Saturday, February 04, 2006

Faithful Ohio

About three years ago, troubled that the public face of Christianity often seemed to be pro-war and anti-compassion, I started a web site called The Religious Left. Now that the voices of groups like Ohio Restoration Project and Reformation Ohio are growing louder and more strident, and seeking to use their numbers and influence to promote an agenda that is harmful to "the least of these", it is vital that other voices of faith speak out.

As you can see from the posts here, some have already begun to do so. Another group has started to meet, focusing not on fighting Rod Parsley and Russell Johnson, but by offering an alternative message.

In November, about 150 religious leaders quietly gathered Downtown at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on E. Broad Street, where Ahrens is senior minister. And from that meeting, a movement is budding – a push back of pastors and rabbis.

"We intend on organizing and having pastors and rabbis talk about issues that are important to the community through their sermons and in the media," said Eric McFadden, Columbus-based field director of the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, a Washington-based nonprofit group.

"We want to bring attention to many issues we feel that this movement on the right is not conveying to the public – issues of poverty, job loss, health care and a general lack of humanity."

This development is exciting and encouraging to me, and I want to do what I can to help this group, and other compassionate religious voices in Ohio, be heard. And to help us find each other--sometimes progressive people of faith can feel a bit isolated, and it is reassuring to be reminded that we are not alone.

But while I felt moved to start this blog, I know that I won't be able to keep it going without help. What if I build it, and nobody comes? Could be embarrassing. So, starting this blog, and publicly announcing it, is a real leap of faith on my part.

Here is what I am asking for.

I need:

--help watching for relevant news articles, like the one I linked above.
--relevant links to add to the sidebar
--submissions from people in Ohio, expressing how your faith compels you to work for social and economic justice.

Please email ohiorenee at if you have something to submit. And click here to visit the Faithful Ohio blog.