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What faith leaders want from Obama II

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•Works to restore civility in dialogue and bipartisanship in government so all Americans can work as one for the spiritual and material health of our country and our world.

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The Rev. Carroll A. Baltimore Sr., president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention

It is my sincere desire that President Obama will lead in addressing the issues of poverty and its long-term effects on our entire society. We rarely hear the term "poverty." It’s a very revealing term and other words have been substituted to remove the reality and responsibility that we have to deal with poverty. Over the past decades, we have cut critical social and educational programs that have plummeted countless children and adults into poverty. The economic implications of poverty are felt globally, and really need to be addressed on an international scale. We need to enact policies and practices that lift people out of poverty. The religious community, and other entities are doing a great deal to help, but our policies and laws need to be revisited. It is impossible to secure the future of our children under these circumstances. As we claim to be the wealthiest nation in the world, my desire is that President Obama will lead the way in bringing other global leaders together and develop global policies and practices that will alleviate the staggering number of children and adults experiencing abject poverty.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The people have spoken. Now the really difficult battles are about to begin. Our nation is in dire need of sound, principled leadership. I submit the following requests, which I believe are essential to the future stability and prosperity of our nation:

• Defend the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death in all laws and all medical programs, government and private.

• Respect and protect religious freedom and freedom of conscience for all Americans in any medical delivery and health insurance programs.

• Defend the sanctity of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman in federal and state law.

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• Forge a bipartisan program to cut the national debt and stimulate economic growth.

* Lead a bipartisan effort to bring about significant, meaningful, fair, and just immigration reform.

* Unequivocally support Israel’s right to exist within secure and defensible borders and her right not to be threatened with nuclear annihilation by the genocidal regime in Tehran.

* Lead a national bipartisan effort to reduce the impact of hard-core pornography and to eliminate the sex trafficking for which pornography produces the consumer demand.

Clearly, this would be an ambitious agenda. Yet I believe the American people are ready and would help advance each of those goals. We are ready for principled leadership. I commit to pray that God will enable President Obama to lead us to real, God-honoring solutions that will make a significant impact toward us becoming a more moral, more unified people.

The Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World

This election is the first step in what we are hoping will be a strong U.S. commitment to ending hunger — both domestically and globally. For more than a year, Christian leaders have come together to advocate for the formation of a "Circle of Protection" around funding for programs that are vital to hungry and poor people. As people of faith, it is now our responsibility to hold our newly elected president accountable for taking a stance against hunger and poverty.

There is more than enough food to feed the more than 7 billion people around the world, yet hunger and poverty persist on a large scale, even in the United States. Finding solutions to these issues will require the dedication of all leaders — whether they be Republicans or Democrats. As the new president takes his oath of office, we want him to lead the way in ending hunger at home and abroad. During his four-year term, we expect the president to set a goal to end hunger while ensuring that we do not balance the federal budget on the backs of hungry and poor people.

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