A letter has been sent to President George W. Bush by ten Protestant teachers of ethics asking him to “respect the integrity of all houses of worship.” We investigated who they are and then informed the press with the following news release:
“The ten signatories advertise themselves as ‘a group of prominent Evangelicals and moderate to conservative religious leaders.’ In their letter to President Bush, they say, ‘Whenever the church has engaged in partisan politics, it has compromised its moral authority.’ Thus do they sell themselves as centrists who eschew politics.
“The group is guilty of false advertising: most of them are actively involved in partisan politics—the politics of the Left. For example, three of them, James M. Dunn, George Hunter and Rollin O. Russell, serve on the national committee of the Clergy Leadership Network, the left-wing group recently headed by Brenda Peterson that was set up to defeat Bush; a fourth, Jimmy R. Allen, previously served on the committee. Peterson recently quit her job as the DNC’s Director of Religious Outreach after the Catholic League exposed her as a fraud: her name was on an amicus brief seeking to get ‘under God’ excised from the Pledge.
“Another signatory is Richard V. Pierard. In 1995, he signed the ‘Maston Colloquium Statement,’ an inflammatory attack on Christian conservatives that accused them of being ‘rabble rousers’; he is most known for his vociferous opposition to school vouchers. Tony Campolo, another ‘moderate,’ counseled President Clinton after his encounter with Monica Lewinsky, and more recently has written a book that claims that ‘evangelical Christianity has been hijacked’ by conservatives. And then there is Ronald B. Flowers, who, like Brenda Peterson, went into court to get ‘under God’ expunged from the Pledge.”
We have no beef with those clergymen, theologians and others who side with either President Bush or Senator Kerry. But we do have a problem with anyone who misrepresents himself.