National Catholic Reporter Press Items
The immediate deadline was Dec. 13. Negotiators Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., have reached a small deal to keep the government open, limit the sequester, and trim the deficit by a mere $2.2 billion a year. The deal may be a welcome departure from previous meltdowns, but it does not address any of the real budget problems facing the country. It is a compromise to be sure, but a small one.
In Washington, Faith leaders like Fr. Larry Snyder (President of Catholic Charities USA); Rev. David Bekmann (President of Bread for the World); Jim Wallis (President of Sojourners); Galen Carey (National Association of Evangelicals); Sister Marge Clark, BVM (NETWORK); Rev. Gabriel Salguero (National Latino Evangelical Coalition); Maj. Darryl Leedom (Salvation Army); Rev. Diane Ford Dessables (United Church of Christ) and others will gather at the U.S. Capitol building to join the global effort.
Stringfellow had a powerful influence on Daniel Berrigan, Jim Wallis and Walter Wink, to name a few. In 1967, because of serious health issues, Stringfellow moved to Block Island. It was there in August 1970 that our friend Daniel Berrigan was arrested at Stringfellow's house while underground for refusing to turn himself in after sentencing for the Catonsville Nine action.
Robert Gittelson, president of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, said for the faith community, particularly those in the coalition known as the Evangelical Immigration Table, the vote "was a serious step toward a moral and biblical solution, and we praise God for giving our senators the wisdom, leadership and compassion to pass this important bill.
Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners' director of mobilizing, underscored how our churches have a "separation problem" both in terms of geographical segregation and from the Gospel. The problem of separation creates "fertile ground for White Citizens' Councils" and movements that deny the rights of new immigrants.
“It is up to all of us -- especially pastors and parents -- to remind our elected leaders that action is urgently needed,” Lisa Sharon Harper, the director of mobilizing for Sojourners, told NCR. “While crafting sound public policy does take time, the process itself should not be used to prevent progress on measures that would literally save lives.”
Sojourners, a national Christian social justice group, described both plans as reflecting the principle that "our immigration system must treat people fairly and provide the opportunity for people to flourish as God intends."
At the Jan. 15 news conference, the Rev. Jim Wallis, a prominent evangelical leader and president and CEO of the national Christian magazine Sojourners, challenged the declaration by National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre, following the Dec. 14 mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
The 14 Catholic signers are among more than 40 leaders of a range of faith groups organized under the aegis "Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence."
This form of the new monasticism is by far the most visible, thanks in part to the support and promotion they receive from rock star progressive evangelicals like Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo. But true to its evangelical roots, this new monasticism is also rigorously Christian, less oriented toward the mystical qualities of traditional monasticism and, it appears, not inclined to engage with the spirituality of non-Christian contemplatives.