Faith is not a political issue

Washington, DC (August 25, 2010)—Over 70 prominent Christian leaders and denominational heads from across the ideological spectrum joined together today to call for a stop to the misrepresentation of President Obama’s Christian faith.   In an open letter, these Christian leaders called on the media, public officials, and their fellow Christians to stand with them in opposing those who continue to insinuate that the President is a Muslim, not a Christian.

The full text of the letter and a list of signatories is below.

As Christian leaders— whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world— we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.

President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith.  Many of the signees on this letter have prayed and worshipped with this President.  We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.

This is not a political issue. The signers of this letter come from different political and ideological backgrounds, but we are unified in our belief in Jesus Christ.  As Christian pastors and leaders, we believe that fellow Christians need to be an encouragement to those who call Christ their savior, not question the veracity of their faith.

Therefore, we urge public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question the President’s Christian faith.  And we join with the President in praying that God will continue to bless the United States of America.

Sign on to the letter -- add your name below.

Signed,

Bishop T.D. Jakes
Pastor and CEO
Potters House

Ronald J. Sider
President
Evangelicals for Social Action

Rev. Sam Rodriguez
President
National Hispanic Leadership Conference

Dr. Joel Hunter

Senior Pastor, Northland: A Church Distributed

Jim Wallis
President and CEO
Sojourners

Luis Cortes
President
Esperanza

Stephen Monsma
Paul Henry
Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics
Calvin College

Miroslav Volf
Director
Center for Faith and Culture, Yale Divinity School

Donald Miller
Author

Brian McLaren

Author/Pastor

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie

Thirteenth Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

Kirbyjon Caldwell
Senior Pastor
Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
General Secretary
Reformed Church in America

Rev. Peg Chemberlin
President
National Council of Churches

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Dr. David P. Gushee
Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics
Director, Center for Theology and Public Life
Mercer University

Dr. William Shaw
President
National Baptist Convention USA

Dr. Richard Hamm

Executive Director
Christian Churches Together in the USA

Cynthia Bolbach
Moderator, 219th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk

Office of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Linda Valentine
Executive Director
General Assembly Mission Council
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Dr. James C. Perkins
First Vice President
The Progressive National Baptist Convention

Rev. Gabriel A. Salguero
Lead Pastor, The Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene
Executive, The Latino Leadership Circle

Noel Castellanos
CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Vincent J. Miller
Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture
Department of Religious Studies
University of Dayton

Terrence W. Tilley
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of Catholic Theology
Chair, Theology Department
Fordham University, Bronx NY

Nicholas P. Cafardi
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law
Duquesne University School of Law

T. Michael McNulty, SJ
Justice and Peace Director
Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM)

Stephen Schneck
Director
Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies
The Catholic University of America

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner
Skinner Leadership Institute

Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
Georgetown University

Sr. Catherine Pinkerton, CSJ

Rev. Jonathan Good
Director, Global Faith Engagement
Habitat for Humanity

Mr. Rich Stearns
President
World Vision

Rev. Glenn R. Palmberg
President Emeritus
Evangelical Covenant Church

Daniel Garcia
Kairos Prison Ministry International, Inc.

Brian Wiele
Lead Pastor
River Ridge Covenant Church

Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry
The Eighth Episcopal District - A.M.E. Church

Bishop John R. Bryant
Senior Bishop
African Methodist Episcopal Church

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary
National Council of Churches

Thomas P. Melady
Former U.S. Ambassador to Burundi, Uganda, and the Vatican
President Emeritus, Sacred Heart University

The Rev. Dr. Peter K. Nord
Executive Presbyter
The Presbytery of Baltimore
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Dr. Janet M. DeVries
Grace Presbytery
Presbyterian Church (USA)

The Rev. Dr. Sallie M. Watson
Regional Presbyter/Stated Clerk
Presbyteries of Santa Fe an Sierra Blanca
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Jose Luis Casal
General Missioner
The Presbyter of Tres Rios
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Linda Valentine
Executive Director
General Assembly Mission Council
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Wendy S. Bailey
Associate General Presbyter
Presbytery of New Covenant
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Earl James
Coordinator
Multiracial Initiatives & Social Justice
Reformed Church in America

