By Diane Dietz The Register-Guard
While preoccupied with war, the nation has turned away from a fundamental principle of economic fairness embodied in the Constitution and the Bible, a famous New York preacher said in Eugene on Monday.
The nation's Declaration of Independence holds, said the Rev. James Forbes of Riverside Church, "these truths to be self-evident: that all are created equal, are endowed by God with inalienable right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."
"Well, not so for the poor," Forbes told about 300 middle-aged, middle-class people who took in the lilting sermon at a south Eugene church with rapt attention. "We are not the true America if the promises of at least basic subsistence have been overlooked."
The Rev. James Forbes preaches at a rally kickoff for the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon's nonpartisan voter registration drive at the First Congregational Church in Eugene on Monday night. About 300 people attended Forbes' sermon on society's responsibility to fight poverty.
The event, part of a 15-city "Let Justice Roll" tour, meant to rally the faithful to vote on behalf of the poor - and to register as many others as possible to do so, too - is one more sign that the left or progressive wing of the local community is beginning to exercise its muscle this election year.