Dems Reach Out to Faith Community

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DENVER - The Obama campaign has made it clear: People of faith and the votes they represent are important. The official event kicking off the Democratic Convention highlighted that priority.

Christians, Muslims and Jews were all under one roof in a celebration of faith.

For more on the Democrats and the faith vote, watch Regent School of Government Dean Charles Dunn, following this report.

The catalyst behind this groundbreaking event is Rev. Leah Daughtry, the CEO of the 2008 Convention and fifth generation Pentecostal pastor.

She shares Barack Obama's goal to show Democrats can talk just as comfortably about their faith as anybody else.

"Fairness, opportunity, inclusion, responsibility, and respect are central to my faith and they are also central to my party. So while my party may not be perfect, it is perfect for me," Daughtry said.

The event placed emphasis on being responsible to children, to neighbors, to the nation and to the world. But not all the voices towed the party line.

Pro-Life Democrats

Abortion was just an issue raised by a few pro-life advocates who ended up getting arrested. It was also brought up by pro-life Democrats.

"Surely, we cannot be pleased with the routine administration of millions of surgically terminated pregnancies. Something within us must be calling for a better way," said Rev. Charles E. Blake of the Church of God in Christ.

With more than 3,000 people representing different backgrounds and values we asked some about their impression.

"It was very information to me and I really enjoyed it. I wish more people could understand the different relations and show how we can all get along because we are all one nation under God," said Baptist attendee Charles Lealli.

Lynne Montrose, a Jew, said, "Sometimes it feels to me like faith and politics are almost always very divisive and so this was an interfaith gathering of people from any number of faith traditions talking about America and how we wanted to see our country go in the future."

Bridging the Faith Gap

Democrats hope this event and others scheduled throughout the week will help bridge the gap between the party and people of faith.

Denver - the mile high city known for its majestic mountain vistas and its diversity. It's one of the most ethnically-mixed cities in America. So an interfaith gathering representing all kinds of religions plays well on the home field here in Denver.

The question is: Will that message have the same appeal across the country come November?

*Original broadcast August 25, 2008.

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