Religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations are weighing in on the election of Sen. Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president.
The National Council of Churches has responded today with a letter to the new president elect:
Dear Mr. President Elect,
Blessings on you, and congratulations. Now that the electorate has made its decision, we at the National Council of Churches urge all Americans to come together to uphold you with our hands, our hearts and our prayers.
Only rarely in our history has a president-elect faced immediate challenges of such fierce magnitude. The leaders of this Council pledge to you our unstinting support in the difficult days to come. All of us are dependent on God’s loving mercy, and we will regularly pray for you and others elected to high leadership. May your wisdom and discernment serve you well, and may your health never wane.
To read the complete letter, click here: Letter
The Rev. Billy Graham, who is nearing his 90th birthday on Friday, also has a statement, shared through a news release sent today:
“President Elect Barack Obama faces many challenges, and I urge everyone to join me in pledging our support and prayers as he begins the difficult task ahead.”
Meanwhile, The Associated Press is reporting that the Vatican said today that it hopes that Barack Obama will work to promote peace and justice in the world.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, chief spokesman for the Vatican and for Pope Benedict XVI told The Associated Press that the Vatican hoped Obama would “work for the cause of rights and justice, finding suitable ways to promote peace in the world, fostering people’s development and dignity while respecting essential human and spiritual values.”
Other statements come from leaders that are not as conciliatory:
The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, released the following statement regarding the Presidential election:
“Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the presidency. He said during the campaign that he does not know when a human being starts to have human rights. How can one govern from that starting point of ignorance? Governing is about protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where they come from, and when they begin. The President-elect has already failed that test miserably.”I’ll post more comments and statements as they arrive.Carla Hinton