The Common Good

Jim Wallis Blog Entries

A Step Forward on Abortion

Abortion is a moral issue, felt deeply on all sides of the debate. That debate has also been deeply divisive, becoming a "third rail" of American politics. It often influences outcomes of elections, and therefore the direction of the country in other important policy areas. Consistent polling shows that most are between the polarized extremes, simplistically named "pro-life" and "pro-choice." A majority is both concerned, even alarmed, about the abortion rate in America, yet is hesitant to [...]

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Edwards: 'I Sin Every Day'

In the Sojourners/CNN candidate forum in June of 2007, John Edwards said, "I sin every day," in response to a question on sin and forgiveness. Some journalists thought that was a throwaway line from a politician. But as the nation shockingly heard one week ago, Edwards was speaking honestly and even confessionally. Here was a man in a good and strong marriage, known to be a wonderful father, and yet last Friday he painfully and publicly confessed to the terrible mistake of an affair with [...]

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Another Religious Swing Vote

One of the stories I first heard on my recent visit to Australia was about what helped swing the vote last November to Kevin Rudd, the new Labor prime minister. I read some new political data by veteran pollster and researcher John Black, who is respected across Australia's political spectrum. Black reported that the pivotal swing vote to Labor this time was among evangelicals and Pentecostals, especially in [...]

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A Prime Minister's Preferential Option for the Poor, and the Planet

Last weekend in Australia, I had the opportunity to have a four-hour dinner conversation with Kevin Rudd, the new prime minister. I have written about Kevin as a new-style Labor political leader who talks openly about his faith in a secular country.

I asked him about the "apology" he made to the [...]

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A Prime Minister's Preferential Option for the Poor, and the Planet

Last weekend in Australia, I had the opportunity to have a four-hour dinner conversation with Kevin Rudd, the new prime minister. I have written about Kevin as a new-style Labor political leader who talks openly about his faith in a secular country.

I asked him about the "apology" he made to the [...]

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Slavery Apology--One Step Forward

I'm still "down under" -- wrapping up my book tour in Australia. The news from the U.S. reminds me of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s first act on the day after his swearing in as prime minister. In a moving speech, he delivered a speech of apology to the aboriginal people.

Tuesday, for the first [...]

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New Hope Down Under

Though it is winter in Australia, the sun was shining on Sydney Harbor, one of the most beautiful urban landscapes in the world. With the dramatic architectural lines of the famous Sydney Opera House outlined against the sky-blue horizon and reflecting on the glistening sea, I couldn't wait to hop the ferry to Manley and from there walk to the crashing ocean to watch the surfers climb the waves. I love this place, and though I was suffering a bit of jet lag from the 18-hour trip from [...]

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Obama's Faith-Based Plan

In 2000 I was part of a small group of religious leaders invited to Austin, Texas, to discuss a new White House faith-based initiative with George W. Bush before he came to Washington, D.C., as president. I was an early supporter of the initiative because I believed that partnerships between the faith community and government in alleviating poverty were both necessary and appropriate within the framework of the Constitution. For two years I was in regular conversation with the White House [...]

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Obama's Faith-Based Plan

In 2000 I was part of a small group of religious leaders invited to Austin, Texas, to discuss a new White House faith-based initiative with George W. Bush before he came to Washington, D.C., as president. I was an early supporter of the initiative because I believed that partnerships between the faith community and government in alleviating poverty were both necessary and appropriate within the framework of the Constitution. For two years I was in regular conversation with the White House [...]

+Continue Reading

Obama's Faith-Based Plan

In 2000 I was part of a small group of religious leaders invited to Austin, Texas, to discuss a new White House faith-based initiative with George W. Bush before he came to Washington, D.C., as president. I was an early supporter of the initiative because I believed that partnerships between the faith community and government in alleviating poverty were both necessary and appropriate within the framework of the Constitution. For two years I was in regular conversation with the White House [...]

+Continue Reading

Obama's Faith-Based Plan

In 2000 I was part of a small group of religious leaders invited to Austin, Texas, to discuss a new White House faith-based initiative with George W. Bush before he came to Washington, D.C., as president. I was an early supporter of the initiative because I believed that partnerships between the faith community and government in alleviating poverty were both necessary and appropriate within the framework of the Constitution. For two years I was in regular conversation with the White House [...]

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Your Comments on Seminary at Sing Sing

Last week, I posted a piece about speaking at a graduation ceremony inside Sing Sing prison in New York. I was moved by quite a few comments to the piece, so I thought I'd share some of them for those who may not have read them.

I think that seminary in prison is a good idea. I worked in a prison for 2-1/2 years, and the men need something [...]

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Dobson and Obama: Who is 'Deliberately Distorting'?

James Dobson, of Focus on the Family Action, and his senior vice president of government and public policy, Tom Minnery, used their "Focus on the Family" radio show to criticize Barack Obama's understanding of Christian faith. In the show, they describe Obama as "deliberately distorting the Bible," "dragging biblical understanding through the gutter," "willfully trying to confuse people," and having a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."

The clear purpose of the show was to [...]

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Dobson and Obama: Who is 'Deliberately Distorting'?

James Dobson, of Focus on the Family Action, and his senior vice president of government and public policy, Tom Minnery, used their "Focus on the Family" radio show to criticize Barack Obama's understanding of Christian faith. In the show, they describe Obama as "deliberately distorting the Bible," "dragging biblical understanding through the gutter," "willfully trying to confuse people," and having a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."

The clear purpose of the show was to [...]

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Biblical Perspectives on Idolatry, Poverty, Abortion

Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis to participate in a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's latest post, "What Are God's Real Politics?"

You asked for specific issues from a [...]

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Seminary at Sing Sing

The months of May and June are always a special time for school commencements. And, each year, I really enjoy my opportunities to give commencement addresses at universities and seminaries across the country. But the one I gave last week was very special indeed.

Last Wednesday evening, June 11, I was blessed and honored to give the commencement address at Sing Sing Prison. The New York Theological Seminary offers a program of theological study leading to the degree of Masters of [...]

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Father's Day Remembering Tim Russert

Father's Day was especially poignant this year with the shocking weekend news of the death of Tim Russert, the long-time and extraordinary host of Meet The Press. I knew Tim a little, mostly from the times I have been on the show or at Washington events that we both attended. Watching Meet The Press is a Sunday ritual for me; one of the very few things on television that I always tape. Tim Russert's unexpected passing broke the heart of official Washington and the [...]

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Personal and Social Responsibility

Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis to participate in a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's latest post, "The Theme is Moral Responsibility."

Your post is difficult to respond to. I am not interested in trying to debunk [...]

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The Bible is Neither Conservative or Liberal

Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis for a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's first post, "Let's Clarify the Politics of the Bible."

Thanks for your post, David. I'm looking forward to this discussion with [...]

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Two Firsts

The fact that an African American and a woman each ran so strongly in the long primary season of this election year speaks very well of the country. Having two "firsts" competing for the presidency, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, makes this a very historic political year. But it was perhaps unfortunate that the two firsts ended up running against each other. After a hard-fought campaign, there inevitably remain some hard feelings among the supporters of both candidates, but [...]

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