1998 NCC News Archives

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NCC General Secretary's Additional Comment
on Proposed Anti-Advocacy Legislation

"It is the responsibility of Christians in a democracy to be advocates for the poor, for the vulnerable, for issues that have to do with the building of community.  In a democracy, one does that by trying to affect legislation and to affect legislators to support your position as moral.

"This bill (H.R.3485) would virtually tie the hands and mute the voices of the churches.  The NCC and denominational public policy offices would not be able to function.  The Council's public policy office is as old as the Council itself.  It has worked successfully with the U.S. Congress to bring to the nation humane policies including civil rights, Social Security, support for the United Nations, religious liberty and opposition to apartheid in South Africa.  These policies might not otherwise have gained support.

"It's the organizing of individuals that has the power.  When you can prove that the large body of people in the churches share a view, it can be effective in influencing public policy.

"A recent example has to do with the church burnings.  Yes, individuals in various communities were raising their voices, but there was no national outcry until the organized church brought the issue to the nation's capital."

The Rev. Dr. Joan B. Campbell
General Secretary, National Council of Churches

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