Voices of 2010
Sources: New York Times, Newsweek, RNS, Washington Post, NPR
"Every time Haiti takes one half step forward, something like this
happens. . . . It's so unfair. Why does this happen to Haiti over and over again?"
—Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal missionary
in Haiti, after an earthquake in January
devastated the impoverished island nation
"A question that'll be asked about every four weeks is,
'Is anybody here having an affair?'"
—Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), about the weekly
"supper accountability session" held at the
C Street house in Washington, where conservative Christian politicians
live and meet, including some who have been caught in sex scandals
"Traditional Christianity identifies greed, sloth
and pride as three deadly sins—sins that
manifest themselves in BP's disaster."
—Robert Parham, executive director of the
Baptist Center for Ethics, on why the oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico is a moral crisis
"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis
on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians."
—Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, in
overturning a referendum passed
by California voters to make gay marriage illegal
"We have met our responsibility.
Now it is time to turn the page."
—Barack Obama, on ending combat
operations in Iraq
"In terms of the long-run impact on
America's economic and physical security,
the Afghanistan war is as bad as the Vietnam
War except for the ways in which it's worse."
—Robert Wright, author and journalist,
arguing that the Afghanistan
war is making the U.S. less secure
"We know what it is like when people have
attacked us physically, have attacked us verbally,
and others have remained silent. It cannot
happen here in America in 2010."
—Rabbi David Saperstein, director
of the Religious Action Center of
Reform Judaism, on anti-Muslim bigotry
sparked by the fierce opposition
to a planned Islamic community center near Ground Zero
"Here's the reality: that video will never go away. It will
be so detrimental to our work with religious liberty around
the world. Everywhere I go around the world, I will have to
address this for years to come."
—Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance,
about a Florida pastor's threats to burn Qur'ans on the ninth
anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
"It is immoral that little children are carrying the burden of our broken
immigration policies in this country."
—United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano of Phoenix, Arizona,
after a second-grader asked First Lady Michelle
Obama why President Obama is "taking everybody
away that doesn't have papers."
"It is unrealistic to think that one person can change the mess
that this country has gotten into, but to pick on him is like picking on one of my kids."
—Jeremiah Wright, President Obama's former pastor.
Obama broke with Wright during the 2008 campaign,
when Wright's controversial comments about the
U.S. government were widely broadcast.
"The American people see their democracy drowning in anonymous donors,
super PACs, and record-breaking candidate fund-raising. . . .
And when these campaign contributions lead to special tax breaks,
earmarks, and watered-down legislation, it's everyday people who suffer."
—columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel
on the politics of campaign fund-raising
"The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost
24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent
in 1976. . . . [T]he United States now arguably has
a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional
banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana."
—columnist Nicholas Kristof arguing against
extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
"The wisest man I know—my father—when I got into
politics, made me promise one thing, that I would always remember
that Judgment Day is more important than Election Day,
and that it's more important to do what's right than what's easy."
—Representative Tom Perriello,
a Democrat from Virginia who lost his reelection bid, in his
concession speech to supporters
"If prayer hasn't cured this highly prayerful
nation by now, it may be because our body
politic has long since developed an immunity to it."
—Columnist Frank Rich in response to Fox News
pundit Glenn Beck's call for the U.S. to return to
God as the solution to its problems
"I see this as God moving in our time, and also
asking us to get with the program. And, basically,
what we need to finish the job, to overcome hunger and poverty,
is more organized give-a-damn."
—David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World
and winner of the 2010 World Food Prize, on the fact
that in the past two to three decades more progress
has been made against hunger, poverty and disease
than at any other time in history.