The Common Good

Jim Wallis Talks Faith's Role In Politics, Gay Marriage And Immigration

Date: April 5, 2013

A little over a year ago, during some of the most heated moments of the presidential election, the Rev. Jim Wallis went on a three-month sabbatical.

The president and founder of Sojourners magazine and the progressive Christian organization of the same name, Wallis is one of the most politically active religious leaders in Washington, D.C., a familiar figure on Capitol Hill who has spent decades lobbying politicians from a liberal evangelical perspective on poverty issues. More recently, he has been a key member of influential Christian groups in the Beltway pushing for immigration reform, gun control and environmental protections.

But last January, he stopped doing interviews, going on television and speaking on the radio.

"I'd get up early, have some quiet space, exercise and write all day and read all day and I'd watch the news cycle at night. The more I did, the most depressed I got," explained Wallis, who visited The Huffington Post newsroom on Friday to discuss the book he penned during his time off, On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned about Serving the Common Good. "The vitriol. The screaming. The polarization. The paralyzation. The hate. The fear. And I thought we've lost something really significant, this ancient idea called the common good."