Bush at the UN. On Darfur, “Mr. Bush urged Sudanese leaders to approve a peacekeeping force there to end what his administration has called genocide.”

Red Letter Christians. Sojourners/Call to Renewal launched “Red Letter Christians,” a group of progressive Christian communicators broadening the discussion of “moral values.”

Faith Based Initiative. “The Bush administration’s faith-based initiative is reaching only a tiny percentage of the nation’s black churches, most of which have limited capacity to run social programs.”

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Full news summary:

Bush at the UN. Bush Makes Direct Appeal to Iranians in U.N. Speech – “President Bush appealed today to the people of Iran to take control of their future and said their leaders were squandering resources on nuclear weapons ambitions, but he hastened to add that the United States was pursuing a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program. … With respect to Darfur, Mr. Bush urged Sudanese leaders to approve a peacekeeping force there to end what his administration has called genocide.” “Mr Bush said that if the Khartoum authorities did not do so quickly, the UN had to act. “Your lives and the United Nation’s credibility are at stake,” he added, addressing the people of Darfur.” Transcript: Bush at the U.N.

Darfur. Bush to Name Envoy for Darfur.- “President Bush has decided to name Andrew Natsios, a former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, as his special envoy for Darfur in the hope of reviving a diplomatic effort…” Good editorials in the Washington Post – The Genocide Test and the New York Times – Take the Lead on Darfur

Red Letter Christians. Liberal evangelicals begin campaign – “Liberal evangelicals, weary of a Republican-centric image, launched a campaign Monday to promote Christian values beyond the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.” Religious left to reclaim its faith – “Fourteen activists, some of whom portrayed themselves as disenchanted evangelicals, announced the formation of “Red Letter Christians,” a group that says it bases its actions and political philosophy on the words of Jesus, which appear in red lettering in some versions of the Bible.” The “ Red Letter Christians” is a project of Sojourners/Call to Renewal.

Faith and Politics. Kerry Talks of Loss, Renewal of His Faith– “In a speech he said he wishes he had given before the 2004 presidential election, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday described his religious life in greater candor and detail than ever before.”Kerry urges cooperation to reduce abortions – “Kerry called for a new national commitment to reduce the number of abortions, saying that both sides on the abortion debate can reach “common ground” on the sharply divisive cultural issue. Transcript: John Kerry’s speech on faith

Pasadena Church May Fight IRS Summons – “A liberal Pasadena church facing an IRS investigation over alleged politicking sounded a defiant note Sunday, with its leaders and many congregants saying the probe amounted to an assault on their constitutional rights and that they were inclined to defy the agency’s request for documents.”

Iran. France Now Opposes Iran Punishments – “As world leaders converged at the United Nations, French President Jacques Chirac dealt a significant blow to the Bush administration’s effort to slow Iran’s nuclear development, saying his government would join Russia and China in resisting the U.S. push for sanctions against Tehran.” Iran’s Freeze on Enrichment Could Wait, France Suggests – “In an effort to jump-start formal negotiations between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program, President Jacques Chirac of France suggested that Iran would not have to freeze major nuclear activities until the talks began.”

Torture. McCain Stand Comes at a Price – “Battling Bush over rules for detainee treatment, senator jeopardizes his courtship of the right. “This very definitely is going to put a chilling effect on the tremendous strides he has made in the conservative evangelical community,” said the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition.” Bush Detainee Plan Ad
ds to World Doubts Of U.S., Powell Says
– “Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said that he decided to publicly oppose the Bush administration’s proposed rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects in part because the plan would add to growing doubts about whether the United States adheres to its own moral code.” Experts Say Bush’s Goal in Terrorism Bill Is Latitude for Interrogators’ Methods – “In his showdown with rebellious Senate Republicans over bills to bring terrorism suspects to trial, President Bush has repeatedly called for clarity in the rules for what he calls “alternative interrogation techniques” used by the CIA.” Faith Based Initiative. Few Black Churches Get Funds – “The Bush administration’s faith-based initiative is reaching only a tiny percentage of the nation’s black churches, most of which have limited capacity to run social programs, hampering the initiative’s promise of empowering those congregations to help the needy… The national survey of 750 black churches by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that fewer than 3 percent are participating in the program.”

Poverty in NYC. To Fight Poverty, Bloomberg Plans Tax Credits and Rewards – “In an effort to reduce the city’s high poverty rate, the Bloomberg administration plans to offer tax credits to impoverished families to offset child care costs and cash rewards to encourage poor people to stay in school and receive preventive medical care.”

Op Ed. Poverty’s Changing Faces – “The recently released poverty data paint a grim picture of life in America. Once again the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that 37 million people — one of every 12 residents — is living hand-to-mouth in the United States. … Although the size of the poverty population has been fairly stable, its composition has not been. … The reality of our poverty population is constant churn. Some people fall into poverty every year, and just about as many escape its clutches.” (By Bradley R. Schiller, professor of economics at American University and author of “The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination.”)

Quote of the Day.

“If the Sudanese government does not approve this peacekeeping force quickly, the United Nations must act.” President Bush on Darfur to the UN General Assembly (New York Times)

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