God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Christian Churches Together – Finally

posted by gp_intern

I want to alert our whole constituency to a development of major importance. Since 2001, a conversation has been quietly taking place among American church leaders from all of our church families about what it would take to come together in common fellowship, common unity, and common voice on the most important issues of our time. For many years now, the churches of the United States have been divided, with evangelical, pentecostal, mainline Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Black, Latino, and Asian Christians all gathered in different organizations and around separate “tables,” often even with multiple tables within each group. While there has been cross-fertilization on projects, campaigns, and issues, there has been no genuinely “ecumenical” or “inter-denominational” organization in the United States that crossed all of our dividing lines – until now.

In Pasadena, California, last week, Christian Churches Together (CCT) was formally launched after almost six years of conversation, fellowship, worship, and prayer together. Thirty-six churches and national organizations from virtually all of the key U.S. church groups formally joined with one another over meetings on February 6-9, culminating in a powerful worship service with the church “families” visibly coming together.

A consensus was been reached on the key importance of evangelism and the biblical imperative to overcome poverty – and those two most basic commitments will shape the new fellowship. In Pasadena, each of the “five families” – Evangelical/Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Racial/Ethnic, Historic Protestant, and Orthodox – each shared their interpretation of Jesus’ “mission statement” in Luke 4:18, and asked, “Is Jesus’ proclamation our proclamation?” The convergence on the meaning of evangelization today was quite incredible; a strong emphasis on “discipleship” and “the kingdom of God” was central to all the presentations. Bishop Stephen Blaire, from the Catholic Diocese of Stockton, Calif., expressed our common understanding that the root of evangelism is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

And that relationship to Jesus is the foundation of our witness in the world. In a statement on poverty, the leaders said, “Our faith in Christ who is the truth compels us to confront the ignorance of and indifference to the scandal of widespread, persistent poverty in this rich nation. We must call this situation by its real names: moral failure, unacceptable injustice.” The leaders of CCT declared, “We believe that a renewed commitment to overcome poverty is central to the mission of the church and essential to our unity in Christ.” Dr. William Shaw of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., one of the founding “Presidents” of CCT, said that poverty “will not be redressed without intentional and painful effort by the total U.S. community. CCT calls the country’s conscience to that effort and commits itself to being a part of that redressing.”

The next meeting of the church leaders will be in January of 2008, in Washington, D.C., in the heat of a presidential election campaign. In the nation’s capitol, the church leaders from across America’s theological and political spectrum hope to both re-commit themselves to the mission of eliminating the “scandal” of U.S. domestic poverty and to call upon the candidates from both parties to put poverty near the very top of the nation’s political agenda. That, my friends, is a big deal.

“Seeing the leaders of all the participating churches and organizations standing and praying together in their commitment to this vision was a powerful, visible sign of hope,” said Wes Granberg-Michaelson of the Reformed Church in America, who was the first moderator of CCT. “We have said from the beginning that our purpose is to grow closer together in Christ in order to strengthen our Christian witness in the world. In Pasadena we all experienced how this is truly happening and this fills us with joy for the future.”

In a service of commitment and celebration to formally launch CCT, Bishop James Leggett of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church urged us to follow the prayer of Jesus, “That all might be one.” Dr. Shaw, Bishop Leggett, Rev. Larry Pickens, Father Leonid Kishkovsky, and Bishop Richard Sklba of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (representing Cardinal William Keeler of the Archdiocese of Baltimore), the first presidents of the five faith families of CCT, joined in lighting candles as a sign of unity.

Quoting a statement from his mother, Methodist Rev. Pickens said that the wisdom that will keep CCT together is to “remember that you belong to God and God does not belong to you.” Rev. Kishkovsky of the Orthodox Church in America said, “CCT is good news for American Christians. Our gathering of the wider spectrum of U.S. Christian churches is succeeding in building mutual trust and overcoming stereotypes. Our common hope and expectation is that CCT will enable our churches to offer a strong and united Christian moral voice and vision in the public square.”

And for the first time in ecumenical gatherings, four national Christian organizations were also invited to a place at the churches’ table: World Vision, Bread for the World, Evangelicals for Social Action, and Sojourners/Call to Renewal. This is all a very hopeful sign and one can only imagine the impact of all these churches’ constituencies joining together in both more common fellowship and voice – especially as the idea of CCT spreads down to the congregational and community level of the churches’ life. That is now the next step. God is good.



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Deryll

posted February 15, 2007 at 6:23 pm


[Quoting a statement from his mother, Methodist Rev. Pickens said that the wisdom that will keep CCT together is to remember that you belong to God and God does not belong to you. ] Help us/me, oh Lord, to remember!



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Mike Hayes

posted February 15, 2007 at 6:40 pm


Jim Wallis, Thanks for mentioning this to us. May this also lead to some coordinated, timely messaging to elected officials, as issues arise in our state legislatures and in congress, prior to voting by the members.



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Payshun

posted February 15, 2007 at 6:55 pm


That’s beautiful. Still not fully fond of the whole evangelism thing but I can see the goodness you all want to do. p



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George E. Marquis

posted February 15, 2007 at 9:00 pm


Re: Division among the churches. What do you expect?Jesus Christ founded His Church upon the Apostles and elected Peter the Bishop of Rome. Those are facts and can not be different. The Ennemie planted weeds during the nite. As long every body wants to be in charge, it will never happen. Christ is in charge.



