The Common Good

Jim Wallis Addresses the Real Issue behind Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s Statements

Source: Sojourners
Date: March 18, 2008

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Contact: Jason Gedeik, Sojourners, 202/745-4633,

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Jim Wallis Addresses the Real Issue behind Pastor Jeremiah Wright's Statements "

Issues Call For Deeper Understanding and Healing of Racial Divide in America”

Jim Wallis, progressive evangelical leader, author of The Great Awakening and founder of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States, wrote in his blog in response to controversial statements from Pastor Jeremiah Wright's of Trinity Church in Chicago. The entire blog post can be found at

Excerpts and quotes:

Jim Wallis on the real issue behind Jeremiah Wright's remarks: "But the whole controversy points to the enormous gap in understanding between the mainstream black community in America and the experience of many white Americans. And that is what we are going to have to heal if we are ever to move forward.”

Jim Wallis on white denial of frustration and anger in the African American community "In 2008, to still not comprehend or seek to understand the reality of black frustration and anger, is to be in a state of white denial which, very sadly, is where many white Americans are.”

Jim Wallis on Barack Obama's presidential nomination: "Barack Obama should win or lose his Party's nomination or the Presidency based on the positions he takes regarding the great issues of our time and his capacity to lead the country and America's role in the world. He must not win or lose because of the old politics of race in America. That would be a tragedy for all of us.”

Jim Wallis on the role of the African American pastor and church: "The black church pulpit has historically been a place of prophetic truth-telling about the realities that black people experience in their own country. Indeed, the black church has often been the only place where such truths are ever told. And, black preachers have had the pastoral task of nurturing the spirits of people who feel beaten down week after week.”

Jim Wallis on the generational shift within the black community There is a generational shift occurring within the black community itself, between an older generation who are sometimes perceived to be stuck in the politics of victimization and grievance, and a younger generation who believe that opportunity and progress are now possible - not by ignoring, but by being committed to actually changing the facts of oppression and discrimination.

Jim Wallis follows up his New York Times bestseller God's Politics with a call to action for people who want to address urgent problems that politics has failed to solve. The New York Times bestseller The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America (HarperOne, January 22, 2008) heralds a new era for faith and politics. # #

Jim Wallis is a bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, preacher, and international commentator on religion and public life, faith and politics. His previous book, "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It” was on the New York Times bestseller list for 4 months. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sojourners; where he is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine, whose combined print and electronic media have a readership of more than 250,000 people.

Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit, and .