News Release

Religion and Politics

REV. JIM WALLIS
Editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine, Rev. Wallis said: “Al Gore and George W. Bush have talked about how much Jesus influenced them. The question has been whether that’s an appropriate thing for a candidate to talk about. It is very appropriate for a candidate to speak of their personal faith — if they say what it means in relation to public policy issues. So what would Jesus say about poverty in the midst of prosperity? What would Jesus say about 44 million Americans without health insurance?…. Talking about whether Bush’s speech at Bob Jones University will affect how Catholics vote is a way of pretending to talk about religion while actually just horseracing the field. The real question is how the candidates will relate to the growing importance of faith-based organizations.”
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REV. LUCIUS WALKER
Executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, Rev. Walker said: “The presidential election is largely about the buying and selling of public office and that’s morally reprehensible. The method of the election of the highest office is morally bankrupt because it’s dependent on the god of green rather than the God of the scriptures. We need to drive the money changers from the temple of our democracy…. The margin of difference between the major candidates is fairly narrow — they’re two sides of the same coin.”
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REV. MEL WHITE
Rev. White is co-chair of Soulforce, a network of people of faith committed to applying Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence to the liberation of sexual minorities. Before coming out as a gay man, White was a ghost writer for leaders of the “religious right” including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. “The fundamentalist right frequently condemns people who disagree with them,” Dr. White said. “Now Mr. McCain has condemned the fundamentalist right with equal fury. What have we gained? Nothing. We need political leaders who understand that ends do not justify the means. Right, left, or center, we are fellow Americans, sisters and brothers, children of the same Creator. If a person wants to bring us together as our President, he or she must bring us together as a candidate as well. These political campaigns stir up divisiveness. They leave us worse off than when we started. Demeaning and caricaturing our enemies only leads to anger and violence. I agree with Mr. McCain that the rhetoric of Robertson and Falwell is dangerous and untrustworthy. But when I stoop to that same kind of rhetoric in condemning them, I become dangerous and untrustworthy myself.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167