Evangelical ministers back Sebelius appointment

A group of Christian leaders dedicated to common ground solutions to reduce the number of abortions in America today welcomed President Obama’s nomination of Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Pointing to her record of reducing abortions in Kansas and commitment working with both parties to get results, they issued the following statement:

"As Christians dedicated to finding common ground solutions to reduce the number of abortions in America, we welcome President Obama’s nomination of Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

"Under Governor Sebelius’ leadership, abortions have decreased in Kansas by 10 percent, adoption funding and incentives have increased, healthcare access for women and families has expanded, prenatal care has become more widely available, and legislation protecting the unborn from crime has become law. Such a record demonstrates a commitment to results rather than rhetoric on life issues.

"She is a Democratic Governor who has been elected by wide margins in a state where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats two to one. Her nomination has already won not only the support of Democrats, but also praise from Republican pro-life senators such as Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts and governors such as Sonny Perdue of Georgia. Her record and her relationships with leaders in both parties are proof that pro-choice and pro-life leaders can work together to advance a pro-family agenda.

The governor, who is by all accounts a person of deep faith, deserves a fair hearing in Congress and in the public square. Efforts to discredit her will no doubt arise, but we hope that such tactics will not succeed in taking focus off of her record of reducing abortions and supporting women and families in Kansas – and the task that lies ahead of us all: working together to improve health care and reduce the number of abortions in America."

The statement was signed by the following ministers.

Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed, Northland, FL

David Gushee, President, Evangelicals for Human Rights and Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

Brian McLaren, Author and Founding Pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, Spencerville, MD

Glen Stassen, Professor of Christian Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA

Melissa Rogers, Director, Center for Religion and Public Affairs, Wake Forest University Divinity School, Falls Church, VA/ Winston-Salem, NC

Randall Balmer, Professor of American Religious History, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Tony Jones, Author, Speaker and Theologian, Edina, MN

Jennifer Butler, Executive Director, Faith in Public Life, Washington, DC

Derrick Harkins, Board Member, World Relief and Senior Pastor, Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, Washington, DC

Paul De Vries, Board Member, National Association of Evangelicals, President, NY Divinity School, New York, NY

Peter Hetzel, Assistant Professor of Theology, New York Theological Seminary, New York, NY

Tyler Wigg Stevenson, Director, Two Futures Project, Nashville, TN

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