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October 21, 2011

D.C. Pastor Derrick Harkins to Lead Democrats' Faith Outreach

As President Obama gears up his re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee has tapped a well-connected Washington pastor to lead the party's religious outreach.

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The Rev. Derrick Harkins is senior pastor of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, one of Washington's oldest historically black churches, where Obama and his family worshipped right before his inauguration.

Harkins is also a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals, a nationwide umbrella group, and Faith in Public Life, a liberal strategy center. Earlier this month, Obama hosted NAE leaders at the White House.

"I have every expectation that people of faith will be a key part of a successful election for Democrats in 2012," Harkins said in a statement on Thursday (Oct. 20). The pastor added that he will attempt to engage religious Americans on immigration reform, Obama's new health care law and the role of religion in public life.

Joshua DuBois, who currently directs the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, ran religious outreach for Obama's 2008 campaign and helped him gain a larger percentage of Catholics, Jews, mainline Protestants and evangelicals than Sen. John Kerry's 2004 campaign. As a federally commissioned officer, DuBois now is barred from some campaign activities, including fundraising.

Harkins is stepping into a role the DNC left empty during the 2010 midterm campaign, an absence that some party insiders blamed for large swaths of religious voters turning to the GOP.

Burns Strider, one of those critical voices, praised Harkins' appointment on Thursday.

"We fail in our politics and causes when we fail to dialogue with and build relationships in our faith communities," Strider, who led faith outreach for Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, said in a statement. "Derrick has a deep and profound understanding and respect for these communities."

Patrick Gaspard, Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee, said Harkins' hiring "should be a clear sign to everyone that Democrats will be making our case to voters motivated by their faith and values in 2012."

Comments

This is hard to fathom. This administration has not been the strong supporter of Israel as has been the case from Pres. Truman through Pres. Bush.

How can you support someone who supports abortion on demand and supports SPECIAL rights for homosexuals which, you should know, is an ABOMINATION to God?

Please check out youtube.com where you will find our president making fun of the Bible; not knowing the difference between Law and Grace!

If you are truly saved based on Romans 10:9-10, God will hold you responsible.

It takes more than a name to be a Christian.

Derrick Harkins is a real joke. He has wrecked the famous Nineteenth Street Baptist Church... has a high salary and stays out of the pulpit more than he is in. The DNC has made a tremendous mistake. He is in everything for self gain. Too bad you are stuck with him.

That’s really too bad. No one has done more to advance the cause of homosexuality in America or the military than Obama. He has been a foe of the anti-abortion movement. He has celebrated Ramadan, promoted Islam and snubbed Christian events. He has racked up debt faster than any president in history. Under his administration more people of color are mired in unemployment with no hope of change. I am happy that he self-identifies as a Christian but he seems very confused and stands for positions and causes that are antithetical to the gospel. I cried for joy when Obama was elected. I celebrate the victory for racial equality it represents. However, I don’t know how a minister of the gospel can lead an effort for his re-epection.

It's sad to see how judgmental we Christians still can be. Aren't we still supposed to show others we are Christians by our love? Doesn't God mean love? If anyone wonders if President Obama is a Christian or not, try listening to any other station besides FOX.

A Christian can sincerely love Mr. Obama WITHOUT voting for him. (By the way, I fully intend to test that hypothesis in November 2012.)

Every person who has posted an opinion regarding President Obama and Christianity should know the following: 1. President Obama is not God, 2. The Bible was written to believers. 3. President Obama must govern according to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States as well as his personal beliefs in God. 4. God hates sin, not the sinner. 5. If any of you are perfect, you should be in heaven with God and not down here on earth with the living. 6. Every human being has rights protected by the Consitution and the Declaration.
7. Don't confuse righteous living with human rights. Righteous living is mandated, by God, for Christians only. 8. Human rights are for everyone.

Derrick Harkins actively advocates for abortion. Although much more could be said there is no need to do so. That is simply speaking the truth.

Thankfully.we do live in a theocracy where the tenets of our evangelical faith might have to color all of our political positions. This enunciated position should be our individual role, led by the Holy Spirit as Christians to a lost world!

Christ's compassion for the poor and needy certainly has best been expressed through many (but not all) of the Democratic policies best represented by our current President! The other Party is lacking in this regard.

Praise God for the Obama Adminstration.