The Capital Times (Madison) Press Items
The great guessing game in official Washington -- and the surrounding punditocracy -- this week goes to the question of whether President Obama will use his State of the Union address to open a discussion about making changes to Social Security that would undermine the program.
Well, I have found a way to lighten the burden. I read a book titled “Rediscovering Values on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street” by the Rev. Jim Wallis. It was what I needed. After reading his book, I began looking for and finding positive signs to offset the negative ones. I immediately invited Jim Wallis to speak at Fighting Bob Fest this September.
Last week, one of the strongest religious voices for those living on the margins of our society was in town. Rev. Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners magazine, is a leader in interfaith efforts to fight poverty.
Looking back at the financial upheavals of the last year, Wallis told one small group, "We have a terrific safety net for the richest in this country." The leaders of government considered the giant banks, automakers and insurance companies to be too big to fail.
Rev. Jim Wallis remembers when he was organizing a protest in the rotunda of the nation's Capitol a few years ago. Leaders from a variety of Christian denominations were planning to be there - traditional Protestants, more conservative evangelicals, Catholics involved with social justice.
Then Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine and a leading religious voice on issues like ending poverty and wars, got a call from Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine and a strong Jewish voice on those same issues.
[Carrie Newcomer's] press Web page leads off with her "spiritual biography," which includes a list of influences and friends including Kingsolver, Phillip Gulley, Jim Wallis, Scott Russell Sanders and Madison's Parker Palmer, all various thinkers of a spiritual sort who think as well as they talk.
When Jim Wallis' bus rolled into Madison two years ago in the run-up to the 2004 election, he was trying to get voters and candidates focused on issues facing people who live in poverty.
"We did pretty well in making poverty an issue in the cities where we were," he said in an interview this week. "It did not become a national issue." ...Now Wallis is looking at the 2008 presidential election as a place to get poverty issues back on the national agenda.
"I think we're in a much better position now," he said. "The bus tour was a harbinger of this."
It is easy to understand how conservative Christians have influenced politics and populace in America, says Rabbi Michael Lerner. It has been about taking ownership of the human need to feel valued, protected and directed.
Jim Wallis, the internationally respected commentator on moral and ethical issues who has advised political leaders in the United States and abroad, reminds us, "Budgets are moral documents that reflect the values and priorities of a family, church, organization, city, state or nation."
Jim Wallis, the evangelical Christian who wrote "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It," likes to point out that one out of every 10 verses in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke refer to economic injustice.
Sojourner magazine founder Jim Wallis, an evangelical preacher chastises fundamentalists who try to define truth, sin, morals, platforms and battle lines for everybody else. He admonishes liberals for minimizing the importance of spiritual principles in feeding the political conscience.