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Shawna R. B. Atteberry

posted February 15, 2007 at 9:02 pm


That is wonderful news, and it’s about time.



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Kris Weinschenker

posted February 15, 2007 at 9:50 pm


Seems like all the “big” denominations are getting their major domos together to make sure congregations vote Democrat…by any means necessary.



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KevinK

posted February 15, 2007 at 10:09 pm


This is great news and a long time in coming. If the Church can’t come together at it’s most elementary level, there is no chance of it coming together on the great issues of our day. At the end of the day, it isn’t doctrine that matters…it is relationship. May the Lord be in your midst!



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Jodie

posted February 15, 2007 at 10:52 pm


Its about time. With out singling any one out I would like to congratulate Dr William Shaw of the National Baptist Convention. Being one of three white members of a National Baptist church I’m well aware of the flack he would have taken for being part of such and austere predominently white group. WELL DONE DR SHAW. Hopefully this group really will set the example for the rest of us. Congratulations . It is about time. May they and we truly be ONE in You Lord Jesus



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Chaplain Mary Murphy, War Wido

posted February 15, 2007 at 11:00 pm


Please consider our membership: National Faith-Based Coalition Disabled Veterans Enterprises a/k/a Veterans Chamber of Commerce whose Members are Veterans Incarcerated. One of our Board Members? VIetnam Medic:Suffering from exhaustion casualty – drugs and alcohol upon release – untreated PTSD – a life sentence – Dave found The Lord Jesus Christ and for 21 years was the Assistant to the Chaplain – now he has been given parole and 24 hours – seven days a week he is here to help birth this paradigm shift.



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MB

posted February 15, 2007 at 11:09 pm


Yea, I say it again, Yea!!!! May this be a beginning of a sweep of unification of the body across America. I too will be among them. May it be a pleasing aroma to our Lord. I love him so. This is an answered prayer. Again I pray it continues. Yea!!!!



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Sarah Butter

posted February 15, 2007 at 11:22 pm


Has this significant and important and essential development in American Christian Unity eceived any pres coverage? How do we make sure it does? Thanks be to God, and to all whose leadership has given birth to CCT. May its unity and faithfulness and strength of voice grow and grow. In Christ, Sarah Butter



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Tom Snyder, Ph.D.

posted February 15, 2007 at 11:43 pm


God is not a socialist. Neither is Jesus. Families should take care of families, and the church and the individual should help them, but the government should not be transferring wealth at the point of a gun and a tank cannon!!!! Re-read Deut. 14:28, 29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4, and 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Also, Proverbs 10:4 says, Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth, Proverbs 14:23 says, All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. And, although Proverbs 14:21 says, He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy, those who are able to work but don t work, do not qualify for such help. Also, those who have families to take care of them don t qualify, nor do widows under age 60 qualify, according to 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Furthermore, Jesus Christ says in Matthew 6 that when believers give individual charity, they should give such charity secretly: Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.God and Jesus say a lot about helping the poor, but they never invoke the power of government.



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Robert Hillman

posted February 16, 2007 at 12:09 am


after raising four children for eleven years in poverty and now not having food or insurance on my van and no one to help what a crock heres my address will anyone personally send me money? yeah right sure you will if personally people would obey LUKE CHAPTER SIX you wouldnt have to have meetings talking about HOW YOU SHOULD help the poor YOU WOULD actually do it Robert Hillman R R # 2 Monkton Ontario N0K1P0 and the mailbox will remain empty



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a follower of Christ

posted February 16, 2007 at 12:11 am


praise God.



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Robert Hillman

posted February 16, 2007 at 12:13 am


maybe the good Tom snyder should be the one to decide who cant work and who wont work like he can judge in righteousness right? the psalm says the wicked borrow and pay not again but the righteous shows mercy and gives what about LUKE SIX good doctor even sinners lend to sinners expecting the same again I am so sorry I was born stupid and cant be a doctor and make 100 grand a year maybe I should join the humanist league cause then I could be one of the ones they get rid of cause I aint smart nough and I iz to lazzy



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Songbird

posted February 16, 2007 at 12:27 am


Four Objectives CCT will promote its commitment to overcoming domestic poverty by inviting all Christians and all people, especially our leaders in public life, to embrace and implement the following objectives: to strengthen families and communities; because they are essential bulwarks against poverty; to reduce child poverty; we seek to cut child poverty by 50 percent in the next ten years; to make work work; by combating racism and guaranteeing that full time work offers a realistic escape from poverty and access to good health care; to strengthen the educational system in our country with particular attention to the public schools; because access to quality education offers perhaps the best way out of poverty.Above are the 4 objectives stated in the Statement on Poverty. These are the same tired objectives that have been restated over and over again adnaseam. Since the inception of religious orders the charism has always been to “serve the poor”. A number of US presidents have declared “war on poverty” and this is a popular subject from the pulpit from time to time. There has been poverty since time began. In spite of all of the “wars” and “missions”, poverty still exists and is growing. There are more homeless people now than ever before and the numbers are growing in the wealthiest of countries. I suggest to you that poverty will never be eliminated until there is a concerted “war”; “mission” or whatever you may wish to call it against GREED! Greed is what creates poverty and injustice and so, like a disease, the cause must be stamped out in order to cure the disease.For starters, how about developing some objectives to stamping out GREED?



