Monday, January 17, 2005

Democrats Turn to Leader of Religious Left: "Democrats, reeling from the Republicans' success at courting churchgoers, are focusing new attention on a religious and political anomaly: Jim Wallis, one of the few prominent left-leaning leaders among evangelical Protestants.

"At the start of the Congressional session, Senate Democrats invited Mr. Wallis to address their members at a private session to discuss issues. A group of about 15 House Democrats invited him to a breakfast discussion about dispelling their party's secular image. And NBC News has enlisted him to appear as a guest during its inauguration coverage opposite Dr. James C. Dobson, one of the most prominent evangelical conservatives."

"Mr. Wallis, a registered Democrat, told the senators that the Bible contains more than 3,000 references to alleviating poverty. He said Democrats needed to do a better job of explaining the moral and religious foundations of policies intended to help the poor, protect the environment and reduce violence.

"He also urged the Democrats to look for middle ground on the social issues most troubling to religious traditionalists, like obscenity and abortion. Whatever their stance on abortion rights, he argued, Democrats need to treat its occurrence as a moral problem and propose ways to reduce it."

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