Associated Baptist Press Press Items
“It is typical of political leaders to focus on the middle class, and we too care about the middle class,” Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, said at a press conference announcing the push. “However, it is our religious responsibility to make sure the poor -- who are so close to the heart of God -- are not left out and left behind in this severe economic crisis. They are already in crisis, so we don’t recall Jesus saying, 'I was in the middle class and I lost my 401(K).’”
Another evangelical leader, Jim Wallis of Sojourners, said the Religious Right is already using Cizik's departure in attempt to steer the organization toward a narrower social agenda.
"I personally trust Leith Anderson's and the NAE Executive Committee's commitment to the wider evangelical agenda beyond just abortion and gay marriage, but also feel deeply saddened by these events," Wallis said in a statement.
Jim Wallis, of the Christian anti-poverty group Sojourners/Call to Renewal, said the letter “crosses all lines of decent public discourse.”
In an Oct. 29 press release framed as a letter to Dobson, he continued: “In a time of utter political incivility, it shows the kind of negative Christian leadership that has become so embarrassing to so many of your fellow Christians in America. We are weary of this kind of Christian leadership, and that is why so many are forsaking the Religious Right in this election.”
A coalition of religious leaders are asking politicians in this election year to address what they say is a moral scandal: Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, much of the region is still far from recovery. Christian leaders who have endorsed the recovery campaign include Rich Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Richard Stearns, president of World Vision; Michael Kinnamon, president of the National Council of Churches; David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World; and Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners.
In his recent book, The Great Awakening, Jim Wallis suggests that it is time to move beyond the conservative vs. liberal paradigm to a framework he calls conservative radicalism. This is true in American culture, in evangelicalism and certainly in Baptist life.
Prominent faith leaders are calling on the United States’ two major political parties to use their upcoming presidential-nominating conventions as platforms for showcasing how they would deal with poverty.
That attack is utterly off-base, said one Christian leader whose organization sponsored the conference at which Obama delivered the speech in question. “There’s certainly a misunderstanding, a misreading of what Barack said,” said Jim Wallis, head of the Call to Renewal/Sojourners organization. “If anything, he was defending the right of people of faith to bring their religious understandings into the public square; the question was, ‘how we do that?’”
“I am not one of those who say the Religious Right is dead or gone,” [Jim] Wallis, head of the Sojourners/Call to Renewal anti-poverty movement, said during the discussion. “What I have said is what has felt like a monologue is over, and a dialogue has begun.”
Jim Wallis, author of The Great Awakening and president of the Christian anti-poverty group Sojourners, said evidence pointing to a significant change in white evangelical voting patterns has remained the same throughout primary contests nationwide.
"Evangelicals are leaving the Religious Right in droves!" added Christian activist Jim Wallis, for three decades the social conscience of the evangelical left. "This evangelical center is getting so big."