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President Trump delivered an address to the nation on Tuesday from the Oval Office. Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, has issued the following statement in response:
“During Tuesday night’s Oval Office address, we saw racism on display. Racism is always based on lies; it always has been and always will be. Tuesday’s address was more of the same lies Trump has used since he announced his presidential candidacy in 2015. He used his lies last night to try to justify his border wall, the signature issue of his political campaign and administration, which people on both sides of the aisle have said has nothing to do with border security and everything to do with Donald Trump’s central message: You should fear people who aren’t white. The wall would be Donald Trump’s 2,200-mile monument to white supremacy.
On November 8th, Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners, offered commentary on the results of the Midterm Elections results from earlier in the week. Wallis said, “As we digest the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections, there are reasons for people of faith committed to social justice and the common good to be grateful and encouraged. There are also reminders of what we are up against and some real post-election dangers.”
On October 31st a group of interfaith leaders gathered to offer words of consolation, solidarity, hope and issue a call for prayer to guide our nation towards justice, peace and safety for all. At this politically volatile time with a resurgence of hatred and racism, prayer is not perfunctory but rather the most powerful way to apply our spiritual life and resources to a national and political emergency. The leaders are calling for five days of national prayer from November 1st until the election. The upcoming elections are no longer about politics but a referendum on white nationalist ideology in our country.
The Sojourners community reacted Saturday with shock, mourning, and growing fear to the horrific and murderous attack on Jews at the Tree of Life Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Eleven Jews were killed in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States and more wounded while observing the Sabbath. Many of the victims had gathered for a baby-naming ceremony. That this evil act of anti-Semitic terrorism should take place here in the United States is deeply shocking for old and young alike. Yet both U.S. and world history teach us that the poison of anti-Semitism is very real and has deadly consequences. Indeed, the apparent motivations and beliefs of the killer make it clear that the 11 men and women murdered Saturday were targeted precisely because of their Jewish identity. Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest and most persistent forms of bigotry alive in the world today, and Christians, along with Jews—who believe all human beings are created in the image of God--have a duty to name anti-Semitism and confront it at every turn, particularly given the shameful complicity of so many who called themselves Christians in the Holocaust and other historical oppression and killing of Jewish people.
Diverse evangelicals, led by people of color and women, want to bring the “good news” back to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in direct contrast to the “bad news” perpetuated by older, white, and partisan evangelical men. Evangelicals are typically identified in the media and by the public as a predominately white, politically right-wing faith group with little to no concern about the poor and oppressed.
Missing from the national conversation is a recognition that evangelicals are an ethnically diverse group. According to the PRRI 2017 American Values Atlas, thirty-five percent of evangelicals are people of color. Although the media focused on the eighty-one percent of “evangelicals” who voted for Donald Trump, it ignored the fact that seventy-two percent of evangelicals of color voted differently. This distortion undermines the Christian witness and negatively impacts American politics. Millions of people have left the faith, especially younger believers, during a time in which evangelicalism has become increasingly partisan and politicized.
The release of the “Chicago Invitation: Diverse Evangelicals Continue the Journey” signals a commitment to transform the current, false narrative around evangelicalism into a liberating one based upon Jesus’ teachings, the authority of scripture, evangelism, and God’s Biblical call to justice.
Just as in the US, Australia is becoming polarised between right and left. Some Christians, though, want to be both faithful and support social justice. Indeed, they feel commanded to pursue both. And they still believe they can. The Washington-based group called Sojourners has long bridged this divide.
The growing number of evangelicals of color have begun pushing in earnest for more of a political voice in the church.
Hundreds of Christians have converged on Australia’s Parliament House this week to meet with politicians and ask them to increase the nation’s commitment to Australian Aid.
The theme of the event is "Faith in Action: Living your spirituality to help others," and it's a message Wallis has been spreading for decades as the founder of Sojourners.