The Common Good

Preachers confront 'last taboo': Condemning greed amid Great Recession

The Rev. Jim Wallis, a prominent evangelical who has worked with Democrats, has a different perspective. He said it's clear that greed was a major factor in the economic collapse and that a wide gap between the haves and have-nots is social dynamite.

"History shows that an increasing gap between the rich and the poor is a prime indicator of imminent collapse,” Wallis wrote in his recent book, "Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street.”

Wallis said he hoped his book, written right after the 2008 meltdown, would spark a movement among the nation's churches to re-examine the country's economic values. But he said many of the nation's pastors operate like politicians, afraid to alienate their wealthy donors.

"We said the public is ready for this. The church is ready for this,” a weary Wallis said of his hopes for such a movement.

"Boy was I wrong.”