Pastor Jay Geisler had grown weary of fellow Christians squabbling over political ideology. He wanted issues put in the context of the poverty and hopelessness in neighborhoods near his St. Stephen Episcopal Church in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
So he called Call to Renewal, one of several faith-related groups touring the country this election year to draw Americans together from both sides of the ideological divide for polite conversation, social cooperation or both.
Geisler, who pastors in a once-prosperous steel town that has rusted alongside its shuttered mills, appreciates Democratic attention to health care and other safety-net issues. But he also finds merit in Republican efforts to encourage marriage and discourage abortion.