On July 4, progressive Christians signed a "Declaration of Independence from the Far Right." The Declaration coincided with the launch of Christians For A Change, a new political action committee for progressive Christians.
Within two weeks, 1,000 Christians signed the Declaration and since then, close to 13,700 people have joined the cause on the Facebook page for Christians For A Change.
The organization describes its purpose and mission:
Christians for A Change is the political arm of The Christian Left, a 501c(4) non-profit organization and online community with nearly 90,000 members. Christians for A Change is an independent expenditure political action committee (commonly known as a SuperPAC) registered with the Federal Election Commission. The new organization seeks to reclaim Christianity from conservative and right-wing politicians and political movements in the US and show the full range of progressive Christian political thought and practice in America today.
"We’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support and by the excitement we're hearing from progressive Christians that they finally have a place to call home," said Roger Smith, Christians for A Change Treasurer and a founding board member of The Christian Left.
"Hundreds of people have offered powerful statements in this first few weeks on why they are tired of their Christian faith being hijacked by the Far Right"” said Reverend Mark Sandlin, CFAC founding board member and co-founder of The Christian Left. "People are ready to step forward and take their faith and their politics back."
"I believe the combined impact of The Christian Left with Christians for A Change is going to change politics and public discourse in this country for the better," said Charles Toy, CEO of The Christian Left and founding board member of Christians for A Change. "This new organization is going to take forceful, direct action in the electoral realm and push back on the right-wing bullying and hypocrisy that’s been cloaked in the veil of Christianity."
"The CFAC Board has been very clear that they want this new organization to be forceful, effective and highly strategic in its approach to electoral politics," said Jack Quigley, senior political adviser to Christians for A Change. "This isn’t a flash in the pan that will be here for a few months and then gone when the Presidential election is over."
"We're building a political organization for the long-term to stand up to the hijacking of Christian images and values by the Far Right in American politics," Quigley concluded. "Our goal is to neutralize the political power of the Christian Right."
The group's website exposes some of the horrible remarks from right wing conservative politicians and pastors who claim to be promoting Christian values by calling for the death of gays, blaming the Aurora, Colorado, theater mass killing on "attacks against Judeo-Christianity," and demanding huge budget cuts targeted at the poor and hungry.
The group has also called for the censure of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
The Minnesota Republican has been roundly criticized by faith groups, elected officials, media outlets and leaders of her own party in the past few weeks for her attempt to intimidate and demonize Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Department of State. Bachmann has called on the Inspector General of the State Department to investigate Abedin’s background and ensure her loyalty because of fears Bachmann has raised about Abedin's Muslim faith and her family’s ethnic background.
"Michele Bachmann claims she’s not the new Joe McCarthy," said CFAC’s senior political adviser Jack Quigley. "But she's using the same tried and true tactics that brought us the Red Scare in the 1950's. Accuse, threaten, intimidate and conduct a witch hunt. We're going to make sure the people of Minnesota’s 6th District know what she's been up to in Congress."
"Michele Bachmann has been saying lots of outrageous things for years that she wraps in her Far Right style of Christianity and her warped view of patriotism," said Roger Smith, Treasurer of Christians for A Change. "This time, she's gone too far. Congresswoman Bachmann needs to be held accountable by her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the US House of Representatives. It needs to be clear that we won't allow this kind of abuse of power in 2012."
"Congresswoman Bachmann is demonizing Mrs. Abedin and her family because of their religion, plain and simple," said Reverend Mark Sandlin. "It's wrong when we have victimized Jews or Catholics or Mormons in the past. It's wrong today for Congresswoman Bachmann to be targeting Muslim Americans. No person of faith– and certainly no Christian leader– should tolerate it."
"Fundamentally, what Michele Bachmann is doing is un-American and un-Christian," commented Charles Toy, CEO of The Christian Left and board member of Christians for A Change. "Progressive Christians are tired of just talking about this type of Far Right hypocrisy. With the arrival of Christians for A Change, now we’re going to hold people like Michele Bachmann politically accountable."
Christians for A Change launched an online petition July 27 calling on the US House of Representatives to censure Congresswoman Bachmann. Within a few hours, nearly 500 people had signed on and hundreds of others had shared the petition in social media networks with their friends.
The organization intends to begin outreach to Members of Congress about censuring Bachmann in the coming days while continuing to build public support and pressure for the effort.
"This is just the beginning of our Christian Change Campaign in Michele Bachmann's district," CFAC Treasurer Roger Smith concluded. "We're going to work to make sure the people of Minnesota's 6th District know just how far off the deep end their Representative has gone. Bachmann is a 21st century Joe McCarthy. She must be stopped."
Faith in Christ's love, education, economic justice, women's rights, marriage equality and science are a few of the core beliefs of the group. "We believe that faith in God and belief in science aren’t mutually exclusive. We reject 'faith-based' attacks on sound scientific findings on topics ranging from climate change to evolution to life-saving genetic research," the belief statement remarks.