Religion News Service Press Items
Solving the problem of poverty in America requires the cooperation of leaders and activists from across the theological and political spectrum, organizers of a conference said here this week.
Organized by Call to Renewal and Sojourners, two Washington-based social justice groups co-founded by the Rev. Jim Wallis, the "Pentecost Conference" drew about 600 social activists to the nation's capital to meet with politicians, network and unveil a new "covenant" that lays out a blueprint for eradicating poverty.
After wandering the political desert for nearly 40 years, organizers of a Spiritual Activism conference here said that the religious left is taking tentative steps toward the Promised Land.
"About 1,200 people from 39 states attended the gathering in May.
They heard speeches by liberal evangelicals like Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis, founder of the Sojourners social justice movement. And they met in small workshops to talk about topics such as global warming, "moving the movable middle" and "using feminine principles to change the world."
Bono has worked with Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton, conservative religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and progressive preacher Jim Wallis. America's strong religious identity has actually made it easier for him to preach his social gospel here than in Europe, which is now largely secular, he said.
Bono can quote entire sections of Scripture - he used his childhood Bible to prepare for Thursday's speech - and talks in terms of national "tithing" on foreign aid, and the Bible's 2,100-plus verses on poverty. Bono has worked with Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton, conservative religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and progressive preacher Jim Wallis. America's strong religious identity has actually made it easier to preach his social gospel here than in Europe, which is now largely secular, he said.
Rev. Jim Wallis, editor of the progressive Sojourners magazine and author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It, is at the "left of the right," according to Edgar. Cizik, he said, is in the middle, and Falwell and Robertson on the far right.
The coziness between conservative Christians and Republicans make "the religious right virtually a Republican get-out-the-vote campaign," said Jim Wallis, the founder and editor-in-chief of Sojourners, a liberal Christian magazine committed to social justice.
Led by the Rev. Jim Wallis, head of Call to Renewal, a national network of religious organizations working to fight poverty, leaders of Catholic and Protestant churches urged members of Congress to act quickly in extending the child tax credit to low-income families.
Jim Wallis, president of the faith-based anti-poverty group Call to Renewal, said the last time Congress reauthorized welfare payments in 1996, many lawmakers "pinned failures (of former welfare law) on the poor themselves." That should have no place in this year's debate, he said.