Sunday, September 24, 2006

Roger Ray Responds

National Avenue Christian Church pastor Roger Ray has just responded to a previous post about his appearance in a political ad by a group called Heartland Democrats of America.

I posted it in the comment section of the post, but thought it was relevant enough to print his response at the top of our page.

Here's what he had to say:

This blog was brought to my attention recently. It contained two surprises for me. The first was that an interview I had given to a Kansas City resident about minimum wage issues was being used in a Democratic ad. I never have and never will endorse, contribute to or otherwise appear to take a partisan side in any political campaign for one party or the other or on behalf of any candidate.

I always speak only about issues which are of a religious and ethical nature. I'm sorry that the interviewer has taken the liberty of featuring me in a partisan ad. That was unethical and iladvised on his part. But possibly of more concern to me is that a "journalist" has taken this an opportunity to invite personal attacks against me. Even if you watch the ad you see that I did not endorse any candidate or party. I was speaking about poverty issues, as did the prophets, the apostles, Jesus and centuries of pastors and priests right up to such modern day notables as Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Somehow, rather than taking a journalist's interests in the issues which impact hundreds of millions of people.... the issues I was addressing, a KY3 reporter took a tabloid view of the world and said "economics, poverty, civil rights, social justice are all too complicated for our viewers, let's just see if we can gather up and slander a local pastor."

And that, I humbly submit, is not journalism. Rev. Dr. Roger L. Ray

Below is our previous post on Ray. Not sure what he means when he accuses me of a "tabloid view," and says I committed "slander." I simply reported what he said in an ad that a source pointed me to. In fact, most of the post is information taken directly from the group. But let me know what you think.


Roger Ray, the senior pastor at National Avenue Christian Church, is appearing in a new political ad by a group called Heartland Democrats of America. Ray has been a political figure in the area for years, delving into a variety of issues like gay marriage and the minimum wage.This group -- Heartland Democrats of America -- describes itself as a group of Democrats ultimately trying to win, "the values debate.""HDA champions strong Democratic values in Missouri and throughout America's Heartland. The era of the apologetic Democrat in middle America is being laid to rest forever - replaced by a unifying values message worthy of the hard-working people of middle America," according to the website. This is a group based out of Kansas City, Mo. Roger Ray is the featured speaker in the group's new ad campaign called "Vote your Values." Ray says the growing disparity between the rich and poor is the top political issue from a spiritual vantage point. Watch the entire ad HERE. Let us know what you think about the ad, and Roger Ray.


Ken said...

Many of Roger Ray's newspaper columns address neither religious nor ethical issues as he states in his response.

PbBut said...

My guess is that Rev. Ray's objection is the pairing of his positions with a political party. Nearly all of us "locals" are aware of Rev. Ray's positions, but I've never seen or read where he endorsed a party. If a political group used film or an interview with a Catholic bishop endorsing the concept of sanctuary for illegal immigrants or an anti-abortion position, would you deem it political commentary or a position based on ethics or religion?

Boyd said...

Well David who are your going to believe, Mr. Ray or your lying eyes?

RepublicFamily said...

I've never read something from Roger Ray that was not political and he has been very careful to make his political views very clear. In most recently printed columns we learned that he things President Bush is the dumbest President ever, and that the minimum wage is an ethical issue that only Democrats support. For him to say he has not taken political positions is a laugh. In fact, I go to church with a couple who left Ray's church because they said the direction of that church and most of what Ray had to say was all a bunch of liberal, democratic politics.

Thanks for sharing his comments to you. That was the funniest thing I've read today.

PbBut said...

You're right republicfamily, if Rev. Ray said that the minimum wage is a Democratic position, he's just plain wrong, and I'll take your word for it that he did. The fact is that over 70% of all Americans support an increase in the minimum wage, of course there are differences in how much and how fast, but it is a consensus position; except among elected officials. This is likely the most obvious example of the influence special interests have in the halls of Congress, both at the state and federal level. What common factor do the states showing the greatest economic have? They all have raised the minimum wage above the minimum.

Citizenkan said...


I know how frustrating it is when one political party stakes a claim on ideals and beliefs that most all of us have in common. You know, things like patriotism, God, and moral values?

PbBut said...

I guess I missed the subject a few days ago, but Bishop Leibrecht has a letter in the paper today (9/28) regarding stem cell research. Does this makes him a political figure?