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Will prayers sway Lieberman on healthcare? Rabbis rally. Priests, ministers, imams too

Interfaith vigil to sway Connecticut's Joe Lieberman on health care

Connecticut's Joe Lieberman is a unique figure in Washington. He's an independent who caucuses with the Democrats but campaigns for Republicans like Arizona's John McCain.

He's also an observant Jew who honors the Sabbath. The senator makes an exception for work when the Senate is in session on Saturdays.

Now, an interfaith group of clergy is lobbying him to drop his plans to filibuster any healthcare bill that contains a public option. Their strategy: prayers.

During a Sunday night vigil, a crowd walked from Stamford High School, Lieberman's alma mater, to his condo building across the street. According to the Stamford Advocate's Devon Lash, residents went out on their balconies to listen to rabbis, ministers, priests and imams speak from behind a sidewalk pulpit.

"We are praying for the senator to change his heart and his mind," said the Rev. Tommie Jackson, of Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Stamford. 

Then Monday, a multi-denominational group of clergy sent a letter to Lieberman asking him to abandon his filibuster threats. "A lot of groups who have historically supported [Lieberman] are praying for him to come back home," Rabbi Ron Fish, leader of the Concerned Clergy Of Connecticut, pictured above.

The letter, signed by 70 members of the clergy, posed this argument: "Whether from the words of Torah or the Gospels of Jesus, whether from the Talmud or the Koran -- our traditions all are explicit and clear on one thing: We are commanded to seek the welfare and healing of all those in our midst, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Rabbi  Ron Fish, of Congregation Beth El in Norwalk, Conn., participates in candlelight vigil urging Sen. Lieberman to back healthcare reform.  Credit: Chris Preovolos / Stamford Advocate

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My, my...all the "religious leaders" want Joe Leiberman to "come back home" and are praying for his mind to be changed. Now when a group gatheres outside an abortion clinic and prays for the mother -to-be changes her mind about aborting her child... all blazes brakes loose...and such arguements as "right to chose", a womans' body is hers to command", "how dare there be a connection between 'church' and state"! Now tomorrow, or soon at least, these same "leaders" will argue about religion, rights and wrongs...but they gather together to demand that one man do their bidding....Needless to say, they plan to, not vote for Joe, if he protests mindless debt being forced upon our children and grandchildren, and all in the name of "compassion". I spit you out!!!

This administration have their heads in the sand. There's too much focus on healthcare at this time, when the country is rolling in debt, people are losing their jobs and homes, and more are becoming homeless. This spread the wealth around idea is just plain stupid. There is no tax money for the government unless people are working. There is no recovery for the country unless people have jobs, are working, and paying taxes. Creating jobs should be the first priority for the demo administration.

Lieberman has to go! He wants to be vice president whether it is Republican or Democrat. Vote him out of office! whiteagle38


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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