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Robert Hillman

posted February 16, 2007 at 12:39 am


wow they are seeking to cut child poverty in half by the next ten years well that must be because the people that are running things still want to have their vacation to the dominican and florida and dont forget the 40 thousand dollar fifth wheel trailer that the good christians take their family to on the weekends after a hard weeks work and all the politicians and lets not forget the dentists in canada that average 200 grand a year in income but my teeth have been rotting out of my head teeth that could be saved fillings that could be fixed and HOW dare i suggest that a human should work for free or that someone that is rich by the BLESSING OF GOD should help I must be stupid I thought the word of god says that the body should have the same care one for another and that there was NO POOR amoung them THE CHURCHand that if one part of the body THE CHURCH SUFFERS IT all suffers I have wrote oprah and dr phil and ministry after ministry after ministry with NO INSURANCE on my van no dental work for me or my daughter thats in chronic pain with teeth crowding and the same old same old is all we are told WELL WE HAVE A TEN YEAR TWENTY YEAR THIRTY YEAR PLAN yada yada yada HERES WHAT JESUS Says TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL that has more than enoughif you CLOSE YOUR EARS the the cry of the poor YOU YOURSELF WILL CRY OUT AND NOT BE HEARD woe unto you that are rich for you have received your consolation Robert Hillman R R # 2 Monkton Ontario N0K1P0



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Carol

posted February 16, 2007 at 1:20 am


This sounds promising! However, I am concerned that the leaders involved are apparently all men. Women MUST be included in such a coming together or we are still missing Christ’s intent.



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Payshun

posted February 16, 2007 at 2:18 am


Actually Tom, They do by instructing the people to keep sanctuary cities (4 murderers and such,) to enforce Jubilee and create fields where the immigrant and poor can eat freely w/o stealing. Those institutions are theocratic in nature and all inclusive, meaning the government and the people are united in helping the poor. p



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Theresa

posted February 16, 2007 at 2:36 am


Job 20:18-20 18 What he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his trading. 19 For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build. 20 “Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure. Psalm 82:3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 22:16He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich both come to poverty. Proverbs 28:3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. Isaiah 10: 1-3 1 Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, 2 to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. 3 What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? Isaiah 26:5-7 5 He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. 6 Feet trample it down the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. Ecclesiastes 5: 8-12 8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields. 10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. 11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the ownerexcept to feast his eyes on them? 12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. Ezekiel 22:28-30 28 Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’-when the LORD has not spoken. 29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. Amos 5:11-13 11 You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts. Sounds like God IS a socialist, actually!! It’s ironic that Capitalism arose as a theory, then a system, and a finally a religion in the same Western world that thought itself to be primarily Christian, yet there is nothing Christian about Capitalism. We just think there is because we have seen the Bible and Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’ on so many of the same bookshelves.The basic premise of Socialism comes closer to the Biblical ideal, the belief that everyone should have his or her needs met but no one should be able to pile up wealth while others live in poverty. Case in point, look at what God did for Israel with manna in the wilderness. Try as some would to save some manna overnight, to keep more than they really needed for just one day, it would spoil by the morning. And those who couldn’t gather the amount they were directed to, or as much as the others, still had all they needed every day. Yet when God didn’t want them doing their daily manna collections – on the Sabbath – they could save enough overnight to last the next day and it didn’t spoil! So why did it spoil all the other nights? Clearly God intervened to make sure NO ONE was going to horde this precious resource or be allowed to have more than they really needed. A great example to us of how God would distribute our resources for us.



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Jim Gray

posted February 16, 2007 at 2:39 am


Mr. Wallis: Your comments are dead on, as always. There’s a person in Dallas who is a prophetic voice similar to yours. His name is Larry James. He is the CEO of Central Dallas Ministries, which works with the urban poor in Dallas, Texas. He launched a blog a while ago that you might really enjoy. It’s at http://www.UrbanDaily.org. He has a great post this week called “Churches, Poverty and the Inner City” that you might really enjoy. Keep fighting the good fight. May God continue to bless you.



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butch

posted February 16, 2007 at 4:06 am


As strong as I feel about the issue of poor etc I do not want to see a bunch of churches getting together and ultimately act as the religious right did with Bush. I’m sorry I believe if there is too much coordination that will cause the old power corrupts problem. Instead of getting together to do something I say come together when everyone converges on a single issues from different directions. Sorry this is not well stated.



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Judy Johnstone

posted February 16, 2007 at 4:08 am


Where are the Episcopalians in this effort? The Methodists and the Presbyterians and the Lutherans? It seems impossible to me that these churches are not part of this effort.



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Des Carroll

posted February 16, 2007 at 4:20 am


I seem to recall that Chuck Missler got metaphorically beaten up several years ago when he established an organisation called Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). I don’t think it survived. I hope that times and attitudes have changed for the sake of CCT.



