August 20, 2008
Cameron Strang pulls out of DNC benediction
Magazine founder recommended author Donald Miller.
Relevant Magazine founder and CEO Cameron Strang decided not to give the benediction at the Democratic National Convention as previously planned.
Strang said his planned prayer was perceived as showing favoritism, so he pulled out and recommended Blue Like Jazz author Donald Miller instead.
Strang sent the following statement to me in an e-mail.
"As a pro-life voter, I never intended my participation to imply unequivocal endorsement, and the DNC knew that and were fine with that. I viewed it simply as an opportunity to continue positive dialogue, show support for a continuing emphasis on faith issues, and pray in a forum where faith isn't typically thought to be emphasized. I wanted to show that this generation of values voters doesn't necessarily need to draw battle lines politically the way previous generations have, that we can work through areas of disagreement to further the common good.
"However, the reality is, through RELEVANT I reach a demographic that has strong faith, morals and passions, but disagreements politically. It wouldn't be wise for me to pick a political side, when I've consistently said both sides are right in some areas and both sides are wrong in some areas. My desire is to keep an open dialogue with both campaigns and talk about the issues that matter to my generation of Christians. If my praying at the DNC was perceived as showing favoritism and incorrectly labeling me as endorsing one candidate over the other, then I needed to have pause. And that's what was happening.
"So I brought that concern up to the DNC, and they understood. I recommended bestselling author Don Miller as a much better representative of our audience than I am, and they were glad to invite him to give the invocation in my place. I think this will ultimately be much better for the DNC. The campaign and I still have positive dialogue, and I'm thankful for that.
"Like I mentioned, they've invited me to participate in a "Faith in the '08 Election" panel on Thursday, which seems to be a perfect fit. It allows me to continue a positive conversation with the DNC and be involved a bit more behind the scenes. I want to make sure our generation of Christians has a place at the table, so to speak, and this will afford us that chance -- even moreso than if I was to give a prayer onstage.
"As an aside, in a "put your money where your mouth is" move this week, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Independent. I want to vote because of values and convictions, not party affiliations. To me, that's an important part of being a thinking, values-minded Christian."