doesn't see the world the way we do.
North Berwick, ME (PRWEB) October 22, 2008
An ad hoc group of progressive Christian laity and clergy from across the United States has issued a statement backing Sen. Barack Obama for president and imploring the Republican Party to stop racist attacks against him.
"A Call for Hope, Courage and Compassion" is published by an ad hoc group calling itself Progressive Christians for Barack Obama. The statement invites American Christians to declare their support publicly for Obama by signing a petition posted at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/progressive-christians-for-barack-obama.html. The statement calls Obama "a servant leader who, both as an organizer and a legislator, has understood the real problems of the American people and worked diligently to address them."
The ad hoc group's spokesman, Stephen L. Swecker of North Berwick, ME, emphasized that the statement and its accompanying online petition have been written by a collection of concerned citizens. "We are not a part of the Obama Campaign for President," Swecker said. "We're merely a group of conscientious voters in the nationwide progressive Christian community who decided it was time to stand up for Barack Obama and against continued Republican lies about him."
Thus, Swecker said, the statement decries recent GOP tactics, documented in both mainstream and alternative media, that seek to paint the Illinois senator as "the scary 'other'." These tactics have included instances in which the Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have implied that Sen. Obama's past associations make him unfit for the presidency. In particular, Gov. Palin has been quoted saying Obama "pals around with terrorists" and "doesn't see the world the way we do." Her statements have incited inappropriate responses from rally crowds, including shouts of "Kill him (Obama)."
The group also expressed outrage at Republicans and others using religion as a cloak for racist tactics, particularly in the ongoing smear campaign attempting to characterize Obama, a member of the United Church of Christ, as a radical Muslim. This strategy was exposed most recently by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof in his Sept. 20 column, "The Push to 'Otherize' Obama." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/opinion/21kristof.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
In response, the progressive Christian group states:
"We hereby denounce tactics of racism, falsehood and fear as perversions of our American heritage and ideals. We pledge to confront and resist the fomenting of hatred wherever we find it in this campaign. And we implore the McCain-Palin campaign to stop such attacks immediately."
Paraphrasing poet Langston Hughes, who is quoted in the statement, the progressive Christians conclude: "Let America be the dream we've dreamed, not a firestorm of fear and hate, but a beacon of hope, courage and compassion."
Individual members of Progressive Christians for Barack Obama are available for comment. Contact Stephen Swecker at (207) 457-5088 to arrange interviews.