Political Prayers and Petitions
Rob Schwarzwalder of the Family Research Council wrote that these "are words an American President must speak if he is to be true to his most fundamental duty: As Commander in Chief, to defend America in the face of the evil." Schwarzwalder also noted that President George W. Bush made similar statements.
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission told the Baptist Press that Obama's "trenchant defense of the fact that there is evil in the world that must be confronted by armed force should reassure all Americans as we confront a deadly worldwide terrorist threat from a death cult that has taken root within Islam."
Sojourners was less supportive of Obama's speech. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, agreed that evil exists, but he was put off by the intimation that America has (always) been on the side of justice and that our current military solutions are preferable to nonviolent strategies.
"Most would affirm the reality of evil, but did the president adequately address America's part in such evil over these past decades, or is evil again only done by others?" wrote Wallis. "[I]s nonviolence only an aspiration? Or is it a practical, realistic, and perhaps better approach to conflict resolution in a complicated world of tremendous complexity, inequality, despair, anger, and violence."
"PrayerCast" on Health Care
Family Research Council Action, Focus on the Family Action, and The Call to Conscience held a "PrayerCast" Wednesday on "government takeover of health care." The event was part policy and part prayer, a mix of interpretations of the health care debate and passionate prayers of repentance and salvation. The event featured political leaders Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), and Representative Michele Bachman (R-Minn).
The number one issue of concern was abortion funding in the Senate health care legislation. Lou Engle of The Call for Conscience said that this was "an Esther moment," comparing the fight against the health care proposal to Esther's efforts save the Jewish people from genocide.
Other groups were similarly concerned over the Senate bill.
"The battle is far from over," an e-mail from Concerned Women for America told supporters. "And, true, we may lose. But, we're called to take a stand, to raise a voice for the voiceless. The rest is in God's hands."
Pat Robertson found the Democrats' push for health care "unbelievable."
"You know, the Democrats must have a death wish, a death wish to pass a bill in face of the overwhelming public opposition to it … And now their own, the government's own health and human services says it will increase costs," Robertson said on CBN. "I mean, what are they thinking? I mean, what is Harry Reid smoking up there?"
Low Power Radio
Finally, a piece of non-controversial, bipartisan news comes from Congress. Congress is considering an expansion of low power radio stations. These frequencies are used by churches, schools, and other community groups. The National Association of Evangelicals joined with other churches, including the National Council of Churches, in signing a letter supporting the legislation. The letter stated that churches seek to build up communities, and that low power radio is one way that this is done, as about half of all low power radio stations are operated by churches and religious groups.
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Earlier Political Advocacy Trackers are available on our site, including:
The Worst Week For Conservatives | Conservatives are licking their wounds from fights over abortion funding, health care reform, a gay-rights nominee, embryonic stem cell research, and Uganda's anti-gay law.
Who Backs Obama's Afghanistan Strategy | Like the rest of us, advocacy groups came back from the Thanksgiving holiday to find a long to-do list waiting for them, filled with issues at home and abroad. (December 4, 2009)
What Does the Manhattan Declaration Really Mean? | Also: advocacy groups gear up for the Christmas shopping season with politics and compassion. (November 24, 2009)
Christianity Today also follows political developments on the politics blog.