The Common Good

Jesus and Lou Dobbs

Sojomail - May 10, 2007


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I've been to a lot of meetings at the White House. I've been to a lot of meetings with the president about the war. This was one of the toughest, frankest, no-holds-barred meetings in terms of the members who were there giving their assessment of where they think things are in their district and the country."

- Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), on a recent meeting of congressional Republicans with President Bush regarding their frustrations and concerns about his current Iraq war policy. (Source: Chicago Tribune)

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HEARTS & MINDS BY JIM WALLIS

Jesus and Lou Dobbs

At our press conference on Monday announcing the formation of Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, I remarked, "If given the choice on this issue between Jesus and Lou Dobbs, I choose my lord and savior, Jesus Christ."


As you might imagine, Lou didn’t like that very much. In his column on CNN.com, "A call to the faithful," rather than addressing the need for reforming a broken immigration system, he accuses us of being "hell-bent on ignoring the separation of church and state" as we "conflate religion and politics" by our "political adventurism." Then he suggests:

... before the faithful acquiesce in the false choice offered by the good Reverend, perhaps he and his followers should consult Romans 13 where it is written: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

I don’t think Lou read our statement, where we clearly said:

We believe in the rule of law, but we also believe that we are to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God's image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).

The current U.S. immigration system is broken and now is the time for a fair and compassionate solution. We think it is entirely possible to protect our borders while establishing a viable, humane, and realistic immigration system ...

Dobbs doesn’t understand that compassion is not amnesty, and that reforming an unworkable system is not simply flinging open our borders. But then, he long ago stopped being a journalist, and is now one of the leading advocates against comprehensive immigration reform.

He also doesn’t seem to understand that most people now believe that bringing our faith into public life is not undermining the separation of church and state. As I’ve said many times, where would <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />America be if Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had kept his faith to himself? And on this issue, given a choice between Jesus and Lou Dobbs, I’ll still choose Jesus.

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THIS WEEK IN GOD'S POLITICS

+ See what's new on the blog of Jim Wallis and friends

Hyepin Im: VA Tech and the Model Minority Myth
There is no denying Seung-Hui Cho was one sick individual whose wild rampage was senseless and tragic. At the same time, I can’t help but mourn and wonder whether this tragedy could have been averted if Seung-Hui had early intervention. For too long, Asian American communities have been ignored or left out of policy, program, and funding decisions under the justification of being "model minorities." Only recently, studies are acknowledging that monolingual Asians and their families are underserved in this country. Such short-sighted decisions are costing many innocent lives and taking a huge toll on the community and the country. For example, juvenile delinquency for Asian Americans has increased when it has decreased for other groups in the last 20 years. Asian Americans suffer from high suicide, depression, and domestic violence rates.

Wes Granberg-Michaelson: Four Lessons from Vietnam
The showdown between Congress and the president this month around the funding for the Iraq war isn’t the first of its kind. We’ve been here before, and we need not walk blindly down rhetorical dead ends. In 1970, well into the Vietnam War, Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, a Republican, and Sen. George McGovern, a Democrat, introduced legislation to cut off funding by a certain date in the future for U.S. combat operations in Vietnam. The invasion of Cambodia, and the widespread anti-war demonstrations that followed throughout the country, focused political attention on the McGovern-Hatfield legislation as a means to reverse President Nixon’s Vietnam policies. A mobilization of public opinion, with TV and radio ads and a focused lobbying campaign, backed this effort.

Jim Wallis: Sam Brownback Says 'The Poor Will Save Our Souls'
Sen. Sam Brownback and I don't see eye-to-eye on every issue or policy, but he's been a faithful ally in our efforts to forge a grand alliance of conservatives and liberals to fight poverty - something he and I agree this country needs. He was also part of our Pentecost conference last year. He just did an interview with Beliefnet's David Kuo, in which he made some of his clearest statements ever on the issue.