John F. White
Ecumenical & Urban Affairs Officer
African American Episcopal Church

Bishop Wayne Burkette
Moravian Church in America, Southern Province

Rev. Carlos L. Malave
Associate for Ecumenical Relations & Assistant Stated Clerk
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Richard A. Schempp
Executive Presbyter
Palo Duro Presbytery
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Joseph W. Hill
General Presbyter
Presbyter of the Pines
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Dr. Gregory J. Coulter
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Dr. G. Wilson Gunn, Jr.
General Presbyter
National Capital Presbytery

David Baak
United Church of Wayland, MI

George B. Telford
Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Stephen J. Thurston
Sr Pastor, New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church
President, National Baptisst Convention of America, Inc. International

Daniel Vestal
Executive Coordinator
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Rev. Chuck Currie

Rev. Tyler C. Millner

Edna S. Watson

Joann K. Blake

Maxine E. Garrett

The Reverend Douglas W. Fromm
RCA Associate for Ecumenical Relations

Sis. Jackie Weary

Rev. Dr. Glen C. Missick
Director, African Americans/Black Ministries
Reformed Church in America

Ken Eriks
Director of Congregational Mission
Reformed Church in America

Rev. Stephen J. Thurston
Senior Pastor, New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church
President, National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. International

Rev. Joyce G. Thomas
Family Coordinator
Project Destiny

Rev. Jeff Johnston

Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson

Dr. Brian T. Kaylor
Author/Professor

Rev. Allison Jackson

Rev. Susan L. Gabbard

Karen Puckett
School Media Specialist
Salisbury, NC

Rev. Mary Andreolli
Minister for Outreach and Communications
Alliance of Baptists

Laura Minnick
Portland, Oregon

Jim Hopkins
Pastor
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, CA

David Daniels
Member
Heritage Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA

Rev. Dr. Chris Lieberman
Pastor
Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY

Rev. Joyce Lieberman

John Savage
Teacher

Tobias Winright
Associate Professor of Theological Ethics
Saint Louis University

Ken Bogan
Pastor
Greater Restoration Church

Andrew Foster Connors
Pastor
Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, MD

Johanna Johnson
Candidate for Ordination
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Delilah Winstead

David O'Brien
University Professor of Faith and Culture
University of Dayton

Larry Osweiler
Pastor

Mark Rosenthal

Garland John Gates
Elder
United Church of Christ

Julia Welbon

The Rev. Dr. Roberta Hestenes

Michael Ruffin
Pastor
First Baptist Church, Fitzgerald, GA

Rev. George E. Holmes

David Fischler
Pastor
Church of the Occoquan Valley, Woodbridge, VA

Sandra Roberts

Blaise Kazadi

Janet Salmons
Community United Church of Christ, Boulder, CO

Rudy Rasmus
Pastor
St. John's Downtown, Houston, TX

Ruth Padilla DeBorst
General Secretary
Latin American Theological Fellowship

Rev. Nathan Dannison

Jack Kooyman

Stanley Bomgarden
Pastor
Fulton Presbyterian Church, Fulton, IL

Phyllis Joseph

Dianne Sayre
Presbyterian Elder

Lynn Hansen
Pastor

Joshua Lunde-Whitler

Ken Cumbie
Rector
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Mobile, AL

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale

Georgia Hartman

Sharon Jones
Childcare Provider

Kathryn Shannon

The Rev. Linda Kaufman
Episcopal Priest

Kathleen Hargan
Oakland, CA

Carolyn Harper

Paul Alexander
Leadership Team
Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace and Justice

Daryl Stahl
Episcopal Priest

Rev. Dr. Floris Armstrong

Michael Carey
Presbyterian Pastor

Rev. Dr. Andy Odle

Kenneth Golphin
Presiding Elder
African Methodist Episcopal Church 13

Larry Grant
Pastor
Briarchase Baptist Church

Matt Hollifield
Member
First Baptist Church Spruce Pine

Robert Thompson
Phelps Minister for Phillips Church
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

Linton G. Manier
Southern California Conference of Seventh-Day Adventist, Glendale, CA

Charlotte Fuson

Rev. William Stooksbury

Dr. David Guel
Chairman
Concerned Hispanic Evangelicals

John Hanscom
Rev. Deacon

Peter Horsfield

Rev. Dr. Betty Carey

Rev. Greg Hathaway

Jodie King

Laura Wilcox
Prayer Counselor

Rev. Dr. Lynn Hargrow, Sr.

