Associated Baptist Press Press Items
I argue that besides the widely recognized evangelical right, symbolized by figures such as James Dobson and the late Jerry Falwell, and the evangelical left, symbolized by activists such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, today there is emerging a visible and increasingly powerful evangelical center, whose most influential figures are probably the megachurch pastor Rick Warren and the lobbyist Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals.
“The media is operating with an outdated script, and the experience I’m having on the road confirms the data,” said Jim Wallis, founder of the Sojourners/Call to Renewal movement. The Christian group fights poverty and war. He said that in recent speaking engagements at evangelical college and seminary campuses around the country he has seen far more enthusiasm for Democratic candidates than he has in years.
"For a lot of the young people I meet, the Religious Right has been replaced by Jesus," said Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, an evangelical social-justice group. "Politics is stuck in its polarities - every issue has only two sides, and both sides do it."
“For a lot of the young people I meet, the Religious Right has been replaced by Jesus,” said Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, an evangelical social-justice group. “Politics is stuck in its polarities -- every issue has only two sides, and both sides do it.” Wallis has been a frequent critic of many of President Bush’s policies, particularly regarding poverty and the Iraq war. He has also criticized Religious Right leaders for their closeness to Bush. His organization co-sponsored the discussion along with Beliefnet, the religion-focused Internet news site.
Leaders from several religious groups are criticizing a polling agency and the organizers of the Jan. 19 Nevada caucuses for a lack of religious sensitivity...The signers included David Neff, editor of the flagship evangelical magazine Christianity Today, Jim Wallis, founder of the Sojourners/Call to Renewal anti-poverty movement, and Joel Hunter, pastor of the Orlando-based Northland Church.
[Jim] Wallis, an evangelical writer and political activist, said his involvement with the initiative came from his desire to “change the conversation on abortion.” There’s common ground around the country among people who want to stop using abortion as a polarizing issue or as a way to leverage votes, he said: “Abortion has been the third wheel in American politics for too long.”
Jim Wallis and Richard Land agree that faith should influence public policy. They just can’t agree on how.
Called “Voices & Votes II: Shaping a New Moral Agenda,” the event was co-sponsored by three Christian magazines: Sojourners, Christianity Today, and The Christian Century.
As the president of Sojourners, Jim Wallis has firm beliefs about how Christians should influence political power. Jesus created a new world order, Wallis said, and Christians embody that change.
But, with a sizable number of Americans now saying the war was a mistake for America, Sojourners’ Taylor said the fact some of the evangelical community’s most prominent leaders seemed to endorse Bush’s agenda whole-heartedly makes the war a mistake for evangelicalism itself. “In terms of the credibility of the evangelical voice and community, certainly it’s had an impact,” he said. Evangelicalism has “become something of an appendage of the Republican Party” to many non-evangelical Americans, Taylor said. “Even if we may disagree on how those Christian values should be applied to public-policy issues, we think we could agree … on the importance of maintaining your prophetic integrity. And having an uncritical view of the war really compromised that prophetic integrity.”