Audio: Dolores Huerta on Justice for Immigrants
At age 75, Dolores Huerta - the mother of the United Farm Workers movement - serves as president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which educates on public policy issues affecting immigrants, women, and youth. As an advocate for immigrant workers rights, Dolores has been arrested 22 times for non-violent peaceful union activities. In 1998, Dolores received the United States Presidential Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Clinton. On May 3, 2007, she addressed 2,500 women at the New York Women’s Foundation on the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Video: Jim Wallis on Jesus and Lou Dobbs
At a press conference announcing Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Jim talked about "welcoming the stranger" and "the least of these." Watch it.

Jess Hunter-Bowman: Colombia's Martyrs
Too often, those of us immersed in Colombia get lost in the sheer magnitude of the horrors of the five-decade-old armed conflict: over 31,000 civilians murdered in just the last 10 years; almost 3 million people driven out of their homes since 1985; more than 1,350 massacres perpetrated between 1994 and 2004; at least 134 Protestant church leaders killed in the past four years; an archbishop, a bishop, 32 priests and dozens of nuns murdered since 1987 ... Swimming in this sea of death and destruction, we rarely stop to mourn individual losses. We focus on the forest instead of the trees. Why is there no Colombian Oscar Romero or Martin Luther King Jr.? Some would say it is unfair to hold one life up as more significant than the rest. Yet martyrs, as representatives of a people’s suffering, are powerful reminders of the human cost of violence.

Becky Garrison: Christian vs. Atheist Celebrity Death Match
On Saturday, May 5, I attended the taping for the first-ever Nightline Face Off. In this premiere episode, taped at Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, The Way of the Master co-hosts Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort debated the existence of God with the Rational Response Squad (RSS), founders of The Blasphemy Challenge. (See "The New Atheists Blasphemy Challenge" for my earlier coverage of this venture.) ... I wish I could say these extremist encounters are few and far between, but the animosity on both sides of the God debate seems to be hitting a fever pitch. When I skim the slew of material refuting these strident "New Atheists," I’m stuck at how many people of faith are betting on Pascal’s Wager. According to this logic, one should believe in God as a safeguard to avoid spending eternity surrounded by the flames of hell. The overarching emphasis here seems to be on the personal nature of Christianity as a means of guaranteeing one an eternal night’s sleep, with scant attention paid to what it means to implement Jesus’ teachings here on earth.

BUILDING A MOVEMENT

Pentecost 2007: Last Chance to be an Early Bird!

The response to news of our presidential candidates forum – with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama – has been overwhelming. Registrations to Pentecost 2007 have skyrocketed, and we’re hearing from people from across the country who will join us as we take the vision to the streets!

But we want you to be there, so we’ve extended the deadline for early-bird registration discounts. If you want to take advantage of this special offer, you have to hurry – the last day to register at a reduced rate is TODAY – May 10!

Click here to register for Pentecost 2007 and join us for four days of captivating speakers, inspiring worship, prophetic advocacy, and hands-on training.

But wait – there’s more! Along with the candidates, you’ll have a ringside seat to Jim Wallis, Lynne Hybels, Brian McLaren, and Derek Webb. So join us in Washington, D.C., from June 3–6. We’re saving you a seat!

Click here to register for Pentecost 2007

SOJOURNERS IN THE NEWS

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Top Stories:

New Coalition of Christians Seeks Changes at Borders
The New York Times
Immigration "for us is a religious issue, a biblical issue," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of a liberal evangelical group, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, and a member of the coalition. "We call it welcoming the stranger."

Christians eye immigration reform
The Washington Times
"We are coming together today because the Bible tells us again and again about the need to care for the stranger in our midst," said Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners, an evangelical Christian ministry and key member of the coalition.

Evangelicals Launch Immigration Initiative
KTVU

Evangelicals Launch Immigration Reform Campaign
The Christian Post

Christian image can conflict with Christ's
Argus Leader

Riverside Takes On the Task of Rebuilding a Church
The New York Times

Real issues get lost in politics
Northern Star

"Sojourners in the news" articles are the most recent news clippings that mention Sojourners in any way - whether favorably or unfavorably. Though we provide the text on our site for your convenience, we do not necessarily endorse the views of these articles or their source publications.


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