Can faith stories change America's narrative?

by Kim Pennington, National Correspondent |
Faith It Forward/FACEBOOK

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) joined Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on "Washington Watch" to announce "Faith it Forward" – an online social media project facilitated by the bi-partisan Congressional Prayer Caucus where Americans can share stories about the role of faith in meeting local community needs.

"The purpose of the initiative, called #FaithitForward, is to unite the country around celebrating the positive impact of faith in local communities. Members of Congress across the nation are participating by highlighting inspiring stories of how people of faith in their districts are a force for good in their communities," Forbes' office said in a press release.

"Policies are often generated because of real life stories of how those policies impact the lives and direction of a nation. Perhaps no group of stories have had a greater impact on our country than stories of faith. Unfortunately, amidst policy debates, we sometimes lose sight of those stories. The goal of #FaithitForward is to tell these stories in a central place for policymakers and the world to see," Forbes said.

Forbes co-chairs the Congressional Prayer Caucus with Senator James Lankford (R-OK). The initiative is an attempt to counteract attacks on religious liberty and to educate young people in particular of the important role faith-based groups play in meeting community needs.

"You'll see some of these anti-faith groups. They always love to tell the stories about particular individuals that they say were discriminating or something happened that was kind of extreme, but they don't tell the story of the wonderful people of faith who are just changing the world. There are people out there who are doing great things in adoption, helping the poor, in our prisons, [and] other faith ministries. That's the narrative we need to be telling in this country. And hopefully, if we do that, we can push back on this anti-faith narrative," Forbes told Perkins.

The initiative has received praised from House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). "Religious freedom is a fundamental human right that strengthens communities, promotes respect for all #FaithItForward," Boehner said on Twitter.

The platform is not restricted to government leaders. Anyone can submit a story for consideration to #FaithItForward by filling out an online form.

In related news, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a separate entity, is sponsoring the One Million Windows campaign. Based on a November 2011 369-9 congressional vote reaffirming the national motto of "In God We Trust" and encouraging its public display, the caucus is offering decals for people to purchase and display in their homes, offices, or on personal vehicles.