September 4th, 2008
04:51 PM ET

Obama, Perkins, Palin, and a Plea for Christian Civility

Editor's Note: Jim Wallis is a bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, preacher, and international commentator on religion and public life, faith and politics. Here is a blog the website sojo.net

Jim Wallis
President and Executive Director, Sojourners

Whew. Take a breath, Christians! I just read all the comments to my post Friday on Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech of a major party's nomination to the highest office in the country - the first African American to have achieved that American milestone. The post was about the historical significance of that event and speech, especially on the very day of the 45 anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most remembered "I Have A Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington.

I didn't even comment on the content of the speech, except to say it allowed Obama to clearly and eloquently present himself and his policy ideas, so Americans could agree or disagree. But the heat of the comments to the post was amazing and alarming to me. So I think it is time to plead for some Christian civility in this election year.

Let me give an example of Christian civility from Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, which is a leading institution of the "Religious Right" and whom nobody would confuse with a Democratic or Obama supporter.


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