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annie

posted February 16, 2007 at 4:29 am


Songbird has it right–GREED is at the heart of poverty, the rich getting richer, etc. All the legislation nnd political action committees in the world won’t change this. Let’s work at rooting it out of each of our hearts; then maybe we will be given to see how a spirit of generosity and liberality can replace greed in the world. Good to bring attention to this issue by movements such as CCT, perhaps, but don’t place your trust in princes!!



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Bob

posted February 16, 2007 at 4:51 am


Dear friend Judy, you should actually read the member organizations- Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopals and Lutherans are all in there. As usual, the Church of the Nazarene that I’m a part of is waiting until Jesus comes to make a decision about joining.



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L. J. Sullivan

posted February 16, 2007 at 5:36 am


This sounds very encouraging and hopeful. I have been so disillusioned with the Church, especially since 9/11, that I have not been back. I consider myself a Christian-in-exile. I have recently seen a video on the Religious Right and what their real interest is in promoting the cause of Israel vs. utter indifference to the Palestinians — namely, bringing Armageddon one step closer; and their total obsession with and weird interpretation of the Book of Revelation vs. the instruction of Jesus to “follow me” … and it was transparently diabolical. I remember 15-20 years ago bringing this to the attention of others in my mainline church, and getting the equivalent of “Shhhhh! Now let’s be charitable!” I became increasingly distressed because it was so apparent to me that Jesus was being presented to the unchurched world through the words and deeds and attitudes of the Religious Right — and more and more people were being turned off to the very idea of religion in any form. I know so many good people now who consider anyone who believes in God to be ‘irrational’; ‘totally nuts’. And they express hatred for religion because it has caused so much death and destruction and evil in the world. I stopped going to church after 9/11 because I went that Sunday after the disaster, hoping for a word of wisdom or solace, something, anything — and during the entire liturgy, sermon, service — not a word. Unbelievable. I have heard prominent voices on the Religious Right broadcasting very confidently that Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians are all going to hell; ‘they aren’t Christians’. I have heard them preach and seen their letters to the editors of the newspapers expressing their hatred of ‘liberals’ and/or ‘Democrats’ and accusing them of the most astonishing nonsense. And no one rebuts them. Well, except for me. It’s lonely out here, people. I hope there are enough of you together now that you feel secure enough to speak up and speak out and speak truth to Power! And understand, there is a difference between ‘passing judgment’ and being able to discern the difference between good and evil — and call it by its rightful name, loud and clear. Jesus did. He who said, “Follow me.”



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Nick

posted February 16, 2007 at 8:13 am


God should occupy the supreme position in our lives, our privare and public lives. When satan demands that there should be separation between Church and state so that he can reign supreme, why do we allow it? How can any Christian claim to be a monotheist and still accept the subjugation of God’s laws to that of satan. We will never get out of our mess unless we correct this basic defect. This theme is explained in a book by Adam Muhammad speaking from a Muslim background (Dissecting the satanic mind II), but the message is the same, unless we kick satan out of politics, we are forced to abide by his “laws”. So, what is it going to be?



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Nancy Maurer

posted February 16, 2007 at 12:35 pm


It’s incredible to me that the people on this board, who are hailing the moves of this group in California continue to use labels of segregation in the church–such as “the religious right.” It saddens me that these labels, “religious left included” come to the fore as the church endeavors to become a political entity rather than a representation of the Lord’s Body. Legislation may paint the tombs white, but it won’t raise dead.



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Ed P

posted February 16, 2007 at 2:09 pm


Sullivan – Take heart. There are many of us wrestling with a new way of seeing and presenting God…and living out our lives like Jesus showed us. I am part of the emerging church movement and am thrilled to see churches coming together…not for power as Butch fears (which is valid)…but for unity and cooperation. I hope CCT can bring in thinkers like Brian McLaren and others who are hoping that the church of Jesus can be again what Jesus meant it to be.



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Janee

posted February 16, 2007 at 3:12 pm


If we are to eradicate poverty, we must stamp out greed. If we want to stamp out greed (which is based on fear), we have to start trusting that God is a God who supplies everything we need, right down to the very air we breath. When we trust in a never ending Godly source, there is no need to hoard. When no one hoards, the ills of poverty will begin to be healed. Will all our needs be “supernaturally” be met? Only as much as the Church, and her people, is a “supernatural” entity. (If God can use Darius the Persian, God can use me, who calls herself “Christian.”)



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Melody

posted February 16, 2007 at 3:24 pm


Was Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination comprised primarly although not exclusively of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals invited to partipate in CCT? If not, then not everyone in the “family” was invited to participate in the movement.



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Alice

posted February 16, 2007 at 3:24 pm


I’m very excited to read about at least some Christian unity on Jesus’ central message about poverty. When you think of the waste of our tax money, and the good it could be doing, it’s sickening. Even if one agrees with things like the Iraq war, the Government Accountning Office has reported billions of dollars of flat-out waste and mismanagment to the extent that it appears to be nothing less than corruption. For example, payment to contractors for services NOT provided. If we had even that amount of money back for constructive use, God would be much more pleased with us. We must demand of our public officials nothing less than the correct use of our funds or give them back to us. Then the burden is on us.



