Hundreds of Christians assembled March 11 for a weekend gathering attempting to protest and broaden the values agenda of President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress.
The four-day Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice was sponsored in part by the left-leaning National Council of Churches, an organization of more than 30 denominations.
“One of the things that the planners felt very strongly about is that the issues we're talking about-poverty, the environment, HIV/AIDS in Africa, Sudan-all those issues are moral issues too,” said Leslie Tune, a spokeswoman for the National Council of Churches. “We want our people to know how to advocate for policies based on those issues as moral values.”
Through a series of workshops, the conference planners said they hoped attendees, who paid $135 each, would become less intimidated about approaching lawmakers and demand policies that reflect Christian teachings regarding the poor, Tune said.
The conference was scheduled to end with a rally, co-hosted by the Washington-based Interfaith Alliance, to let Congress know that many people of faith are unhappy about the national budget.
“This budget does not reflect our values,” Tune said. “We feel that it favors wealthy people and corporations over poor children, elderly-just about everybody else.”
Religion News Service