The Common Good Press Items
Jim Wallis, author and editor of Sojourner's magazine, was in town last week to speak on his latest book On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving The Common Good. Although Mr. Wallis looks a tad older (don't we all) and a bit overwhelmed with where our country's political and social state is, his hopeful message remained the same: We are all interconnected; we are all each other's neighbor and it's time we recommit to an ancient idea: the common good.
Since the 1960s, Preacher Jim Wallis of the Sojourners has attempted to focus our attention on global poverty; from the 1980s onwards, Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. has emphasized that religion must be an active part of daily living for each of us in contemporary society, rather than a token Sunday spiritual event of praying and giving; and Rev. Rick Warren has questioned whether the 148 million orphans of the world should not be helped through a global program of caring.
With the dangerously blurred line between American politics and religion, progressive Christians are pushing back against the religious-right. Progressive Christians like Jim Wallis are gaining national visibility as a direct response to the religious-right's suggestion that it is unChristian to vote for a Democratic candidate.
Watching the recent "exclusive" FoxNews investigative report on Barack Obama's "ties to controversial people and radical groups" on Hannity's America was a reminder of the almost startling degeneration of the American media in recent years.
As Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine states, “budgets are moral documents”. They speak volumes to our priorities and to who we are as a people and how we are perceived the world over. These budgets fund everything from federal school lunch and environmental protection to nuclear weapons programs.
The victors in Iowa on Thursday have used the God strategy to a degree rarely seen in modern history. Obama’s public embrace of faith began in 2006 with a keynote address at Sojourners magazine’s Call to Renewal conference. Syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne suggested the speech “may be the most important pronouncement by a Democrat on faith and politics since John F. Kennedy’s Houston speech in 1960 declaring his independence from the Vatican.”
A cynical attitude about the religious right is no longer a luxury that politically conscious and morally sensitive people such as progressives can afford. Many of the manifestations of concern expressed by the religious right stem from genuine, personal, and moral convictions.
I know that many liberal Christians are involved in the grassroots movement to save our country from the dark forces allied in this Bushite regime. And I know that there are some efforts -such as Jim Wallis's book God's Politics-to advance a more liberal idea of Christianity into the public realm. But what is needed is a movement on the liberal side of Christianity that is as energetic and as cohesive as that which has been mounted on the right-wing side of the Christian spectrum. And this has not happened. We need also those prophetic voices that historically the liberal mainstream churches have given American in times of need. But in order to be heard in the larger country, those prophetic leaders often must be at the head of a movement. That ringing voice of Martin Luther King did not cry out in isolation, but rather at the end of marches and at assemblages of many thousands whose "Amens" amplified his voice
In 2005 two prominent liberal Democrats wrote major books about values. Early in the year, progressive evangelical preacher Jim Wallis hit the best-seller list with God’s Politics.
In 2005 two prominent liberal Democrats wrote major books about values. Early in the year, progressive evangelical preacher Jim Wallis hit the best-seller list with God’s Politics. Late in the year, Jimmy Carter scored with Our Endangered Values. Given the popularity of these two books, it’s clear that rank-and-file Democrats are reading them.