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Erudite Redneck

posted February 16, 2007 at 4:40 pm


I love Jim Wallis and Sojourners, and I am all for breaking down barriers. But the most prophetic voice in this thread is Robert Hillman’s.



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Tarheelted

posted February 16, 2007 at 7:07 pm


Dear friends in Christ — I note a glaring absence of any mention of our brothers and sisters of other faiths. What is CCT’s view of Jews and Muslims? It looks like they are being excluded from this most commendable effort.



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wayne

posted February 16, 2007 at 7:13 pm


Dear Robert Hillman I am saddened to hear of your daughter. I am no dentist and I do not live near you. I know of many children who suffer with bad dental problems. Here, we have a clinic that offers dental/medical help to all who do not have insurance or are covered by any Gov’t type program. I wish I knew where such a place could be found for you. All I can say is I will talk to the dentists I know of here and see if they know of anything that can be done to help you. I lived for decades with bad teeth. I could not leave my house without some kind of emergency, and very often very inadequate, over the counter pain treatment. It must be very hard for you to watch your child go through this.



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Mike Hayes

posted February 16, 2007 at 8:24 pm


Tom Snyder, I remember the words in scripture about helping those who are “thirsty”, “hungry”, “naked” and so on. Those who would help persons in those circumstances would be saved and those who did not help them would not be saved.



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Robert Hillman

posted February 16, 2007 at 8:26 pm


The lord Jesus christ offers every man faith GIVE and IT SHALL be given unto you a good measure pressed down shaken together shall MEN pour into your lap so much that you will not have room enough to contain it My neighbour asked me if I would do his chores while he takes a 14000 dollar trip to disney world of course he said that he cant really afford to pay me because of the price of the trip and knowing that I dont have insurance on my van he would lend me his fourwheeler to go back and forth After eleven years of raising four children alone since they were seven four two and three days old I know KNOW KNOW that we are in the last days we are told ( christians) that it would not come as a thief to us that are watching and as we see the day appoaching I have nothing but if its gods will for us to Not have a job not be able to depend on anything but God then I will pray for more and more faith that god can use my death even for his glory two children that I love very very much have been so decieved and taken away by a cult the other two that stay with me live on peanut butter and crackers somedays I have a snowblower and the snow is crazy around herebut i am LAZY its not really what I want to do to drive a van with NO INSURANCE into town and blow snow and someone hit me and then 5000 dollar fine but I am lazy For the Love and Praise and faith of God when are YOU EVER going to get that if we are HEARERS only we are deceiving OUR OwnSelves we MUST BE DOERS OF THE WORD I am not a prophet as someone has said I am just a man that reads the new testament through once a month and God has shown me that the rich the arrogant the wealthy the rude the oppressers the judgemental are the ones with NO FAITH NO TRUST God could pour out such a blessing that you would not believe the glory he would give to those that give GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN you have been blessed to be a blessing COMMAND THOSE THAT ARE RICH IN THE PRESENT DAY NOT TO BE ARROGANT NOR TO PUT THEIR HOPE IN WEALTH BUT TO BE RICH IN GOOD DEEDS TOWARDS GOD WILLING TO COMMUNICATE(GIVE) READY TO DISTRIBUTE (GIVE) WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD GREED SELFISHNESS GREED SELFISHNESS BUT MARK THIS THERE WILL BE TERRIBLE TIMES IN THE LAST DAYS FOR MEN WILL BE LOVERS OF THEMSELVES BOASTFUL (i worked hard) PROUD (why should i share its mine) RUDE (he should get a job)



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Margaret Capron

posted February 16, 2007 at 8:40 pm


Christians getting together is always a positive thing, I think. However, there has not been one mention of the National Council of Churches, which has been an ecumenical group of Christians for many years. CCT is not the first organization of this nature.



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jerry

posted February 16, 2007 at 9:58 pm


yes, jim, God is good. another attempt to erradicate poverty in the USA. but…..another group of christian professionals gathering together to make another toothless statement. the poverty in this country is mostly related to poor personal decisions made by nonreligious persons who are not tuned into the religious community. most churches i know, do a great deal to help poor people in their towns and cities. expensive meetings in nice towns like pasadena involving religious professionals, are pretty much feel good sessions. and you seem to feel really good right now. got your name and outfit listed in the register of invitees. don’t you think that churches on the local level are way ahead of this cct group? and do you think that poverty in the usa is solvable? more meetings will not help. but you can help. set up a food shelf. open a soup kitchen. sign up for meals on wheels. give street people money to buy food with. do habitat for humanity. etc. etc. we don’t need more wallis politics. get a job jim, then give.



