Clergy Concerned For Fairness in Politics sign now

Clergy Concerned For Fairness in Politics

As Christian clergy, reflecting different traditions, genders, and races in the United States, we the undersigned, regardless of our party affiliation or our particular personal support of individual candidates, want to express our concern for fairness in politics.

In particular, we want to express dismay at circulating rumors which discount or deny that Senator Barack Obama is a Christian in good standing. As a long-time member of a United Church of Christ congregation in Chicago, Senator Obama stands firmly and faithfully within the Protestant heritage, and deliberate misinformation asserting he is a Muslim is contrary to the truth.

Regardless of our political differences, it is imperative that the significance of this moment in our nation's political history not be violated by misstatements and efforts to demean Senator Obama's faithful membership in the church.

We share these concerns about some reactions to the campaign of Senator Obama for the presidential nomination. Some have used his early education, the interracial/inter-faith reality of his parents and his middle name to disparage him. Others have claimed that the predominantly African American Church to which the Senator belongs is racially exclusive. Even the false claim has been made that "Senator Obama took his oath of office by placing his hand on the Koran.

It is fair and appropriate that Senator Obama should be questioned and challenged on his policy positions, but deliberate distortions of his history and his religious faith does a disservice to the democratic process that we claim to value.

Citizens of many religious traditions in the United States today serve with distinction in public service, the military, and in all walks of life. Americas greatness is reflected in the way persons of all religionsJew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and othersare respected and live together in harmony and for the common good.

In this period when we celebrate the birthday anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr., let us reaffirm his famous words: "We have inherited a world house in which we have to live togetherblack and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindua family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace."

We invite others to join us in truth-telling and the quest for fairness in this important season of American life and history.

Gilbert H. Caldwell, Pastor & African-American Civil Rights Activist, Asbury Park, NJ

Donald E. Messer, President Emeritus, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO

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Cory MooneyBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
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Christian clergy of all denominations in the USA

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