God is Not a Republican.  Or a Democrat.
Published in: Sojourners
August 30th, 2004
WWW.SOJO.net/PR_040830

                                 God is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat.

 Christian Leaders Refute Religious Right's Claim that Bush is God's Candidate
Tens of thousands sign petition and place full-page ad in Monday's New York Times

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 30, 2004 - More than 40 Christian leaders and 40,000 faithful citizens signed a petition
declaring that "God is not a Republican...or a Democrat" and that the Religious Right does not speak for them. The
petition refutes claims by Jerry Falwell that "Evangelical Christians...need to get serious about re-electing President
Bush" and by Pat Robertson that "George Bush is going to win in walk...the Lord's just blessing him." The petition
calls for all Christians to take back their faith and appears as a full-page ad in Monday's The New York Times, paid
for by nearly 3,500 supporters of Sojourners, the national Christian magazine and organization that initiated the
petition.

The petition, found at www.takebackourfaith.org, further declares that Christians acting on personal conviction can
choose to vote for any candidate, and that they should consider a range of moral issues in this election, rejecting
single-issue voting. It notes that: "We believe all candidates should be examined by measuring their policies against
the complete range of Christian ethics and values."

Rev. Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, explained: "When poverty has risen each of the past three years -
that's a religious issue. The war in Iraq - that's a religious issue. Taking care of the environment - that's a religious
issue." Rev. Wallis added, "This behavior by the Religious Right -- ordaining George W. Bush as 'God's candidate' -
is theologically outrageous. How did the faith of Jesus come to be known as pro-rich and pro-war? They've tried to
hijack our faith - it's time to take it back."

In the two weeks since the campaign's launch, more than 40,000 people have signed the online petition. The ad
includes 45 prominent signers, including heads of denominations, presidents and professors of Christian seminaries
and colleges, pastors, and authors. The diverse signatories include prominent Christians from across the theological
spectrum, including best-selling evangelical author Philip Yancey, Yale theologian Miroslav Volf, Fuller Theological
Seminary ethicist Glen Stassen, Evangelical Covenant Church president Rev. Glen Palmberg, Candler School of
Theology professor of social ethics Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr., Baptist minister and evangelical speaker Tony
Campolo, Reformed Church in America general secretary Rev. Wes Granberg- Michaelson, Benedictine author Joan
Chittister, Duke theological ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas, and Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM.

Due to an outpouring of responses from people across the nation, the petition is also appearing as a full-page ad
this morning in The News & Advance (Rev. Falwell's local newspaper in Lynchburg, VA) and The Virginian-Pilot (Mr.
Robertson's local newspaper in Hampton Roads, VA). In response to thousands of individual donations, Sojourners
is also establishing a fund to help people of faith place the ad in their hometown newspapers.

Rev. Brian McLaren, popular Christian author and pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Maryland, described
the petition's purpose this way: "The Religious Right has a powerful hold on many individuals and churches in our
country. Many of them have never even heard a responsible counterpoint expressed by thoughtful, biblically rooted
Christian thinkers and leaders."

Placement of full-page ads on the first day of the Republican National Convention follows the delivery of a similar
message by Rev. Wallis to the Democratic National Convention in an address to a luncheon on faith and politics in
Boston that week and in a Boston Globe op-ed in which Rev. Wallis declared that "the best public contribution of
religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable or a loyal partisan."
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