EPA efforts highlighted at Democrats' faith council meeting
Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaks Sept. 5, 2012 at the DNC's faith council.
Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaks Sept. 5, 2012 at the DNC's faith council.
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Concern for the environment and a desire to care for one's neighbor through the federal government were among the ways Democratic speakers described their faith in action at a religious gathering at the party's national convention.

Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that her work to protect the environment stems from her faith, which drives her in an attempt to build "our country as a community that takes care of each other."

Jackson decried the plight of "a child who has asthma" and struggles with "dirty air." She also praised faith communities for uniting to embrace new standards that address mercury pollution from power plants.

"This president has done so much in the areas I care about," she added.

Jackson was a featured speaker at a Democratic National Convention faith council gathering, which was held at the Charlotte Convention Center in North Carolina.

Speakers at the Sept. 5 event described faith as an "integral" part of the Democratic Party and blasted critics who objected to a decision to remove a reference to God in the party's official platform.

A reference to God was later reinserted into the party's platform, drawing both cheers and boos from numerous Democratic delegates.

The faith council meeting included numerous speakers who offered prayers and reflections, as well as panels on various topics. A panel on voter outreach was introduced by James Salt, executive director of the pro-Obama organization Catholics United.

Speeches at the gathering included repeated references to being "our brother's keepers" and maintained that the biblical admonition must be carried out through federal government programs.

The government was described as the Good Samaritan and tax cuts for the wealthy were criticized. Other prominent issues raised by speakers included education, immigration concerns and health care.

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the social justice lobby NETWORK, promoted a "faithful budget" that raises revenue by taxing the wealthy.

Sr. Campbell asserted that taxes are “a faith position” and encouraged people "to be bold and speak out for revenue because that is the responsible faith way forward."

Faith was also connected to the "freedom" to choose abortion.

"I'm protecting my faith as strong as I do when a man comes into my way and tells me that I can't make decisions about my body," said Reverend Regina Thomas.

Speakers largely avoided concerns about religious freedom raised by Catholics and other people of faith in light of the Health and Human Services mandate that requires many religious employers to violate their firmly-held beliefs by offering health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

Kathy Dahlkemper, a Catholic and former lawmaker who describes herself as a "whole life Democrat," defended the Affordable Care Act as "the most pro-life piece of legislation that we've ever passed in this country," despite the fact that it funds abortion-inducing drugs and granted the authority to issue the controversial HHS mandate.

Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, also defended the health care law, adding that he fears that "there is a movement in our nation to try to make us a homogenous people."

Bishop Yvette Flunder of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a lesbian African American, also spoke at the faith council gathering, arguing for "radical inclusivity" and "a divine reformation."

"We need a new definition of righteousness," she said.

Tags: Religious freedom, Obama Administration, 2012 election

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30