The Common Good

Glenn Beck begins week-long attack on social justice; Rev. Wallis responds

Source: Sojourners
Date: March 24, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CONTACT: Sheldon Good at sgood@sojo.net / 202.745.4625 or

Burns Strider at bstrider@sojo.net / 202.215.2490

GLENN BECK BEGINS WEEK-LONG ATTACK ON SOCIAL JUSTICE; REV. WALLIS RESPONDS

WASHINGTON, DC – Rev. Jim Wallis – an evangelical leader, author of Rediscovering Values and president of Sojourners (the largest network of social justice Christians in the United States) – is responding to Glenn Beck’s claim last night that “social justice” is a “perversion of the gospel” because it means “forced re-distribution, socialism, and Marxism.”

Previously, Beck urged Christians to leave their churches if they heard the terms “social justice” or “economic justice” used by their pastors. In response, Wallis invited Christians to leave Glenn Beck; more than 50,000 Christians have flooded Beck with messages. Wallis also invited Beck to have a conversation about “social justice,” an invitation that still stands.

Wallis says that “social justice” is “a passion for the gospel and the poor, not for totalitarian government. Serving the poor is a fundamental spiritual requirement of faith, but challenging the conditions that create poverty in the first place is also part of biblical social justice. You only work to change government when you can’t accomplish things on a smaller scale.”

In countering Beck’s misunderstanding of social justice on “The Colbert Report”, James Martin, an editor of America, a Jesuit magazine, quoted a Catholic Archbishop as saying, “When I feed the poor they call me a saint, but when I ask why people are poor they call me a communist.”

Link to Wallis’ latest response: http://blog.sojo.net/2010/03/24/what-glenn-beck-doesnt-understand-about-biblical-social-justice/

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Jim Wallis is the founder and president of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive 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: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.

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.