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Robert Hillman

posted February 16, 2007 at 10:17 pm


Let HIM who steels steel no longer but rather work with his hands that which is good so that he may be able to share with those in need seems to me that any of the local churches I asked for help well its getting close to march break and all their members are to busy with going to florida to be able to give anything maybe the scripture says that you should work with your hands that which is good so you can save up for yourself treasure on earth and take a vacation I DONT THINK THATS WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING IN the word of GOD



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Aaron Simon

posted February 17, 2007 at 8:02 am


I have always supported an eccumenical approach to Christianity regardless of what the goal. If churches are gathering together to help the poor, I applaud the effort 100%. But like the early churh leaders who often called together “church councils” in order to make sure that DOCTRINE was the number one most important thing to be upheld, as false teachers were constantly trying to infiltrate the Church and “devoure them like roaring Lions, tearing their prey to pieces.” One thing I have also believed is that in any effort to unite believers together, we MUST unite under at least three common beliefs that Jesus taught without compromise. Without these doctrinal beliefs, common Christian goals are meaningless at least, and roaring lions, intent to devour at worst! 1. Jesus is the one and only Son of the Living God. He is indeed God who became incarnate, taking on the flesh of a human being, and nobody else in history has ever done this or ever will. References: Matt 1:23, John 3:16, Luke 22:70, Philippians 2:5-11. 2. Jesus, the one and only Son of God incarnate, died as a sacrife for the sins of humanity. He is the ONLY way to eternal life. There is NO OTHER way to heaven and eternal life is ONLY through Him. References: John 14:6, John 11:25, 1 Corinthians 15:1-33 3. Those who reject salvation through Jesus Christ and Him ALONE will suffer permanent death in Hades and Hell forever: Mark 9:47-49, Revelation 20:11-15.



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Robert Hillman

posted February 17, 2007 at 2:56 pm


JESUS IS GOD IF YOU HAVE SEEN ME YOU HAVE SEEN THE FATHER I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE



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Jakie Smith

posted February 18, 2007 at 1:03 am


I’m l00% percent behind the idea of the 5 faith-families coming together as one to support evangelism (which is spreading the good news which we all believe in) and to do all we can to help poverty. Thanks for the great work you do at Sojourners. I’m glad I found you!



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jerry

posted February 18, 2007 at 2:35 am


interesting that wolverine, kevin and all the regulars are sorta silent on this. guess they are on vacation in florida, eh, hillman? or, maybe they are all driving up to your church, hillman, to make you more comfortable.or, maybe they are finally seeing through wallis’ veil.



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Payshun

posted February 18, 2007 at 3:21 am


Aaron, I am glad I don’t subscribe to your point number 3. I like Robert’s 3 points better and they unify heal w/o casting judgement and condemnation which is one of the main reasons jesus came to earth in the first place. p



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moderatelad

posted February 18, 2007 at 12:52 pm


Tarheelted | 02.16.07 – 2:12 pm | #It looks like they are being excluded from this most commendable effort. I would not say that they are being ‘excluded’ it is just that the two major parts of CCT is 1 – evangelism and 2 – poverty. Do you think that these two groups would be interested in being part of CCT and assist them in evangelism? Just a thought – .



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moderatelad

posted February 18, 2007 at 1:25 pm


I really was not going to comment on this but – here goes. The statement on poverty to strengthen families and communities; because they are essential bulwarks against poverty; So – do we need to define ‘families and communities’? We need to stop ‘guys’ from making babies and them making tracks. Hold them financially responsible and accountable. Rumor has it that in one of our local high schools one stud has fathers 6+ children. All but on the educating mothers are now on the welfare – how do we correct that? (Frankly I would like to do DNA testing and if in fact he has sired 3+ of these little one – I would make it so that he did sire anymore) to reduce child poverty; we seek to cut child poverty by 50 percent in the next ten years; We could do even more if we could stop the number of children born into poverty. I will say it again and you can draw your own conclusions. My boss did not give a raise in pay when our third (opps) one arrived. We have to stop underwriting illegitimacy in this country – period. to make work work; by combating racism and guaranteeing that full time work offers a realistic escape from poverty and access to good health care; There are many entry level jobs in my area – those that could get these jobs don’t want them as they would have to get out of bed – sad statement but true. Being on welfare in our state is the same as having a $10.25 per hour job. Who is going to work for 8 or 9 dollars an hour when you can sit on your backside for over 10? We need to make it so that you can get a job for 8 dollars an hour and still have the $10.25 lifestyle. But by working the state only has to pay out 2.25 and benefits…what a savings.To strengthen the educational system in our country with particular attention to the public schools; because access to quality education offers perhaps the best way out of poverty.This is why I am for a few improvements in education. 1 – Disband the Dept of Ed in Washington DC (and maybe even at the state level) . Their ‘unfunded mandates’ on the local school districts are killing education. 2 – Stop using education as an extension of the dept of human services. Our teachers and staff, depending on the district loose hours of time that they could be using for lecture etc because of paper work that they have to complete for the DHS. Let them hire or at least pay for staff to do this type of work and let the teacher teach! 3 – (Sit down) Student Vouchers. Allow students and parents to select the school that they want to attend – private or public. Competition seems to be good in so many other areas – I believe a little competition would be good for our educational system here in the US. Later – .



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Robert Hillman

posted February 18, 2007 at 3:59 pm


mere talk leads to poverty you all got lots to say but what do you DO???????????????????????????????????????????????????



