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  • Writer's pictureDavid Beckmann

Seven Effective Ways to Connect Faith to the Politics of Poverty

The Poverty, God, Politics videos that I’m releasing this fall focus on effective ways to connect faith to the politics of poverty. They come from guest speakers to my class at Union Theological Seminary in New York. They are meant for people who are moved by faith to help build the political commitment needed to end hunger and poverty in our time - people who are asking themselves how they and the people they influence can be most effective.

Below are the topics this series will cover and the speakers who are addressing these topics:

  1. Legislative advocacy. I know from long experience that it works (Dave Miner and I)

  2. Election campaigns. Given the behavior of congressional Republicans this year, it is important to progress against poverty that the Democrats retain control of both houses of Congress in next year’s elections (Eli Valentin)

  3. Support for organizations of low-income people. Faith-based community organizing has a long record of success, and the Poor People’s Campaign has had a big impact in its first few years (Ralph McCloud, Liz Theoharis)

  4. Digital communication with social purpose. Digital communication and artificial intelligence are changing American religion and politics, in both negative and positive ways (Eric Sapp)

  5. Faith and justice work in specific faith communities. Five of the videos in this series are from leaders who are helping people in their traditions connect faith to justice for people in poverty.

    1. Ecumenical Protestants (Lisa Kimball)

    2. U.S. Muslims (Anwar Khan and Jihad Saleh-Williams)

    3. Evangelicals (Walter Kim)

    4. The Black Church (Lawrence Reddick)

    5. Catholics (John Carr)

  6. Religious connections across political divides. We won’t be able to sustain progress against poverty without more support from conservatives, and that depends in part on better understanding across political divides (Eugene Cho)

  7. The gospel of God’s forgiving love. We know from national survey data that people who experience God as stern and judgmental tend to oppose social safety-net programs. People who don’t believe in God or experience God as remote tend to be politically liberal. People who experience God as forgiving and present among us tend to be more strongly committed to justice for the poor than either of the other two groups (Paul Froese)

This list can serve as your program for this series of videos.


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