Progressive evangelical leaders form new lobbying group
By Michelle Boorstein
One year into the Obama administration, it seems too early to weigh the influence - or potential influence - of the "progressive evangelical movement."
These are the people who often advise Democratic candidates on faith issues and try to get evangelical Christians to prioritize issues like global warming and torture over fighting Roe v. Wade or gays marrying. And certainly progressive faith campaigns had an influence on everything from Obama's signing of executive orders reducing torture to his cautious wording about public funding for abortions in his health care proposals.
And now a couple familiar faces from the progressive evangelical world are forming a lobbying/advocacy group, hoping to put more cohesion and power behind this movement. Yes, I know Washington lobbyists and advocates aren't considered celebs in the Real World, but for those of us who watch faith-based advocacy, Richard Cizik (longtime lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals who was pushed out in 2008 after saying he supports civil unions) and David Gushee (president of Evangelicals for Human Rights) are sort of as close as it gets.
They launched earlier this month by pushing for more debt relief for Haiti, following the earthquake there.
Sure, such groups may be able to join the Sojourners' movement and at times channel parts of the enormous evangelical Christian community for new issues, but do they really represent the mainstream when it comes to issues like abortion and sexuality? This is where the rubber meets the road, it seems.
Later today I'm interviewing Cizik, Gushee and Steve Martin, who run the new New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, so perhaps I'll have some excerpts soon. Email me questions you'd like me to ask them.
Michelle Boorstein| January 29, 2010; 9:58 AM ET | Category: God in Government Save & Share:
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