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Robert Hillman

posted February 18, 2007 at 4:01 pm


thats right we are all dead beat dads that made babiesfunny I thought I was married to ONE woman and we had four children and she left does she pay support ? NO does her millionaire daddy help usNO does the local churches help us NOthats cause WE are the church not a building saw lots and lots of people on my road all dressed up for church today but did ONE OF THEM stop and ask a singledad in their community if we need anythinglike food?> like insurance? like anything? oh I am sorry they were all to busy on their way to CHURCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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moderatelad

posted February 19, 2007 at 1:19 am


Robert Hillman | 02.18.07 – 11:06 am | #You in no way shape or form fit the ‘dead beat dad’ model. Sounds like you are the one doing the parenting and no help from the spouce. (ex-spouce I would think) This is where your community should come to you aid and I am sorry that they are not. I really believe that there is a church that would help out if you will look for it.praying that God will bring someone to you that can help you now and in the future. Later – .



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Robert Hillman

posted February 19, 2007 at 2:24 am


LOOK FOR IT? YOU have got to be kidding me I have gone to elders and deacons in at least ten local churches YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY its not their policy to help people that dont attend their church OK OK so what about the church I attended for eleven years OH I AM SO SORRY have you been to the food bank? meanwhile come march break what happens ONE THIRD OF THE CHURCH is missing for two sundays why? cause they are in florida jamaca bahamas or the dominican and the average vehicle in the parkinglot that I attended while i was married and for one year and six months after she left is 35000 canadian dollars I drive a 90 van with 345 thousand kms on it and have a bill for 2600 to get a used engine in it its so nice to have so many responses from people that will have faith trust god to actually do what he says he will do give and it shall be given unto you the TRUTH is we all talk christianity but when it comes down to actually doing what JESUS says we pass the buck oh I am sure that some church will help but I have to find it?????????????? there are at least 600 families in the local area that KNOW FULL Well I am on my own with four children YOU KNOW HOW MANY OF THEM IN the last 16 years have ever drove in my lane and offered to HELP US NONE NONE NONE so dont tell me I have not tried I KNOW I AM LAZY TOO RIGHT????????? to him that knows whats right to do and doesnt do it to HIM IT IS SIN Robert Hillman R R# 2 Monkton Ontario Canada N0K1P0



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Tegan Smith

posted February 19, 2007 at 4:36 am


Someone made this comment above: Families should take care of families, and the church and the individual should help them, but the government should not be transferring wealth at the point of a gun and a tank cannon!!!! My response: My friend, government is in the business of redistributing wealth. It takes from all of us to give to defense contractors, it gives cash to build nuclear power plants, to turn our nation into a police state, and on and on. Under the Reagan and Bush administrations, it has borrowed hundreds of billions to give tax cuts to some of the wealthiest people on the planet. So, let’s not let the nation’s elites deceive us when they scream about the immoraltiy of government redistributing wealth. Let’s make government’s redistribution of wealth follow a Christian path–to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, and provide education and real opportunity. While there is some (but not much) truth to the elitist screaming about “lazy people” being paid to do nothing, many of the poor I know are some of the hardest working people around. They are working two and three jobs, desperately trying to keep their heads above water. I saw in the paper that some homeless shelters now require that people be employed as a condition of staying there! Homeless shelters used to be for those who had no work. Now, so many people are paid such miserly wages that they can’t even afford shelter. Truly and utterly shameless.



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kevin s.

posted February 19, 2007 at 5:16 am


“to turn our nation into a police state,” How, exactly, is our nation a police state? “it has borrowed hundreds of billions to give tax cuts to some of the wealthiest people on the planet.” This is the opposite of redistribution, whether or not you agree with the policy. “the elitist screaming about “lazy people” being paid to do nothing,” Which elitists are screaming?”Now, so many people are paid such miserly wages that they can’t even afford shelter.” That’s not really an accurate summation of the interrelationship between wages and homelessness. The majority of the homeless are unemployed. Further, bouts of unemployment generally cause homelessness in the first place. Income redistribution by way of increased government spending results in higher rates of unemployment. We can argue about where the ideal tradeoff exists between governmental provision and economic stability, but your solution is not the magic bullet you describe.



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Robert Hillman

posted February 19, 2007 at 6:25 pm


I will be homeless at the end of february so dont talk to me about people giving a crap



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Payshun

posted February 19, 2007 at 9:50 pm


Robert, I have been homeless and know the struggle. Keep your head up man. p



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john coogans

posted February 19, 2007 at 10:44 pm


I hope that something does come from those discussions between the churches. I have had al little success with cross fertilisation from catholic church to anglican and vice-versa, but unfortunately what was supported by one menmber of clergy was not by new replacement. Till the communities have more autority and clergy become advisers and less authorotative I will remain sceptical.



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Mike Hayes

posted February 20, 2007 at 4:07 am


Tegan Smith, Yes! Also, I think it isn’t easy to break out of the belief that everyone has similar capabilities and that everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps… Some of us who have encountered persons who are incapable of doing that realize that there are such persons… others do not recognize it… I think we ought to coordinate our efforts to get churches to take less of our “charitable” contibutions for “sanctuary space” and “parochial” schools so we can contribute more to help those who need our help… … “thirsty”, “hungry”, “naked”…



