Religion News Service Press Items
The Rev. Jim Wallis, a best-selling author and head of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, a progressive social-justice group based in Washington, agreed, arguing that clergy sometimes need to be ahead of their churches.
About 3,000 Christians gathered at the Washington National Cathedral Friday (March 16) before marching to the White House to protest the war in Iraq.
"This kind of a Christian witness was long overdue," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, one of three dozen groups represented in the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.
"Just going to secular demonstrations wasn't enough for them. They wanted to express their faith on the Iraq war."
A coalition of Christian peace groups will meet here Friday (March 16) for what they say will be the largest gathering of Christians opposing the Iraq war since the conflict began four years ago.
The Christian Peace Witness for Iraq will mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war with public prayer at the National Cathedral and a candlelight procession through the capital, ending with a protest outside the White House. So far, more than 3,500 people have registered for the evening's events.
"Our governments have not spoken for 30 years," said the Rev. Jeff Carr, of Sojourners/Call to Renewal. "We think that beginning dialogue and paving the way for mutual respect and peaceful relations is really something that needs to happen, and religious leaders could play a significant role in that."
Amazing Grace Sunday, which is set for this weekend (Feb. 18), hopes to spark a modern abolitionist movement in America and is supported by the National Council of Churches, the National Association of Evangelicals, Sojourners, the Salvation Army and the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking, among others. Congregations are asked to sing "Amazing Grace" during worship services.
These publications have stumbled even as progressive religious thinkers, such as bestselling author of "God's Politics" the Rev. Jim Wallis and "The Left Hand of God" author Rabbi Michael Lerner, have in recent years struck a resonant chord...Circulation has also jumped at Washington-based Sojourners magazine, from 24,300 in December 2002 to 45,500 now. One reason: more evangelical readers. Evangelicals now comprise 17 percent of the readership, up from less than 5 percent in 2002, according to Editor Jim Rice.
But Democrats have a responsibility to follow through on the issues important to people of faith, said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, a faith-based social justice group."Democrats need to take the lead and not just reap the benefits," he said. "Religious people are not a cheap date and are going to want results now."
."We succeeded in making this issue the `values' issue of the 2006 election," said the Rev. Paul Sherry, national director of the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign.Thanks to barnstorming efforts by prominent preachers and local organizations, religious progressives succeeded in raising the minimum wage and helped prove that poverty is the kind of issue that could draw voters from across theological and political lines, Sherry said.In the 2008 elections and beyond, anti-poverty and minimum wage measures could "bring out voters who care about jobs and values just as the gay marriage initiatives brought out conservative Christians," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, a progressive author and activist.
Religious leaders are promoting a new documentary about global warming to raise awareness about environmental concerns among houses of worship...Other religious signatories on the statement include the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Sayyid Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America.
Throughout the country, groups across the values spectrum have more debates, forums and rallies planned in the coming weeks." The activity is going to continue all the way through the election and beyond," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, the progressive activist who founded Sojourners/Call to Renewal and a regular at several mid-September Washington events. "But all that's going to show is that now it's a dialogue. ... Hopefully this dialogue will help clarify what the public issues are and what the moral values are that Americans care about.