Press Release from Faith In Public Life
Washington, DC – After the Religious Right's decades-long dominance of the American values debate, Faith in Public Life officially launched today as a new Resource Center to strengthen the effectiveness, collaboration and reach of faith movements that share a call to pursue justice and the common good. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, Faith in Public Life (www.faithinpubliclife.org) provides strategic organizing and communications resources to diverse faith leaders and organizations.
From the abolition of slavery to the civil rights movement, faith leaders have led many of the greatest victories for justice in the course of American history. But despite a continued commitment to justice and the common good by myriad faith leaders, the religious right continues to dominate public discourse on matters of faith, often advancing a narrow and exclusive definition of what it means to be moral and faithful in America.
Yet millions of people of faith in the United States do not feel that the religious right represents them – nor do they feel they have a public voice of their own. Religious leaders established Faith in Public Life to ensure that voices for justice and the common good are heard, respected, and included in all issues of Faith in Public Life – and that those who use religion as a tool of division and exclusion do not dominate public discourse.
“Our existence represents an unprecedented demonstration of leaders from individual organizations coming together to create a resource center to serve the movement as a whole,” says Rev. Jennifer Butler, Executive Director of Faith in Public Life. “This is an exciting time in the revitalization of collective and faith voices working for justice and the common good.”
As a Resource Center, Faith in Public Life offers tools, strategic services, and informational resources to its partner groups, including an interactive website featuring a searchable database directory of more than 2,000 leading faith advocates for justice and the common good working in 21 states. Communications tools include Voicing Faith, a media bureau of faith leaders from across the country, representing Catholic, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Jewish and Muslim perspectives, as well as a comprehensive set of communications resources available to faith leaders. Faith in Public Life’s website also features a blog, a daily news reel, a movement calendar, case studies demonstrating best practices in the movement, faith movement facts, and issue resources.
Since becoming operational six short months ago, Faith in Public Life has supported dozens of groups, including We Believe Ohio, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Sojourners, Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, the Progressive Faith Blog Conference, and CrossWalk America.
Rev. Jennifer Butler, Faith in Public Life Executive Director, is available to discuss the resurgence of faith communities working for justice and the common good, and to discuss Faith in Public Life’s mission, capacities and recent successes. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Jennifer most recently served as the Presbyterian Church (USA) Representative to the United Nations (UN). During her nine years at the UN, Butler represented the denomination on a range of issues, including women’s rights, genocide in the Sudan, and the war in Iraq. Her book on the Christian Right and international policy will be published by the Pluto Press in December 2006.
Interviews with Jennifer, or other Faith in Public Life partner groups, can be arranged through Jessica Watson at 202.544.7921, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith in Public Life envisions a country in which diverse religious voices for justice and the common good consistently impact public policy; and those who use religion as a tool of division and exclusion do not dominate public discourse.