Hope unbelieved is always considered nonsense. But hope believed is history in the process of being changed.
Two of the greatest hungers in our world today are the hunger for spirituality and the hunger for social change. The connection between the two is the one the world is waiting for, especially the new generation. And the first hunger will empower the second.
Faith reminds us that change is always possible.
Some people believe the alternative to bad religion is secularism, but that's wrong . . . . The answer to bad religion is better religion--prophetic rather than partisan, broad and deep instead of narrow, and based on values as opposed to ideology.
I met the president when he was president-elect at a meeting in Austin. He spoke of his faith. He spoke of his desire for a compassionate conservatism, for a faith-based initiative that would do something for poor people.
Martin Luther King Jr. really understood the role of the churches when he said, 'The church is not meant to be the master of the state.' We don't sort of take power and grab the levers of government and impose our agenda down people's throats.
We are prophetic interrogators. Why are so many people hungry? Why are so many people and families in our shelters? Why do we have one of six of our children poor, and one of three of these are children of color? 'Why?' is the prophetic question.
We have got some mountains to move. Three billion people - half of God's children - are living on less than a day.
You can't be evangelical and associate yourself with Jesus and what he says about the poor and just have no other domestic concerns than tax cuts for wealthy people.
I believe in the separation of church and state, absolutely. But I don't believe in the separation of public life from our values, our basic values, and for many of us, our religious values.
If the president is going to use so much language of theology and the Bible, then let's use that language for a serious discussion about the war in Iraq. And that was never done.
I don't think we should discriminate against an organization or congregation because they're religious, if they're doing good work. But government can't subsidize proselytizing or worship or religious activity. It can't.
But when one believes that you've been appointed by God for a particular mission in history, you have to be very careful about that, how you speak about that. Where is the self-reflection in that? Where is the humility in that?
What is my calling? What am I supposed to do? I think running for office, public office, can be a divine calling. I mean, I've wrestled with that very question myself.
I think it's a good thing for a president or political leaders to want to put their values or their faith into action. Desmond Tutu did that in South Africa. Martin Luther King Jr. did that here. This is a good thing.