Christianity Today has a really interesting politics blog through where they are doing gavel to gavel coverage of the
Their reporters did an interview with Bob Casey, Jr. before he spoke tonight. In that interview, the memory of 1992 when his father was denied the floor because of his pro-life views, was central. But when Casey, Jr. spoke, he simply mentioned the he and Obama disagreed on the topic of abortion.
"Traveling around Pennsylvania, and looking around this room, I have no doubt that is exactly what we're going to do. So now let us work together, with a leader who, as Lincoln said, appeals to the better angels of our nature. Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of abortion. But the fact that I'm speaking here tonight is testament to Barack's ability to show respect for the views of people who may disagree with him."
They also interviewed Chaput last night:
“I think [the Democrats] committed themselves without any doubt to choice on the matter of abortion, and I don’t think that’s a start.
I think caring for women who want to have their children is essential. That’s a given. That isn’t a step in the right direction, that’s where we should all be standing from the beginning.
I stand with that with great enthusiasm, but it doesn’t distract me from the fact that platform still allows for abortion and the destruction of unborn human life.
“Bishop Charles Blake did a marvelous service for all of us, and especially to the Democratic Party. He reminded us in the midst in social justice, one of the most important social issues is the protection of human life.”
And they covered the pro-life rally that Martin Luther King's niece and Chaput both spoke at Monday evening.
"More than 2,000 people marched around a new Planned Parenthood Clinic in Denver tonight instead of following the Democratic National Convention.
Alveda King, a niece of the late Martin Luther King Jr., and Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput spoke to the crowd before they lit candles and circled the gated clinic.
Alveda King’s mother conceived her daughter when she was a freshman in college. She had wanted to get an abortion, but Martin Luther King Sr. told her mother she could not abort her baby.
“This little baby human girl was allowed to live,” she said to the cheering crowd.
King later aborted two of her children.
“People say, ‘Aren’t you embarrassed and ashamed to stand up and say you had abortions?” King said. “I’d be more embarrassed if I didn’t tell you, because it is wrong, and without the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I would not have been forgiven. Jesus Christ said, ‘Go and sin no more.’”
She then praised Bishop Charles Blake’s pro-life message at the interfaith gathering yesterday.
“He delivered some very startling and surprising words. They expected the rhetoric that always proceeds. But he began to tell the audience, ‘I am a pro-life Democrat.’ We want to commend those men and women and say that life is a civil right, life is precious, and that it transcends politics.”
King wrote a guest column last week for the Denver Post, calling abortion an "industry of racism. She does not plan to vote for Sen. Barack Obama unless he changes his stance on abortion.
"People in every party should say, ‘We’re for life,’" she told Christianity Today. "They should not be held captive by politics in the battle and the struggle."
And there was also this description of the Interfaith Caucus gathering on the common good chaired by Jim Wallis of Sojourners.
"Jim Wallis launched the Democratic National Convention faith caucuses this afternoon by listing the issues he believes is on the agenda of people of faith: poverty, climate change, immigration, the sanctity of life, Darfur, human rights, and Iraq."
"Tim Roemer, former congressman from Indiana who sits Sen. Barack Obama’s Catholic advisory council praised the Democratic platform on abortion and John Hunter spoke on prisoner re-entry into the population."
Prominent youngish, emergent evangelicals have been invited to give various benedictions at the DNC and are clearly ambivalent. Cameron Strang pulled out at the last moment. Don Miller did give a benediction but posted this explanation on his website beforehand:
"I’m honored to deliver the closing prayer at the DNC. Evangelical voices have been scarce within this party, perhaps since the Carter administration. But as strides are being made on key issues of sanctity of life and social justice, as well as peaceful solutions to world conflicts, more and more evangelicals are taking a closer look at options the Democratic Party are beginning to deliver. There is a long way to go, but sending a message to Washington that no single party has the Christian community in their pocket, thus causing each party to carefully consider the issues most important to us, is, in my opinion, a positive evolution. I am glad that, for the most part, the dialogue has been constructive and positive. Will you join me in keeping the conversation thoughtful and not reactionary?"
And this interview with Obama's "Evangelical Outreach Coordinator', Shaun Casey:
What do you think about the Democratic platform on abortion?
"It’s something that evangelicals ought to take quite seriously that the Democratic Party has made a commitment to reducing the number of abortions without reverting to criminalization. Based on my conversations with evangelicals, I think that resonates, I think a lot of evangelicals find that attractive, they find that helpful and hopeful, and it’s a reflection of who Sen. Obama is.It's a good source for another kind of Christian take on the convention.