Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Faith Caucus at DNC

In what I hear is a first time ever, there was a 2 hour faith caucus today at the Democratic National Convention.

The moderator for both sessions was Rev. Jim Wallis (God's Politics; Why the Right is Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it). The first topic was "What are the pressing moral values issues of the day? How can progressives and conservatives find common ground." The panelists included Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Bishops DeJesus and Rabbi Jack Moline. I confess I missed most of the first hour.

The next panel addressed "How should the next presidential administration engage people of faith?" Panelists were Rabbi Saperstein, Prof. John DiIulio (first director of faith based community initiatives under W), Rev. Otis Moss and Joshua DuBois (national director of religious affairs for Obama). What a great hour! They grappled with

- "the blessing of separation of church & state,"
- quoted MLK that the church should not be the master of government, nor the servant of government, but the conscience of the government
- ways that government can support faith based initiatives without establishing a religion
- the need for the church to have a strong voice on moral issues
- instead of pursing grants from the government, being the voice of justice in every branch of government
- how to have faith based initiatives work with people of all faiths to avoid the establishment clause.

Wouldn't it be great to have folks from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths forming a 501(c)(3) to care for the "least, lost and the left behind"? People of all faiths (or even no faith) and all colors - not pushing their God, but caring for their neighbor. Now that is justice.


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