CNN Belief Blog Press Items
“It’s past time for our political leaders to find the moral courage to act,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners. “The majority of our country supports change, and 92% of Americans support universal background checks, but unfortunately powerful lobbyists for gun manufacturers have some politicians scared to do what they know is right.”
“I really sensed that this is a high priority for him,” Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a Christian social justice group, told CNN. “We are all looking at something being introduced this month and then the bill passing in May or June. We are all hoping that kind of time frame could work.”
Wallis, who for many years has helped organize Christian coalitions to lobby Congress on issues such as immigration and poverty, said he is prepared to harness the power of the Christian congregations for the issues of poverty and the budget.
Quote of the Day:
The world is not full of good and bad people. That is not what our scriptures teach us. And when we are bad or isolated or angry or furious or vengeful or politically agitated or confused or lost or deranged or unhinged, and we have the ability to get and use weapons only designed to kill large numbers of people our society is in great danger.
– Rev. Jim Wallis, the evangelical who heads the progressive Christian group Sojourners.
According to Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners and a leader in the coalition, the group has met with “top-level White House officials” as well as Democratic and Republican leaders "from Chuck Schumer to Lindsey Graham."
“Immigration reform, fixing this broken system, has a chance of being the first thing, maybe the one thing, that I think could really be accomplished in a bipartisan way,” Wallis said. “Courageous, bold, bipartisan decisions that do the right thing are not real common (in Washington), but I think this is really possible now.”
Earlier this week, senior White House officials met with a diverse group of evangelical organizations on the issue of immigration reform. That group, which included conservative Southern Baptist leader Richard Land, progressive evangelical Jim Wallis and the National Association of Evangelicals’ Leith Anderson, endorsed an “Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform” that includes calling for a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
“They could have gone with someone who’s been in Washington for 30 years,” said Tim King, the communications director for Sojourners, a progressive evangelical group.
Is Washington a holy city? It might seem that way, with all the talk about religion and morality in the 2012 election.
But all that God talk may be rubbing voters the wrong way.
"It's getting ugly out there," said Tim King, an evangelical Christian who works for the progressive religious group Sojourners. "There are a lot of Christians who are using their faith as a political weapon, which it's never meant to be."
King, who calls himself "politically homeless," says that while both parties talk about faith and invoke Scripture, he and other young evangelicals he knows sense an undercurrent of political gamesmanship in all the religious talk.
Christianity in America is in danger. As former Senator Rick Santorum recently pointed out, young people are leaving the church in droves.
In the mid-1980s, evangelical 20-somethings outnumbered those with no religious affiliation – the so-called “nones” – by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. By 2008, those proportions were almost flipped, with young “nones” outnumbering evangelicals by more than 1.5 to 1.
Falsani said the Santorum-implied dig - that Obama has his own definition of sin outside of traditional Christianity - was wrong. "The answer came in the specific context of having just articulated his Christian faith," she said.
In response, Falsani posted the full transcript of her interview with the president on the Sojourners website, where she now works as Web editor and director of new media.