these things happen …

In case anyone caught Philip Elliot’s AP story that mentioned me … it was a good article, but not quite accurate in at least two details. These things happen.
It said,

Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign is aggressively reaching out to evangelicals.
The Illinois senator dispatched former 9/11 Commission member Tim Roemer to meet with fellow Roman Catholics. He sent Brian McLaren, one of the country’s most influential pastors, to meet with fellow evangelicals. And aides have conducted more than 200 “American Values Forums,” soon to be followed up with house parties and town hall-style meetings aimed at young Catholics and young evangelicals.

Of course, we all know that I’m not one of the country’s most influential pastors. Nor was I sent to meet with fellow evangelicals on Obama’s behalf, although I’d be happy to share with anyone of any faith persuasion my hopes, concerns, and commitments regarding the presidential election.
I was invited to speak on faith and politics at one of Senator Obama’s “faith and values” forums in Iowa last year. And I am an enthusiastic supporter of The Matthew 25 Network, which is supporting Senator Obama, and which you can read about here and here. And I plan to be more outspoken about the election in the coming months, here and elsewhere – not as a spokesperson for any organization, but as a responsible private citizen. In fact, I just said good-bye to a CNN crew who was here filming a story about Evangelicals who support Senator Obama, tentatively to be aired on Tuesday.
For many years as a pastor, I never was public about my political commitments because I didn’t want to cause conflict in the church I served. Instead, I tried to promote respectful dialog and responsible political engagement among my fellow Christians. Now as an author, I will continue to try to promote respectful dialog and responsible engagement. But I also feel more freedom – and responsibility – to speak more personally about my political commitments, always, I hope, with civility and respect for those who differ.
So, inaccuracies happen. To say I was sent by Senator Obama wasn’t accurate. To say I hope he will be our next president rather than Senator McCain is accurate.

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