'Tell Me About Sojourners'

The cover of the August Sojourners charged the president of the United States with lying about Nicaragua and went on to promise that, if he tries to invade Nicaragua, thousands of Christians are prepared to stand in his way. Personally, I couldn't recall if a historical precedent for U.S. citizens pledging to oppose—to the point of going to jail—a military action by their own government even before it happened.

The issue created quite a stir in the press. It wasn't just a religion page story. Most of the reporters who called to follow up were political writers. The telephone conversations with these journalists were rather interesting, and one in particular was especially so. The reporter was a foreign affairs writer for a leading national newspaper, and the dialog went something like this:

Reporter: Tell me about Sojourners.
Me: [I told him.]

I admit I know nothing about religion or the church. I was a Presbyterian a long time ago but am not anymore. But how can a religious magazine say the highest elected public official in this country is lying?

Because he is.

Yes, but how can a religious publication say that?

What do you mean?

I can't imagine Presbyterian Life saying that.

I can't either.

Is that the proper role for religion?

Don't press people try to point out official falsehood where you find it?

Sure, that's our job.

Then why not a Christian magazine?

Isn't religion supposed to be more [pause] you know, sort of soft and warm?

Well, there is the whole prophetic tradition of the Bible.

What's that?

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