Rev. Dr. Patricia Green

Sandra Wint

Rev. Charles Messer
Rector
Calvary Episcopal Church, Aston, PA

Dr. Kenneth Meyers
Knollwood Baptist Minister

Valerie Williams

Rev. Justin Schlesinger-Delvin
Pastor
PC(USA)

Rev. Jackie McHenry

The Rev. Michael Povey

Kyle Stevenson

Rev. Jason Marin
Solid Rock Christian Ministries
Non-denominational

Paul Roberts
Pastor

Dr. Karen Hale Hankins

Heidi Unruh
Director
Congregations, Community Outreach and Leadership Development Project

Rhea Marrie

Russell Cherry

Vertie Reid
Smile Bandages Ministries, Inc.

Jolanda Mosley

RC Hopper

James Weeks
Church Bookstore Manager

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker
Social Action Director
AME Church

Jessica Colund

Neil Kucera

Sandra Webster

Virginia Eubanks
Minister

Don Johnson

Patricia Green-Scott

Kenneth J. Golphin
Presiding Elder
Kentucky Conference/Lexington District
13th District, AME Church

Theona Hall

Vanessa Griggs
Christian Author & Speaker

Rev. Dr. Letitia Watford

Rev. Marcia Revis

Esther Moore

Rev. Renita Lamkin
Pastor
AME Church

Dr. Abraham Onuora

Fred Garvin
Asst. Pastor
Universal Community Church

Rev. Mercy Osabutey
God's Word of Truth Ministries, Virginia Beach, VA

Jo Ann H. White
Administrator
Fourth Episcopal District - AME Church

Joshua Moorer
Minister
Sacramento, CA

Linda K
Freelance Writer

Brian Kent
Pastor
Hope United Methodist Church, San Diego, CA

Vivian Wesley
Disciple of Jesus Christ

Rev. Daniel Facemyer

Reverend Shelly McNaughton-Lawrence

William Mullette-Bauer

Re. Carolyn L. Stapleton
United Methodist Elder

Reverend Billy Bond

Dr. Lawrence Rankin
United Methodist, Florida Conference - retired

Paul Whiteford
Senior Pastor
Marysville Ohio Church of the Nazarene

Rev. Melissa McDade

Stephen Tarr
Senior Pastor
Bothell United Methodist Church

Peter Strals
Retired Pastor
UMC

Rev. Dr. Lawrence Potts
Senior Pastor
Pitman UMC

Rev. Charles Eagle

Rev. Daryl Blanksma

Rev. James E. Magaw

Rev. LaRue Owen

Rev. Richard Randolph

Brenda Graves

Susan Patterson-Sumwalt
Senior Pastor
United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay

Jeanette Slater-Ham
Staff
Foothills United Methodist Church

Dennis Deskin

Forrest Clark
Retired Elder
United Methodist Church, Wisconsin

Mrs. Cynthia Ewing

Joe Payne

George Mamourian
United Methodist Elder - Retired

Rev. Kathie Clontz Sherrill

Keith Schnell

Richard Worman
State Senator - Retired

Priscilla McWilliams
Minister

Douglas Asbury
Pastor
Riverside (IL) United Methodist Church

Rev. Billie Blair

Rev. Roosevelt Baums
Minao First & James St. UMC

Patricia Brockman
Member
First United Methodist, Portland, OR

Marette Simpson

Jean Asbury
First Presbyterian Church, Tulsa

Steven Kelder

Raul Alegria
President
MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans)

