Celebrities, theologians and activists challenge Obama

By staff writers
13 Nov 2008

Celebrities, theologians and activists, including Bono, Brian McLaren and Shane Claiborne have written to President-elect Obama challenging him on a range of issues to address in his presidency.

The open letters have been organised by Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States connecting faith and justice.

The letters were solicited on the one week anniversary of the 2008 election from a wide array of religious, political, and cultural leaders in America and around the world.

Nearly two dozen letters are posted on Sojourner's God’s Politics blog and will be delivered to the president-elect.

Advice ranges from taking care of the soul and serving as an example for healthy families to reading the 25th chapter of Matthew once a week as a reminder to serve the “least of these.”

Leaders urged President-elect Obama to prioritize justice for the poor, address health care as a moral issue, and commit to abortion reduction as a common ground solution.

“My advice to you is about your administration’s relationship to the faith community", said Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners.

"We need to do more than merely having chaplains in the corridors of power, or religion functioning as a power bloc within a party to legislate its own narrow agendas, or mere photo-ops at prayer breakfasts for faith leaders at the White House.

"I think we all can do better. Let me suggest another model, and let’s call it ‘the two-way street.’ One direction of the two-way street is for the faith community to offer you its prayers and support. The other direction of the two-way street is what the faith community can say back to you.”

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