Posted by: John Adams | January 13, 2009

“Dear Mr. President”

Sojourners magazine has published a series of letters written by leaders and influential people of faith to the soon-to-be president of the United States. Among the notable quotes:

  • Bono, lead singer of U2: “[L]ess than 1 percent of government income as a contribution from the world’s richest economy to the world’s poorest is not a fair tithe—even in times like these.”
  • Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist: “Genocide is an affront to all humanity. … [L]et’s stop running away from the Darfur genocide and make ending it a presidential priority.”
  • Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: “You have said you want to unite us as a nation. An excellent place to work for such unity would be for you to put your full support behind the Democrats for Life initiative known as the Pregnant Women Support Act (its goal is to reduce abortion by 95 percent over a 10-year period).”
  • Brian McLaren, author/emerging church leader: “First and foremost, [keep] your soul open and connected to God—through prayer, through confession of your sins and mistakes, through a sustained humble attitude of dependence on God.”
  • Joel Hunter, pastor: “Spend the next four years winning the country with the same fervor it took to win the election.”
  • Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly: “Whether installed by election, by hereditary right, or by power of arms, of all the rulers humankind has ever had, none is so venerated or cited or—and this is important—none so forgiven by history as is Solomon. Faced with the opportunity to enjoy unmediated power and enormous wealth, he elected instead to ask of Heaven the gift of an understanding heart that he might discern between good and evil and thereby judge rightly amongst the various demands and desires of his people. No leader could ask for more, but only a very foolish one would ask for less, especially as you begin your life as president. Both Heaven and we, the people, are listening.


  1. Kristof’s comment stood out the most, to me. I guess because there’s a genocide on our own soil (abortion) that needs to be dealt with also.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. That’s my biggest disagreement with Obama and the Democratic Party platform. I don’t think that’s the only issue Christians should care about, though, and I don’t think Christians necessarily have to take an “all-or-nothing” approach to abortion. (France, a much more “liberal” and secular nation than ours in many respects, has tighter restrictions on abortion than we do.) Even Obama has expressed a desire to reduce the number of abortions performed in this country, and I think Christians should hope, pray, and work with him toward seeing that goal realized.

  3. I guess that’s where Richard Land’s comment comes in, about working with the Dems for Life, etc. I don’t know anything about them, but the goal stated at the end of the quote seems like noble one.

  4. McLaren’s comment is by far the best, while Hunter’s–if not a soundbite–is profoundly empty and void of any spiritual wisdom, credence, and guidance…”winning the country”?….really?…i expect a Democratic politician to say that this, but NOT a freakin pastor…way to pastor and admonish Mr. Obama’s heart, Joel….

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