Marty Goad

Rev. Jerome Tilghman

Jimmy Asbell, Jr.
Senior Pastor
First Methodist Warner Robins, GA

Reverend Sarah Roncolato
United Methodist

Rev. Dr. James Ritchie

Ilia Vazquez

Thomas Wilber
Pastor
Pittsfield United Methodist Church, Pittsfield, IL

Nancy G. Rorie
Lay Leader
Trinity UMC, Monroe, NC

Rev. Fairy Caroland

Georgeann Quiggins
Spring Hill, FL

Charles Quiggins
Spring Hill, FL

Michael Lunsford
Bishop

William McFadden
United Methodist Clergy - Retired

Elias Galvan
Bishop
United Methodist Church - Retired

Rev. Amy Probst
Pastor
Broadway United Methodist Church, Maryville, TN

Calvin McConnell
Bishop
United Methodist Church - Retired

Rev. Roger Underwood
Knollwood Baptist Minister

Jim Hopwood
United Methodist Pastor

Gary Comer

Pointer Chinyerere

Rev. Dr. Brooks Heck

Rev. Dr. Karen Munson

Larry Boldin
Pastor
Striving for Perfection Ministries

Theodore Runyon
Professor

The Rev. Dr. William D. Mills

Curtis Freeman
Baptist Minister and Research Professor
Duke University Divinity School

Oscar Garza IV
 
M.A.R.C.H.A. Member

Shirley Ritter
Member
South Gate United Methodist Church

John Braaten
Pastor

Galeda Jones
Director/Minister
Cameron Campus Ministry

Montie Jones
Director/Minister
Cameron Campus Ministry

Jannette Parker

Dorothy Jones

Creed Pogue
Lay Leader
West Side UMC, Millville, NJ

Henry Dreistadt
United Methodist Pastor - Retired

Charles Teykl
Presbyterian Minister - Retired

Anna Sowers
Methodist Layperson

Rev. James Martin

Melvin Talbert
United Methodist Bishop

John Thornton

Maggie Jackson
Professor
United Methodist

Neal Neuenburg
Pastor

Charles Ross
Financial Planner

Paula Philadelphia

Patrick Chappell
Member
Baptist Church of the Covenant, Birmingham, AL

Lisa Chapman

Catherine Fretwell
Member
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Carolyn Waterman

Jim Smith
Professor
Southern Nazarene University

Rev. J. Gail Coulter

Reverend Margery Schleicher

Rev. Dr. Fred Allen
National Director
Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century

Diane Meadows

Mark Fernihough
Pastor

Ray Speakman
Pastor
Riceville & Centerville United Methodist Church

Rev. Jim Fellers

Ellen Hostetter Thompson

Perry Sandifer
S. GA Conference - UMC - Retired

Rev. Gayla Collins

Saul Trinidad
Pastor
United Methodist Church

The Rev. Skip Danforth
United Methodist

Milly A. Lloyd Shrestha
Lord Assembly Church, Nepal

Rev. Dr. Apelu Poe
Pastor

Dr. Edward Parish

Kathryn Mitchem
Retired Deaconess
United Methodist

Rev. William Koppert

Rev. Dr. Truman Brooks
Senior Pastor
UMC, West Chester, PA

Rev. Philip Chandler
Pastor
St. Paul United Methodist Church

Marilynn Schellhamer
United Methodist Church

Josephine Deere
Lay Missioner

Rev. Carmen Gaud

Teresa Osborn

Thekla Scott

Lugard Westcott
Pastor
Kings Church of Empowerment Citadel, Spain

Reverend Lloyd Nyarota
Pastor
United Methodist Church, Zimbabwe

Sheryl Foster

David Kuntz

Pauline Kuntz

Rev. June M. Smith
Pastor
Novi United Methodist Church

Rev. Ryan Lambert
Associate Pastor
First Congregational Church of Christ, Corvallis, Oregon

Rev. Bruce Gardow

Lanetta Anderson, MD

Rev. Gerard Dykstra
Executive Director
Christian Reformed Church in North America

Rev. Ray Wightman

Rev. Dr. Lloyd Doyle

Debbie Tyler

Barb Heise

Herb Wheelock
Pastor
United Methodist Church

Linda Carithers
Associate Pastor

Duane Harris
Pastor
Auburn United Methodist Church

O. Littleton Nance, Jr.

Jean Foster

David True

Richard Allen
Pastor
Mamaroneck United Methodist Church

Rev. Beverly Gaska

Thelma Jones

The Reverend Joseph A. Darby
Senior Pastor
Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC

Paul Cleveland Sr.
Pastor

Marilynn Schellhamer
Pastor
United Methodist Church

Rev. Alvin Deer

Rev. Deborah Nance

Kathryn Stokes
Worship Leader
Midland First United Methodist Church

Rev. Dwight Webster
Christian Unity Baptist Church
Interim Director, Churches Supporting Churches, Inc.

