Evangelicals, progressives announce common agenda

An evangelical-progressive coalition has developed an agenda aimed at moving beyond past divisions on hot-button social issues to seek common-ground policy changes.

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WASHINGTON (RNS)—An evangelical-progressive coalition has developed an agenda aimed at moving beyond past divisions on hot-button social issues to seek common-ground policy changes.

After two years of discussion, they have concluded their “Come Let Us Reason Together” agenda will include reducing abortion, protecting employment rights of gays and lesbians, renouncing torture and immigration reform.

“We offer (President Obama) … and leaders of Congress on both sides of the aisle a road map on how to put an end to the culture wars, to move the country beyond the ugliness and stagnation of distrust and divide,” said Rachel Laser, culture program director of the Third Way, a Washington progressive think tank, which spearheaded the coalition.



Evangelical leaders who do not condone gay marriage said they could support greater workplace protections for gays.

“Though I focus on the ideal for marriage as between one man and one woman, … I also believe that each American citizen has the right to earn a living without discrimination,” said Joel Hunter, a Florida evangelical megachurch pastor.

The abortion reduction component of the agenda includes preventing unintended pregnancies, supporting pregnant women and expanding support for adoption. Opposition to torture includes a call for the United States to forbid any interrogation methods it does not want used against Americans.



The immigration reform component calls for secure borders, an “earned path to citizenship” and a guest worker program that fills jobs but doesn’t create a disadvantage for American workers.

 


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