Diverse Religious Groups Unite to Clinch Victories on Election Day

November 11, 2006

Author: David Briggs

Source: Cleveland.com

http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/living/116323869842800.xml?lrnew&coll=2

They placed thousands of signs on church grounds and the lawns of worshippers.

They used their pulpits and public policy arms to make their voices heard.

And, in a dramatic show of unity, evangelicals worked with mainline Protestants, Catholics worked with Jews, Muslims worked with black Christians.

On Wednesday, broad-ranging religious coalitions from Northeast Ohio could celebrate their influential role in successful campaigns to raise the state's minimum wage and defeat slot machines and casino gambling.

They may not agree on a lot of issues, but on basic concerns of economic justice and gambling, area faithful found a powerful rallying point in this year's elections.

"Issues 2 and 3 are core issues for the faith communities: looking out for the least of these," said the Rev. C. Jay Matthews, president of United Pastors in Mission, a leading group of predominantly black clergy. "We have to put our prophetic hats on."