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April 21, 2005

National Council of Churches on "Justice Sunday"

-- by Thomas Leavitt

[This is the lead statement on the website of the National Council of Churches. -Thomas]

Disagreeing Without Demonizing

NCC General Secretary Challenges Planners of 'Justice Sunday' for Attacking Fellow Christians

A partisan political campaign to change the Senate filibuster rules has taken a detour through church-state territory, and NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar has challenged the tactics as "dangerous and divisive" to the nation's religious and public life. In a statement issued Tuesday, Edgar says:
"We are surprised and grieved by a campaign launched this week by Family Research Council and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who said that those who disagree with them on President Bush’s judicial nominees are 'against people of faith.'
"This campaign, which they are calling 'Justice Sunday,' should properly be called 'Just-Us' Sunday. Their attempt to impose on the entire country a narrow, exclusivist, private view of truth is a dangerous, divisive tactic. It serves to further polarize our nation, and it disenfranchises and demonizes good people of faith who hold political beliefs that differ from theirs.
"To brand any group of American citizens as 'anti-Christian' simply because they differ on political issues runs counter to the values of both faith and democracy. It is especially disheartening when that accusation is aimed at fellow Christians. [Emphasis theirs. -T] The National Council of Churches encompasses more than 45 million believers across a broad spectrum of theology and politics who work together on issues important to our society. If they disagree with Senator Frist's political positions, are these 45 million Christians now considered 'anti-Christian'?
"In the spirit of 1 Timothy 6:3-5, we urge Senator Frist and the Family Research Council to reconsider their plan. We will be praying for the Lord to minister to them and change their hearts so that they will not continue to take our nation down this destructive path."

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at April 21, 2005 1:35 PM

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I think we need a blogswarm to persuade the cable harpies that they have to start inviting people for the National Council of Churches and other normal Christian groups.

Also, PBS.

Posted by: Alice Marshall at April 21, 2005 2:07 PM

...alright, NCC! That's exactly the point that needed - and still needs - to be made loud and long. There are lots of progressive-minded Christians that are...er..uh, hurt...yeah, that's it...hurt that we are being trashed as not being people of faith just because we disagree on some social points...

...actually we are more something else other than hurt, but let's go with hurt...

Posted by: Jack K. at April 21, 2005 3:29 PM

So now the religious wars are heating up. It's about time. Jim Wallace, of Sojourners, also an Evangelical has been going at it for a long time; his book, "God's Politics," which actually made the NY Times Best Seller list, takes on the Religious Right theological point by theological point. There's a long history of the Religious Right hating the National Council of Churches; I'm glad they're speaking out.

The media hasn't been covering anything the liberal churches have been doing, and they've been doing plenty.

Posted by: MJ at April 21, 2005 4:08 PM

NCCUSA has been at it for a long time, way before the war started.

They tried to meet with Predident Bush before the war, but they were rebuffed even though President Bush's denomination is a member.

NCCUSA led the boycot against Taco Bell to get a pay raise of a penny a pound for the tomato pickers. They are very involved in poverty issues and they have condemned this years budgetary priorities.

Then there is Democracy Drive(?) a bus tour to garner attention that everybody is not a right wing christian, and Melanie launched her new site today:


We are here, we just don't have the infrastructure and echo chambers the shrieky wheel on the right have,

Posted by: grannyinsanity at April 21, 2005 5:04 PM

National Response to "Justice Sunday":


Posted by: Hannah at April 23, 2005 10:06 AM

Granny, progressive people of faith are getting organized - see www.fvcommunity.org/beloved/

Posted by: Hannah at April 23, 2005 10:07 AM

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