The Huffington Post Press Items
By March 18, 2010, the American health care debate had reached its fever pitch as our Congress stood poised to pass or reject one of the most consequential pieces of legislation to trudge through its halls since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights act of 1965.
President Obama, too, has waxed less biblically of late. Despite the potential for support among evangelical progressives on immigration reform, as witnessed by the mobilizing work of Sojourners, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, and many others, he made no references to the many biblical passages that call for hospitality to resident aliens in his address to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials on June 22.
While I'm not exactly known for packing light when I travel, my unusually cumbersome luggage for the festival contained the various gadgets and gizmos that would allow me to work from my campsite on the farm -- live blogging about the festival, complete with video, audio and photos, and the help of four Sojourners interns who were set to arrive Thursday afternoon.
I made a new friend, fellow HuffPost blogger Chris Stedman from the Humanist Community Project and heard him talk about his new book and his reasons for being an atheist and how he is networking to do interfaith projects with atheists and religious people. I shared a coffee with Jim Wallis (my fellow HuffPost blogger) and heard the wonderful news about how he has bridged the gap between left and right... at least in one area as he has been working with some major evangelical right wing leaders who have -- at last -- decided to back real immigration reform.
Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald, for instance, calls it "a valuable and important (and plainly just) policy change." Mexican President Felipe Calderón, extending gratitude to Obama on behalf of his country, characterizes it as a "humanitarian action" and "unprecedented." It is "good news, which gives hope and a future for young immigrants," says the Reverend Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners, a national Christian social justice organization. Meanwhile, Jose Antonio Vargas at Define American sees it as a "big, bold and necessary step in the road to citizenship," and calls upon his readers to thank Obama "for this principled and courageous act."
Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, said he supports including same-sex couples in the definition of family and acknowledged there are differences of opinion within the evangelical community. But he said the fact that there is a diverse coalition working toward immigration reform is important, even if they don't agree on one piece of the issue.
Today in Washington, D.C., several of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian leaders will join together to announce a statement of principles that they hope will spur Congress and the president to finally pursue comprehensive reforms to our nation's dysfunctional immigration legal system.
Both Republicans and Democrats have a religion problem and it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, abortion or religious liberty. Rather it is budgets, deficits, and debt ceiling deadlines that are their serious stumbling blocks.
In the fall of 2010, we saw a disturbing rise in religious intolerance in the U.S. From the much-politicized opposition to a proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City to a fundamentalist pastor's threat to burn Qurans, a wave of Islamophobia appeared to be sweeping the country.
Through her encouragement and guidance, I volunteered at Sojourners Neighborhood Center, tutoring youth in an after-school program. I also accompanied refugees from El Salvador returning to their homeland from Honduras, traveling to El Salvador three times in one year.