The Common Good

Recent Posts from Jim Wallis

Last evening, more than 3,500 people filled the Vineyard Church of Columbus for the opening of a three-day Justice Revival.


The Columbus Dispatch front-page headline this morning read " Faithful aim to aid poor, as Jesus did." The [...]

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Last evening, I was privileged to be one of the religious leaders asked to participate in the Compassion Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life and broadcast by CNN from Messiah College. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated; Sen. John McCain declined.


The religious leaders asked questions of real substance, focusing on difficult and important policy choices. We are not so much interested in the personal testimonies [...]

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When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he was trying to move the country to take on the moral issue of economic injustice. And, for the first time in many years, the remembrances of King's death (this one the 40th anniversary) urged the nation to do the same. Usually the nation's anniversary celebrations freeze-frame King as the nation's greatest civil rights leader whose famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 was the extent of his message. Later calls for [...]

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Read Taylor Branch's op-ed in yesterday's NYT Week in Review if you haven't already:



Civil rights, Vietnam, Dr. King, Memphis - these are historic landmarks. Even so, this [...]

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I want to personally invite you to Washington, D.C., on June 13 through 16 to participate in Pentecost 2008: Training for Change. For more than a decade, we have held an annual mobilization around the time of Pentecost to lift up a vision of overcoming poverty to the nation. I believe that with your help we can make this a pivotal year of elevating poverty to the top of the national agenda, [...]

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After 40 years, we might finally be ready to come out of the wilderness.

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We were never likely to get away with "transcending" race in this election as the early Obama campaign suggested to some. The demons of race in America simply run too deep and were bound to eventually rear their ugly heads. And so they did with the now infamous taped sound bites by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the furious media response to them. I've said before that the constant replaying of the tapes has become a metaphor for the continual replaying of our old racial tapes in this country. [...]

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The Cost of War

Five weeks ago, we began a series of posts on the cost of the war in Iraq. We have focused primarily on the human costs

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I'm on vacation with my family this week, but in reflecting on the significance of Easter, I thought I'd share this passage from one of my books, The Call to Conversion. In a world wracked by war and violence, we are a people whose life and faith are rooted in the resurrection.

What is the good news? When all that sin had done, or could ever do, was laid on Jesus, it did not overcome him. Death could not swallow him. The grave was denied its victory. The witness of history and of his followers is that "he is risen." He is alive. He has triumphed over all. He is the victor over every sin, hate, fear, violence, and death. Nothing is stronger than his victory-nothing past, nothing present, and nothing future.

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It has simmered throughout this campaign, and now race has exploded into the center of the media debate about the presidential race. Just when a black political leader is calling us all to a new level of responsibility, hope, and unity, the old and divisive rhetoric of race from both blacks and whites is rearing its ugly head to bring down the best chance we have had for years of finally moving forward.


And that is indeed the real issue here. A black man is closer to possibly becoming [...]

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The Cost of War

On Tuesday, President Bush spoke to the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters. In a speech that The New York Times described as "Citing Faith, Bush Defends War [...]

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Tuesday evening, John McCain clinched the Republican nomination for president, and Mike Huckabee, the last remaining contender, conceded defeat. Huckabee's campaign, and the failure of the Religious Right to support him, has been one of the most interesting and puzzling stories of this primary season


While Huckabee is certainly a social conservative, he refused to toe the line on a number [...]

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Last Friday I was in Santa Barbara, California, to speak at Westmont College - where even on a Friday evening, the gymnasium was packed with students. Before that event I did an interview with The Santa Barbara Independent, a local weekly newspaper, which they titled The Next [...]

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Last week I wrote about unfair attacks on Sen. Barack Obama's faith. And though it hasn't been in the headlines as recently, Sen. Hillary Clinton has also faced a steady stream of criticism of her faith. Christianity Today summarizes in sad detail and rightly debunks these "baseless blows to the former first lady" in a [...]

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It's time to be in the business of building social movements, not just winning elections.

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I don't endorse political candidates, but I will defend them when it becomes necessary. On this, I agree with my friend, Richard Land, the conservative Southern Baptist leader who is often identified with the Religious Right. Richard and I agree that faith has a place in politics and, when we agree on fundamental moral questions, have worked together. Richard says, "I have [...]

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I haven't yet read the whole study released yesterday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life titled, "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey," just some of today's news reports. But what I have read confirms what I see on the road every week. U.S. citizens are on the move religiously. Many people are not staying in the churches of their upbringings. "This is not your parents' church," many now could say as they [...]

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The Cost of War

March 19 will be the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq. In this season of Lent, we are called to lament and repent for an ongoing war that is being waged by our country, financed by our taxes, and fought by our brothers and sisters. After five years, we all lament the suffering and [...]

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When Kevin Rudd was elected prime minister of Australia, I wrote that he was a committed Catholic who was thinking about how to apply Catholic social teaching to public policy. This week, on

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Tuesday night, I spoke at the historic Park Street Church in Boston, where the second Great Awakening evangelist Charles Finney preached in 1831, calling people to faith in Jesus Christ and then to enlist in the anti-slavery campaign. William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first abolitionist speech here when he was only 23 years old. I was facing a packed church on a Tuesday night, full of 600 20-something evangelicals who want to be a generation of new abolitionists - focusing on the most [...]

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