The Common Good

Pastor Jim Wallis: Get Out Of The Pews, Go Out And Help

Date: May 3, 2013

Pastor Jim Wallis is an active public religious leader, lobbying lawmakers and recently serving as a spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama. He’s also founder and head of the progressive Christian organization Sojourners.

But last election season, he went on a retreat, spending the time writing and also re-reading the “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis.

The result is his new book, “On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets And Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving The Common Good.“

Wallis says the religious should get out of their churches and serve the common good on Earth, rather than staying inside and praying on getting to heaven.

He says the real gospel of Jesus is serving the poor and the disadvantaged, and that white churches missed out on the civil rights movement, which was led by black churches and preachers like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Religion has no monopoly on morality, but every social movement we’ve ever had that succeeded had faith communities at the heart of it,” Wallis told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “It was never ever just people of faith. Civil rights was not just that. But unless people of faith are really helping to animate and sacrifice for something, generally we don’t get those movements for reform.”