Interesting news piece out of the Chicago Tribune’s Lisa Anderson on Wallis and company’s efforts to increase the voice of Christian moderates and progressives: Christian Middle Seeking a Turn at Bully Pulpit. (free subscription may be required.)
The lede to the article:
Determined to break the links binding partisan politics and faith, growing numbers of religious moderates are uniting and organizing in an unprecedented bid to challenge the Christian right and broaden the values agenda beyond the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.
The November midterm elections serve as a kind of dress rehearsal for the more prominent role that these moderates, many without any political party alignment, hope to play in the 2008 presidential election and other political contests.
This new coalition of moderate and self-identified progressive Christians underscored its intentions with a flurry of activity this week, just as prominent conservative Christian leaders and politicians prepared to attend the Family Research Council’s first Values Voter Summit that opens in Washington on Friday.
“God is not a Republican or Democrat. That must be obvious, but it must be said,” said Jim Wallis, a leading evangelical and founder and president of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, a progressive faith-based movement concerned with poverty and the intersection of faith and
politics. “There has been this hijacking or takeover of the Republican Party by its right wing and hijacking of religion by the religious right.”
On Monday, Wallis, author of “God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It,” launched Red Letter Christians, an effort that takes its name from the red ink some Bibles use to highlight the words of Jesus Christ. A non-partisan faith-based campaign, it will open field offices in key battleground states and provide voter guides, speakers and information on such issues as poverty, social justice, education and the environment, but it will not endorse candidates.