The Common Good

Mainstream Faith Leaders Challenge Religious Right’s Narrow Agenda, Economic Priorities

Source: Sojourners
Date: June 1, 2011


Mainstream Faith Leaders Challenge Religious Right's Narrow Agenda, Economic Priorities

Christian Leaders Offer Authentic Religious Perspective During Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference

Washington, DC - Local and national Protestant, evangelical and Catholic leaders, including Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Rev. Jennifer Butler of Faith in Public Life, will host a press briefing and free lunch for reporters on Friday, June 3, at 1:30 p.m. at Acadiana, located at 901 New York Ave. NW in Washington, DC.

As Religious Right leaders convene conservative ideologues and politicians at the June 3-4 Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference and Strategy Briefing in Washington, D.C., prominent, mainstream religious voices are challenging the Religious Right's adherence to free-market ideology and culture of selfishness over the common good.

WHAT: Lunch and press briefing with mainstream faith leaders presenting alternative perspective to Religious Right

WHO: Jim Wallis, Sojourners

Rev. Jennifer Butler, Faith in Public Life

Rev. Derrick Harkins, Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, Washington, DC

Fr. Clete Kiley, UNITE/Here

WHEN: Friday, June 3, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Acadiana restaurant; 901 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC

(half-block from the Renaissance hotel, where the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference is being held)

These prominent clergy will speak to the broad consensus among people of faith concerning economic and budget issues, as well as respond to remarks from speakers at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.

Recent polling has found that strong majorities of most groups think it's fair for wealthier Americans to pay more in taxes, and even white evangelicals are evenly divided on the question. Also, 62% of Americans believe one of the biggest problems in this country is that more and more wealth is held by just a few people (including a majority of white evangelicals).

There is a growing drumbeat within the faith community in opposition to the proposed GOP budget and its cuts to programs that support the most vulnerable. Jim Wallis and numerous, diverse clergy participated in a hunger fast and created a "Circle of Protection” for funding of critical programs for the poor in the federal budget; leading Catholic scholars sent a letter to Speaker Boehner in advance of his Catholic University commencement address, urging him to revisit his positions on economic issues in light of Catholic social teaching; more than 30 Protestant Bishops signed a statement calling budget cuts that harm seniors, women, and children "morally indefensible;” and prominent Catholic Bishops joined the "Circle of Protection” and called on Congress to "promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times.”


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: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street. Follow him on Twitter: @jimwallis

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, and