The Common Good

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren convene first faith roundtable

Source: Sojourners
Date: February 9, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CONTACT: Evan Trowbridge at etrowbridge@sojo.net / 202-745-4625 or

Tim King at tking@sojo.net / 202-631-7763

 

Rev. Wallis is available for comment

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren convene first faith roundtable

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WASHINGTON, DC - Rev. Jim Wallis and more than 20 other faith leaders met at the White House on Tuesday with Elizabeth Warren, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in order to provide a moral perspective from individuals who work regularly with victims of abusive business practices.

From predatory lending to hidden credit card fees, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is working to defend Americans from dishonest, unfair and irresponsible business practices, and Warren is turning to the nation's faith leaders to be moral eyes and ears on the lookout for the financial quagmires that entrap their congregations and communities.

"You simply can't do the work we are trying to do without working with the faith community,” Warren told the faith leaders at the meeting. "We are building from the inside, but we need to hear from faith leaders who are on the ground about what else we can do and what is going to help people the most.”

For Wallis, the meeting came less than two weeks after attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where he met with the world's leading business leaders - leaders who often spoke of the need for new, moral business behavior yet bemoaned the difficult of actually incentivizing and changing business practices. That's why the CFPB is critical to keeping businesses morally accountable, Wallis said.

"As a Christian, I believe people are responsible for their personal behavior,” Wallis, who is also the chair of the WEF's Global Agenda Council on Values, said. "But I also believe we should make sure that there aren't stumbling blocks put in people's ways. We shouldn't put people in unnecessary temptation, and we certainly shouldn't manipulate and cheat them. This bureau has the opportunity to make some big strides in the right direction.”

As with anyone taking a stand against the powerful and affecting real change, Warren and the CFPB do have detractors, and there were five lobbyists from the financial industry last year for every member of Congress fighting or trying to water down financial reform. For an interview from Sojourners between Wallis and Warren, a former Methodist Sunday School teacher, click here.

Rev. Wallis has dealt with the issue of morality and the marketplace in depth in his most recent book, Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery.

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Jim Wallis is the president and CEO of Sojourners, the largest network of social justice Christians in the United States focused on the biblical call to social justice. Wallis is also author of the New York Times bestsellers God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It and The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World,Reviving Faith & Politics. His latest book is Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery.

Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit www.sojo.net, and www.GodsPolitics.com.