Religion News Service Press Items
Fasting is an effective response to a dysfunctional government that refuses to help immigrants in need, said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the progressive Christian group Sojourners, who began to fast Tuesday but does not know for how long he will go without food.
Those who met with the President also included the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners; Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle; Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church; Hyepin Im, president and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development, Los Angeles; and Mike McClenahan, senior pastor of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of the progressive Christian group Sojourners, said Christians must pray against the political dysfunction, self-interest and racial polarization that has blocked immigration reform.
Leaders of the Faithful Filibuster and a few Senators gathered Wednesday morning (Oct. 16) for a prayer service at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Sojourners’ founder, Jim Wallis, tied the stories of families separated in “12 Years a Slave” to often-forgotten African-American children who attend inadequate schools or live on streets where hundreds are shot each year. “It’s still going on every damn day,” he said.
Also speaking were Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing at Sojourners; and Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Christians of various stripes have already expressed their aggravation at the inability of Congress and the President to reach a compromise and end the shutdown. On September 30th, 33 religious leaders signed an open letter addressed to members of Congress saying that defaulting by refusing to raise the debt ceiling was “reckless.” Signatories included Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Peter D. Weaver, Executive Secretary of the United Methodist Church.
Starting Wednesday, evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant leaders will hold a daily “Faithful Filibuster” on Capitol Hill with Bible verses on the poor “to remind Congress that its dysfunction hurts struggling families and low-income people.”
Several weeks ago we commented on Jim Wallis, the leader of Sojourners (a progressive, Christian social justice organization), who is often cited as being a long-time advocate of causes marked “Left.” He sees himself as a bridge-builder across religious camps separated by the divides and poles that disrupt discourse and creative action in “secular” and “sacred” America. Among responses to that Sojourners column, some asked why Sightings did not more frequently treat the Left, the subject of so much criticism by the easily-identified Right.
A coalition of evangelical leaders who hope to shape national immigration reform is expressing cautious optimism about a bill a bipartisan group of senators introduced in Congress.