Ray of Hope: The ONE Campaign
I went to the website mentioned at the end of the ad -- www.one.org -- and sure enough, that was Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, right in the middle of this public service announcement full of "liberal Hollywood elites." The ONE Campaign is about fighting AIDS, starvation, and extreme poverty, with a declaration that makes a lot of sense:
“WE BELIEVE that in the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is the time to join with other countries in a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty. WE RECOGNIZE that a pact including such measures as fair trade, debt relief, fighting corruption and directing additional resources for basic needs – education, health, clean water, food, and care for orphans – would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the poorest countries, at a cost equal to just one percent more of the US budget. WE COMMIT ourselves - one person, one voice, one vote at a time - to make a better, safer world for all.”
Compassion? Justice? Fair trade? Is Pat Robertson actually starting to practice a little of the Christianity he has been preaching for years?
Alas, a visit to the CBN website shows Pat is still peddling the same old homophobic claptrap (this time with free bumperstickers, so you can advertise your homophobia). He has also added environmentalists to his list of evil left-wingers to beware of. He also uses a lot of webspace to sell a line of nutrition products, CD's, and even mortgage plans.
But still, any group that can get Pat Robertson to be in the same ad as Ellen Degeneres and Susan Sarandon is amazing. Maybe those who would otherwise write off the ad as "liberal do-goodism" will actually visit The ONE Campaign's website and actually begin to think positively about responding to our world's needs with compassion and justice.
Maybe. Let's hope so. And pray so.