The Common Good

Christianity Today

Christianity Today Press Items
In December, Capitol Police arrested 115 religious activists, including Jim Wallis and John Perkins, during a protest against the budget when they blocked the entrance to a House office building. Wallis, founder and head of Call to Renewal, said the cuts reflect misplaced government priorities. "Do millionaires really need tax breaks so they can make $20,000 more? My biblical logic would say no."
I have said for a long time that religious fundamentalists have too much influence in the Republican Party. And secular fundamentalists have too much influence in the Democratic Party. And I'd like to see both parties break the hold of those groups on their parties.
"If Martin Luther King Jr. refused to call those who disagreed with him non-Christians when the issue was racial segregation, then I don't think James Dobson should do it over a Senate filibuster," said Wallis.
The congressional Democrats also asked evangelical Jim Wallis, a veteran of many left-leaning causes, to teach Democratic press secretaries on how to reach evangelical audiences. Wallis told CT that he foresees a rising presence of evangelicals among Democratic leaders.
Jim Wallis, who recently talked with House Democrats about how to dispel their secular image, is experiencing a sudden popularity in the Democratic Party. But it's not because the party's pro-abortion, secular stance has given them a "winning message." Wallis says, "The Democratic Party has increasingly had a problem as being perceived as secular fundamentalists."
Sojourners head Jim Wallis says the crux of the matter isn't about the prison abuse. "Such abuse and atrocities are the consequence of war, and especially military occupation. They always have been, and they will continue to be," he says. "Here is the real issue: The Americans and the British do not belong in Iraq. The American-led occupation is leading to more suffering on all sides, and it will just get worse."
Rev. Jim Wallis, a self-described progressive evangelical, said neither blue states nor red states should try to claim a corner on the values market.
Jim Wallis told CT, "His personal faith is very real and sincere." But Wallis said that when the President declares that terrorists are "evil," he implies that Americans are good. "Now [terrorists] are evil, but to say that we are good is very bad theology. [Bush] sees the mote in his adversary's eyes and not the mote in his own."
Artists like David Wilcox, Carrie Newcomer, and Over the Rhine are not shy about saying that Christ has touched their lives and transformed their music. These three musicians will perform this July at SojoFest 2001, a 30th anniversary celebration at Wheaton College of the Sojourners community and its magazine.
"We haven't seen this kind of bitter division in a long time," says Wallis, founder of Sojourners magazine. "Millions of Americans have lost confidence in the Supreme Court. Bush has a problem with legitimacy." Yet, like almost all evangelical leaders, left or right on the political spectrum, Wallis thinks that both Bush's and Gore's commitment to faith-based initiatives, character and prayer are threads that could stitch together the nation.