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Tegan Smith

posted February 20, 2007 at 5:48 am


I WILL RESPOND TO JUST TWO OF YOUR COMMENTS. “it has borrowed hundreds of billions to give tax cuts to some of the wealthiest people on the planet.” This is the opposite of redistribution, whether or not you agree with the policy. THIS IS REDISTRIBUTION. THE GOVERNMENT IS BORROWING $$$ ALL OF US WILL HAVE TO PAY BACK SO THAT THE RICHEST AMERICANS DON’T HAVE TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF THE TAX. Income redistribution by way of increased government spending results in higher rates of unemployment. We can argue about where the ideal tradeoff exists between governmental provision and economic stability, but your solution is not the magic bullet you describe. SOME GOVERNMENT SPENDING LEADS TO HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT. DEFENSE SPENDING, FOR EXAMPLE, CREATES VERY FEW JOBS PER BILLION SPENT. TO MAKE A BLANKET STATEMENT THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDING LEADS TO UNEMPLOYMENT, HOWEVER, IS JUST NOT SOUND. GOVERNMENT FUNDED RESEARCH WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMPUTER AND THE INTERNET. FURTHER, GOVT SPENDING CAN PUT MONEY DIRECTLY IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO MOST NEED IT. FOOD STAMPS IS A SHINING EXAMPLE. OF COURSE, THERE SHOULD BE MORE SPENDING TO CREATE INDEPENDENCE.



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Chris

posted February 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm


Being a babe in Christ this offers hope to some of my questions about the body of Christ.What I don’t understand is how and why there are so many divisions and different doctrines in the church. From what I understand there is only one Bible and one God. I just want the truth. Not someones biased opinion and twisted view trying to get me to jump on with them. It’s so easy to be pursuaded and swayed when your still building on your foundation. I pray for Gods discernment and for Him to reveal His truth in a mighty way. I’ve got Jesus in my heart and I trust Him to take care of me. Praise be to God!



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Robert Hillman

posted February 20, 2007 at 5:08 pm


standing on the word of God in the beginning was the WORD and the Word was with god and the WORD was God and the WORD became flesh and dwelt amoung us YOU HAVE NO NEED OF ANYONE TO TEACH YOU pray to JESUS ask him to lead you into all truth through the HOLY SPIRIT read the word for what it says ask WHO IS HE TALKING TO pharassess? scribes jews gentiles ask what was the point JESUS HEALED the multitudes JESUS was always willing to help to care to give to love to share JESUS IS GOD JESUS wants you to trust totally in his word READ HIS WORD his WORD IS truth be sanctified in the truth



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Mark

posted February 20, 2007 at 5:48 pm


I have not read all of the above info, but I would like to see the formal document that states the beliefs of the CCT. Is there a link to this someone would post? My understanding is that the two major issues are evangelism and poverty. I am particularly interested in seeing the doctrinal beliefs that the CCT is united around. There certainly must be some in order to be able to evangelize. . . Thanks



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Robert Hillman

posted February 20, 2007 at 8:36 pm


well what a waste of breath and time no one caresand no one obeys the gospel there was certain amoung themselves that thought themselves to be righteous and despised others all the law and the prophets is tied up in one command thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself all the law and the prophets are tied up in this do unto others as you would have them do unto you



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Payshun

posted February 21, 2007 at 7:13 pm


Can we do something to empower and help out Robert? If you don’t mind. Maybe if we put our collective heads together we can help you find some place to live. p



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Lynne

posted February 22, 2007 at 4:13 pm


As I read the posts, many seem to think helping the poor means a handout requiring no input on the part of the receiver. Perhaps that is the purpose for churches. Government needs to have a requirement of sorts. Children and the sick and the elderly – that is different. But we MUST see that the children of the poor are educated and get the BEST education or they will stop the cycle of poverty. We need to address mental illness as it is difficult for these people to work and hold down a job. We need to see that all of those who work full time have a living wage and health benefits. I have no beef with those who work and make a nice living. I have a beef with CEO’s who are given multimillion dollar bonuses and salaries while those that work for them struggle. The trickle down theory of Ronald Reagan didn’t work when he was President and for sure is not working now. As long as we continue to vote for people whose agenda is to make the rich richer, we will have overwhelming poverty as we have now.



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Lynne

posted February 22, 2007 at 4:15 pm


This is what I meant to write: We must see that the children of the poor are educated and get the BEST education TO stop the cycle of poverty.



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Doulos

posted February 26, 2007 at 11:01 pm


Robert, Sounds like you’re pretty bitter and pretty tired. I am sorry that things are tough for you. I would very much like to help. Tell me a bit about yourself: You say that you have four children at home. Is their mom not around? How do you possibly take care of four children and still work a full time job? Are there no support services available in Canada for your dental work? (We are told here in the US that the Canadian system is superior to ours because everyone has excellent state-funded care. it sounds like you would qualify for excellent free care here in Massachusetts.)Let me know.



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ovbiwefz

posted August 29, 2007 at 10:43 pm


payday cash advance vermont payday cash advance vermont payday cash advance vermont. advance cash instant loan quick advance cash instant loan quick advance cash instant loan quick.>



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Pastor Michael A. Edwards

posted January 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm


As a minister of the Gospel I am particularly encouraged by the Global Christian Forum that met in Nairobe on November 6-9, 2007 with 250 Churches in attendance. There seems to be a coming together of the Christian Church. The newsletter from that meeting, indicated that their purpose is to have a National Sunday Law passed before Goerge Bush leaves office. Does anybody have any info regarding this matter?



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