"Our life together can be better." That's the opening sentence of an important new book by Jim Wallis called On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good. Wallis, in addition to being CEO of the D.C.-based Christian ministry Sojourners, is one of our most compelling thinkers and writers -- not just on religion and spirituality but on American public life as well. He's also, I'm happy to say, a longtime and frequent contributor to HuffPost. And for those of you in the New York area, on Friday I'll be taking part in a conversation with him, moderated by our religion editor Paul Raushenbush, at NYU's Brennan Center for Justice from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Wallis wrote On God's Side while taking a three-month sabbatical last year, in the midst of the 2012 election -- a break that allowed him to get a broader perspective on what was going on in American public life. "Sitting back and watching the deluge of insults and accusations that feeds our political system, I witnessed the worst of us as a nation," he wrote last week on HuffPost. "And I came to the conclusion that it's time to reframe our priorities."
According to Wallis, we have traded "the idea of public servants for the false idols of power and privilege." And "we have lost something as a nation when we can no longer look at one another as people, as Americans."