The Common Good

The Washington Times

The Washington Times Press Items
"It is being blocked, and the political commentators will tell you it would be a miracle — that's what they say — a miracle for immigration reform to pass. Sometimes you can organize and struggle and march as hard as you can, and sometimes all you can do is pray for a miracle," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, an evangelical group pushing for legalization.
Several prominent preachers and a diverse group of religious organizations met with President Obama and senior staff Friday morning to discuss immigration reform, even as bipartisan efforts to produce a bill continue on Capitol Hill.
Today’s evangelicals, Mr. Hart relates, are at least as likely to push their government toward peace and justice commitments as away from policies that undermine the family or American exceptionalism. It’s not the same world it was a few decades ago, when American evangelicals - Mr. Falwell was perhaps the paradigm - aligned their preaching and their voting with the Republican Party and its embrace of limited government and anti-communism. For one thing, the commies are mostly gone. Evangelical writers such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo keep insisting on the “justice” agenda they see as inarguably consonant with biblical Christianity and the message of Jesus.
MIDDLE EAST, March 2, 2011 — How could the German people listen to someone like Hitler, or the Chinese to Mao, or the Russians to Lenin? I would often speculate upon that question until I started observing that my own countrymen and many others are like sheep; easily swayed by demagogues. I also notice how some pastors; pujaris and mullahs easily control their flocks!
“Social justice” Christians have a question for Congress: “What would Jesus cut?” The federal budget is a “moral document,” they say, and should be treated as such. The group, which has sent “What would Jesus cut?” wristbands to lawmakers, includes presidents and directors from the Presbyterian Church, Mennonite Church, Disciples of Christ and the National Baptist Convention of America, among others.
Jim Wallis of the Christian-centered group Sojourners promised a "steady, moral drumbeat" from the faith community as Congress continues to tweak the plan before a final vote, warning: "We are in danger of losing the moral core of this debate."
"The legislation addresses fundamental issues of fairness and justice" of interest to the religious community, Ms. Setzer said. The Rev. Jim Wallis, chief executive officer of Sojourners; Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice; and Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel of Olympia, Wash., are among major leaders involved in the effort.
The stereotypical image of homelessness is a disheveled man, clutching a bottle of cheap wine in a brown paper bag and shuffling along the sidewalk. But that is an old image now and fails to reflect the growing reality of homelessness. The combined effects of increasing unemployment, poverty and the lack of affordable housing, now exacerbated by the severe economic crisis, have led to a dramatic increase of homeless families. Recent news reports have told of tent cities and shantytowns, with parents and their children living out of cars. And it is clearly a growing problem.
Anyone wanting to meet young evangelicals who voted for President Obama would have done well to drop by Sojourners' "Mobilization to End Poverty" conference this past week. More than 1,000 of them were there to help build AIDS caregiver kits, attend a "justice as an act of worship" service and figure out ways to make their campuses more aware of world hunger.
"We'd like to see the faith community as a resource on policy issues," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and part of the new group. The new president wants a "robust partnership" with religious people, he added, and the council will be a mainstay of that arrangement. "This would not just be on religious liberty but on issues that impact us directly," he added. "Who knows the streets and neighborhoods in our poorest cities than the faith community?"