Announcement Press Conference: Speaker Bios (Nov. 20, 2009)
DR. ROBERT GEORGE
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Director, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions
Dr. Robert George has served on the President's Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. As a former judicial fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, George received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He currently serves on UNESCOs World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. George is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, and The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis. He is a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal and many other honors, including the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton's Department of Politics. (For full bio visit www.princeton.edu)
DR. TIMOTHY GEORGE
Dean & Professor of Divinity
Samford University, Beeson Divinity School
Dr. Timothy George has been the dean of Samford University's Beeson Divinity School since its inception in 1988. He teaches church history and doctrine, serves as executive editor for Christianity Today, and on the editorial advisory boards of The Harvard Theological Review, Christian History and Books & Culture. George has also served on the board of directors of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. A regular contributor to scholarly journals, George has written more than 20 books. He is active in evangelical-Roman Catholic Church dialogue and is an ordained minister. (For full bio visit www.beesondivinity.com)
Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview
Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon
An aide to President Nixon, Chuck Colson entered a plea of guilty to Watergate-related charges. He entered Alabama's Maxwell Prison in 1974 as a new Christian and served seven months of a one- to three-year sentence.
After leaving prison, Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976, a Christian, non-profit organization that has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. In 1991 Colson launched BreakPoint, a worldview ministry that equips Christians to live out their faith in culture. The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview - a unique web portal and virtual library for soul - stretching education-was launched in 2009. He is a popular speaker and author and is considered one of the great evangelical minds of our day. Colson has written more than 30 books, which collectively have sold more than 5 million copies. Among his numerous awards are the 1993 Templeton Prize for progress in religion and the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal, a prestigious civilian honor for U.S. citizens second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (For full bio visit www.DeMossNews.com/PF)
NOTABLE SIGNERS (listed in alphabetical order)
BISHOP HARRY JACKSON
Hope Christian Church (Washington, D.C.)
Bishop Harry Jackson is senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C. - attracting some 3,000 regular attendees-and regional Bishop for the Fellowship of International Churches. As founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, Jackson has declared that the church and its leaders must lead the way to protect America's moral compass and heal our nation.
Author of several books, Bishop Jackson's daily radio commentary, The Truth in Black and White, airs on more than 400 stations across the U.S. With a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, Jackson's previous work experience includes positions with several Fortune 500 companies. (For full bio visit www.thehopeconnection.org)
Family Research Council
As president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins has led the way in defending religious freedom in the public square, protecting the unborn and their mothers, defending and strengthening one man/one woman marriage and promoting pro-family public policy. Since joining the Family Research Council in the fall of 2003, he has launched new initiatives to affirm and defend the Judeo-Christian values that our nation is founded upon.
Perkins is a former member of the Louisiana legislature, where he served for eight years, and is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation's first Covenant Marriage law. In 2002, Perkins was a Republican candidate for the United States Senate. (For full bio visit www.frc.org)
CARDINAL JUSTIN RIGALI
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
In October 2003, Archbishop Rigali was installed Archbishop of Philadelphia. Two weeks after his installation, he was formally created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in the Public Consistory in Saint Peter's Square. Rigali is the spiritual leader of almost 1.5 million Catholics in the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.
Currently Rigali is chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Pro-Life Activities and of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He is a member of the Committee on the Liturgy, the Committee on the Relationship Between the Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Scripture Translations and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Black and Indian Mission Office.
Additionally, Rigali is on the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America, Chair of the University Seminary Committee and member of the Administrative Committee. He serves on the Board of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and as the Chair of the Iconography Committee. Rigali is a member of the Order of the Knights of Malta, the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, a member of the Papal Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and Episcopal Advisor to Serra International. (For full bio visit www.archdiocese-phl.org)
Evangelicals for Social Action
Dr. Ron Sider is a respected advocate of holistic biblical faith in the Christian world. He is Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry & Public Policy at Palmer Seminary at Eastern University and director of the seminary's Sider Center on Ministry & Public Policy.
After being faced with the glaring needs and blatant injustice of the inner city, Sider began developing a biblical response to social injustice. His ground-breaking book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, was published in 1977 and shortly after Sider formed Evangelicals for Social Action, a movement that continues to shape and influence North American Christian thinking on issues of biblical justice, holistic mission and basic Christianity. He has published more than 30 books and written more than 100 articles for both religious and secular magazines on a variety of topics and is a founding board member of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. (For full bio visit www.sidercenter.org)
Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center
William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies
George Weigel is a Catholic theologian and one of America's leading public intellectuals.
As a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Weigel prepared a major study of the life, thought and action of Pope John Paul II called Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. From 1989 through June 1996, Weigel served as president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he led a wide-ranging, ecumenical and inter-religious program of research and publication on foreign and domestic policy issues.
Weigel is the author or editor of 20 books and has written essays, op-ed columns and reviews for the major opinion journals and newspapers in the United States. He is a contributor to Newsweek, Vatican analyst for NBC News and a frequent guest on television and radio shows. His weekly column, "The Catholic Difference," is syndicated to sixty newspapers across the U.S. (For full bio visit www.eppc.org)
ARCHBISHOP DONALD W. WUERL
Archdiocese of Washington
Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl was installed in June 2006 as the sixth Archbishop of Washington. He is known nationally for his catechetical and teaching ministry and for his efforts on behalf of Catholic education. In April 2008, Wuerl served as host in Washington to Pope Benedict XVI on his historic journey to the U.S.
Wuerl serves on numerous national and international bodies and is currently a member of the Vatican council for the Synod of Bishops. He is chairman of the board of directors of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, chancellor of The Catholic University of America and the former chairman of the board of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He is also chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, chairman-elect of the Committee on Doctrine and chairman of the board of the National Catholic Educational Association. Wuerl is the author of numerous articles and books, including the best-selling catechisms The Teaching of Christ and The Catholic Way. (For full bio visit www.adw.org)