Rev. Gay Albers

Bill Sampson
President & CEO
GEWO, Inc.

Faye Cohen
Principal

Rev. Julie Merritt Lee

Bryan Faulkner
Deacon

Bufford Coe
Pastor
Vicksburg United Methodist Church, Vicksburg, Michigan

Daniel Wolpert
Pastor/Author

John Helmiere
Founding Pastor
Valley & Mountain UMC, Seattle

Dawn Peil
Artist

Rev. Dr. Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.
United Methodist, Charlotte, NC

Alex Cooper
Catholic School Teacher

Rev. Pamela Buchholz

Mindy Saintsing

Cynthia Alloway

The Rev. Dr. David B. Jones
North Georgia United Methodist Conference

Rev. Rene Whitaker

Rev. Ann Herlin

Laurel Carlyle

Mrs. Judith Nickerson

Rev. Fred Anderson
Honorably Retired
Presbyterian Church USA

Philip van Lidth de Jeude

Jeremy Bixler

Ann Troutt

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Legate
Armenian Orthodox Church, Washington, D.C.

Keary Kincannon
Pastor
Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church

Vance P. Ross
Deputy General Secretary, GBOD

LaNella Smith
United Methodist Layperson

Rev. Samuel Warren

Van Johnson

Dr. Juanita Johnson

Mark Edwards
ELCA Pastor

H. Eugene Gragg
United Methodist Minister, Retired

Rev. Travis DeLoach

Jeane Dunkum
UMC Pastor, Virginia

Reverend Paula Werner

Barbara Dick
Freelance Editor

Wayne Crozier
Pastor

Kathy Guy
Director of Community
Granger Community Church
Granger, IN

Fr. Nils Thompson, O.F.M.
Roman Catholic Priest - Retired

Kathleen Thomas-Sano
Layperson
The United Methodist Church

Reverend T. Todd Smith

Rev. Dr. T. Randall Smith
President
Texas Impact

David Hurd
Pastor

Rev. Lance Schmitz
Minister Church of the Nazarene

Rev. Dr. Jeanne Knepper

Jennifer Mercer
Pastor
United Methodist Church

Ann Bateman
United Methodist Church - Retired

Rev. Cindy McNutt-Kaestner

Steven Taylor
Outreach Team Coordinator
NC Conference UMC

George Shuler
Lay Speaker
Church of Our Savior United Methodist, Junction City, Kansas

Juan Luera
Pastor and Founder of Mountaintop Fellowship

Reverend Stan Wright

Emma Morales

Hope Morgan Ward
Bishop
United Methodist Church, Mississippi Conference

Rev. Mark Alley

Rev. Prof. Manfred Marquardt

P. Dean Brown
Florida Conference, United Methodist Church - Retired

James V Lyleas
Pastor

Rev. Phyllis Garrett

Alfred Norris
Bishop
United Methodist Church - Retired

James Pollard
United Methodist Clergy

Alice Woldt
Washington Association of Churches

David Lamarre-Vincent
Executive Director
NH Council of Churches

Russell Meyer
Executive Director
Florida Council of Churches

Rev. Donald Waddleton
Director of Congregational Excellence

Sarah Trotty
Educator

Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser
Executive Director
California Council of Churches

Juliette Green
Member
Jones Chapel UMC

Jerry Ruth Williams
United Methodist Layperson

Victor Marshand Webb
Los Angeles

Tyrone Gordon
Senior Pastor
St. Luke "Community" UMC, Dallas,TX

Juanita Jackson
United Methodist Church

Norma Jeane Miller
Pastor