is founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Maryland, has lectured widely in the United States and abroad. His topics include postmodern thought and culture, Biblical studies, evangelism, inter-religious dialogue, ecology, and social justice. His eight books include A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Secret Message of Jesus. In 2005, McLaren was named by TIME magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.Brian D. McLarenBest-selling author and intellectual leader of “emerging church” | 26COMMENTS
Charles W. "Chuck" Colson is founder of Prison Fellowship, a Christian outreach ministry to the prison population of this country, as well as to ex-prisoners and crime victims. The "On Faith" panelist's daily radio commentary, BreakPoint, is aired daily on over a 1,000 radio outlets nationwide. Colson also is a syndicated columnist, lawyer, and author of 25 books, most recently The Faith (2008). He served as special counsel to the late President Richard M. Nixon (1969-73). After pleading guilty to a Watergate-related charge of obstruction of justice in 1974, Colson served seven months of a one to three-year federal prison sentence. His 1973 Christian conversion was documented in the internationally best-selling book and film, Born Again. He founded Prison Fellowship in 1976. In 1993, Colson was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and donated the $1 million prize to Prison Fellowship. In the last 28 years, Colson has visited more than 600 prisons in 40 countries and, with the help of nearly 50,000 volunteers, has built Prison Fellowship into the world's largest prison outreach, serving the spiritual and practical needs of prisoners in 93 countries including the U.S.Charles "Chuck" ColsonFounder, Prison Fellowship ministry | 25COMMENTS
» david rupert | I think we would all be better served if those of faith spoke from the heart and those who had no faith just kept quiet. I dont want to be pandered ...
» Keith | Its a natural and completely predictable convergence. Christianity and socialism are completely similar and easily harmonized. The only significant ob...