According to various news reports, on Tuesday, June 10th, Barack Obama met in a Chicago “undisclosed downtown location” with “30 religious leaders from around the nation.” (Fox News). The Fox News report said this is “part of an ongoing dialogue” Obama hopes to continue with the “faith community.” Because some of those in attendance did not want to be seen in public talking to Obama (because some of them do not support him at this time), most of the identities were kept secret. But according to Britain’s Telegraph News, one of those in attendance was a representative for Franklin Graham, the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.1 The representative said he found Senator “impressive” and “warm.”
According to the Telegraph report, Obama is set to launch the Joshua Generation Project, “an initiative that will include household gatherings, blogs and concerts, to attract young evangelicals and Catholics ahead of November’s US presidential election.” A correspondent for Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) said:
[T]he presence of several conservative figures at the meeting was a “really big deal”, adding it “may be a signal that Obama’s campaign is ready to break down the traditional wall of separation between conservatives and liberals when it comes to religious talk.”
The Telegraph said that while Obama is aware that his support of gay marriage and abortion will keep some conservatives from voting for him, he hopes his efforts will “help defuse the cultural conflict” in America. The article states that many Evangelicals consider abortion and gay marriage “non-negotiable issues,” but says that view is changing as people find “whole of life” more important, naming climate as one of those issues that is taking precedence.
Spiritual Politics by Warren Smith