On the Campaign Trail: Faith Outreach with Obama for America

This is a guest column by Michael Wear, Director of Faith Outreach for Obama for America.

Our nation has always been well-served when people of faith carry their convictions with them into the public square for the common good. For President Obama, civic engagement – one motivated not by a pursuit of power, but by the values we hold as beneficial for individuals, family and society – is more than a call for citizenship. It’s a requirement of a fully-lived faith. That belief is at the core of his Presidency and his campaign’s outreach to the faith community.

President Obama has always believed that faith outreach is important. He started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, working with churches in the shadow of a closed-down steel mill to serve those in need. He spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention about an “Awesome God” and his campaign’s faith outreach four years ago set a new precedent for its breadth and depth. As President, he has made sure that his administration has lifted up faith voices and partnered with faith organizations doing good work.

President Obama recently spoke about the role of faith in both his own life and the story of America in this video. He explained how his values have influenced his presidency, and he asked people of faith for their vote. The campaign also released the Faith Platform, which, in addition to laying out the President’s vision for our country and how it relates to people of faith, describes how President Obama has led with values.

For example, the President’s belief in restoring economic security drove his decision to rescue the auto industry, which saved more than a million jobs and countless families and communities from the strain and heartache they would’ve endured had we let Detroit go bankrupt. His defense of the social safety net in the face of attempts to weaken it reflects his belief that we’re all in this together, that we are our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers. That’s also why the Obama administration is lifting the shadow of deportation from DREAMers, young immigrants who were brought here on their own and who know no other home but want to earn a path to citizenship by going to college or serving in the military. And because the President believes that faith and family are powerful forces for good in our country, he has partnered with faith-based organizations to serve those in need, secured funding to support pregnant women, strengthened fatherhood and healthy marriages, and extended and expanded the Adoption Tax Credit.

President Obama described his approach to faith outreach in his speech to the National Prayer Breakfast this past February. He quoted C.S. Lewis’ wise words that “Christianity has not, and does not profess to have a detailed political program…It is meant for all men at all times, and the particular program which suited one place or time would not suit another.”

While we each have a responsibility to engage in the political process, a vote for a candidate doesn’t have to be a declaration that their views fully represent our own. For people of faith, we hold to a set of beliefs that transcend and supersede any political platform.

This November, we will once again reflect on our values and hopes and choose between two very different visions for our country. I ask all Americans to consider the President’s record and his vision, and vote their values to help reelect President Obama.

Follow Michael on twitter at @MichaelRWear

  • Frank

    Considered. And rejected!

    No. Christian in good conscience can vote for a party that supports killing unborn children on demand, mostly for convenience.

    Add in a terrible four years of incompetency and there is really only one choice, Romney.

    • Kathleen Rector

      No one is arguing the abortion is a good thing, simply that no other person has the right to make that significant a decision for another.

      • Frank

        You mean like a mother making a decision about the person inside of her that she helped create? Do you mean like a woman alone making the decision for the father about whether his child deserves to live or not?

  • Bessie Borden

    No person of good conscience can vote for Mr. Obama the enabler of abortion and infanticide.

  • Ann McCann

    Thanks for a reflective essay, Mr. Wear. I am a person of faith — a Catholic — and I will, in good conscience, be voting for President Obama in November. I observed over the years that abortion rates went down under President Clinton, and up again under President Bush. When Democrats are in office, the stronger social network they provide enables women to make the choice for life. President Obama believes that an individual woman must make her own very personal moral decisions with her family, pastoral guidance, etc., but he believes that society must make decisions which provide a pro-life environment via a strong social safety net and good health care. For me, that is a genuinely pro- life approach.

    • Frank

      You have the right to justify your choice but no Christian in good conscience could ever vote the way you plan to.

    • MrsD

      Be sure to tell the aborted babies that a social safety net is just as important as his or he life.

    • Larry

      A woman has rights over her body. A woman does NOT have rights (choosing life or death) over a fetus. She had those rights before conception, but not after.

    • ToronadoBlue

      ANN MCCANN SAID: ” I observed over the years that abortion rates went down under President Clinton, and up again under President Bush. When Democrats are in office, the stronger social network they provide enables women to make the choice for life.”

      THIS IS FALSE:
      When looking at total number abortions, each year of the Bush (Dubya) Administration was lower than every single year of the Clinton administration.

      Compare:
      During the Clinton administration, abortions each year ranged in between 1,313,000 and 1,495,000.

      During the Bush administration, abortions each year ranged in between 1,206,200 and 1,291,000.

      That means there were significantly less abortions under a Republican administration. But I personally don’t believe this is absolute proof because there many other factors to consider. And to tell you the truth, I believe that one dead aborted child is too many.

  • Jane

    I had an abortion I did not want to have about 35 years ago, age the age of 19. My mother took me to a pastor for counseling, and I just kept repeating that I didn’t want an abortion. He assured her that it was okay to have an abortion. I didn’t know where to turn. My mother drove me to the abortion clinic, handed me a shiny wrapped package with a pretty bow on top. I opened it up and found a diamond studded cross necklace. That was to replace the baby I carried inside. IF abortion had not been legal, I would’ve had a way out. My life has not been the same since. Yet, I am a Christian and an undecided voter.


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