The Common Good

Recent Posts from Jim Wallis

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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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When the historic legislative milestone of the Voting Rights Act finally passed in 1965, I was still a young teenager. Until then, black people in America didn't have the right to vote. And until the Civil Rights Act passed the previous year in 1964, black Americans had to drink from separate drinking fountains, eat at separate lunch counters, ride at the back of buses, and watch movies only from the balconies of theaters. Then there was all the violence. I remember a civil rights worker [...]

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These young evangelicals refuse to reduce the gospel to a "fire-insurance" salvation pitch.

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I'm in the U.K. this week on a speaking and book tour.  It's always good to be here. My wife, Joy Carroll, is a Brit, and we frequently get across the pond.  Both of my children are "bilingual," speaking both the English of the English and the English of the Americans, and we love both countries.

The U.K. edition of The Great Awakening is titled Seven Ways to Change the World, [...]

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The genocidal situation in Darfur continues to worsen, with more killings and increased attacks on peacekeepers.  All the efforts to date by the U.N., the U.S., and other governments have failed to stop the atrocities. 

In this morning's New York Times, the Save Darfur coalition ran an ad with the message: "We stand united and demand that the genocide and violence in Darfur [...]

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They call him a lion. John McCain, on Tuesday, called him the "last lion in the Senate … because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate." I've always liked lions. I have a beautiful painting of a South African lion on the wall of our living room at home. My boys think it is Aslan, the lion of Narnia, of whom Mr. Beaver said, "'Course he isn't safe. But he's good."

The nation got a shock this week. Edward Kennedy, the lion who has been in [...]

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One of the few high points of the Bush administration has been its commitment to aid for Africa -- especially in combating HIV/AIDS. The president recently proposed an increase in funding for PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.) But it's not going anywhere. Why?

Columnist and former presidential speechwriter Michael Gerson answered the question. Seven Republican senators -- Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, Jeff Sessions, Saxby Chambliss, David Vitter, Jim Bunning, and Richard [...]

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Four years ago, Call to Renewal conducted a 12-day "Rolling to Overcome Poverty" bus tour to say that poverty was a religious and electoral issue. Despite our best efforts, the word was rarely spoken in either campaign, or in the presidential debates. This year, it's already different.

On Wednesday, John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama, which, of course, made headlines across the country. But at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, rally where the two men spoke, something even more important [...]

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Last week, I wrote about the new Evangelical Manifesto, of which I was a signatory. It's been interesting to see the news coverage that followed its release.

On the one hand, CNN implied that the statement was pro-Democratic:

For Democrats, the timing is good. The party has been [...]

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I recently joined many prominent Christian leaders in signing a joint declaration on Israel's 60th anniversary. The signers are too many to list here but they include church leaders, theologians, and the heads of international missions agencies who have an intimate knowledge of the region's history, theological significance, and present reality. (To name just a sampling: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director/CEO, [...]

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The church has a serious image problem. A recent book, unChristian, by Barna pollster David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons reveals much about how Millennials, the emerging generation - both those inside and around the church - view Christianity. The results weren't good. An overwhelming majority of young people view Christians as hypocritical, too judgmental, too focused on the afterlife, and too political in the worst sense of the word. And that image is often particularly true of [...]

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