The Common Good

Jim Wallis: Working Together

Jim WallisOn Friday, I wrote about the invitation from Sen. Harry Reid to speak on the Democrat's weekly radio address and the difficult decision it presented. I said that I value my independence and non-partisanship, and didn't want to be perceived as "in the pocket" of any political party. From the responses I've received, it appears that the message did rise above the venue. I've gotten many favorable emails, phone calls, and comments thanking me for my words.

Two national wire service stories also got the message. The Associated Press headline was Rev. Wallis: Dems, GOP must cooperate, and the story began: ""Democrats and Republicans should work together to find new ways to end poverty, curb government corruption and strengthen families, the Rev. Jim Wallis said Saturday." And, Reuters wrote the following in their coverage, Democrats tap religious leader for radio talk: "Democrats turned to an evangelical Christian to give their weekly radio address on Saturday, citing a desire to avoid partisanship after last month's elections that gave them control of Congress." Friday evening, I was on Fox News' Heartland show with John Kasich. Although there was the usual bantering, it was a positive discussion.

In the same spirit that I gave the address, I am also writing to the Republican leaders of the House and Senate, requesting a meeting. The letter notes: "What our times demand now is for the same kind of cooperation that is taking place across historic divisions among our religious leaders to be evident in the political leadership of this country. The challenges are too great and the stakes too high for us not to find ways to find common ground by moving to higher ground."

It is my hope and my prayer that both parties will respond and that they will work together in the new Congress to move beyond the partisanship that has paralyzed and divided our nation.

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