In the shadow of India's economic miracle lies a people often deemed untouchable, largely impoverished, and seemingly invisible. Bubbling beneath the shimmering image of a new India is a cauldron of inequality, caste-based subordination, and religious tension that could boil over into even greater civil strife and violence. At the center of these forces lies the Dalit struggle. While Dalit rights are often denied and hopes are crushed, growing political, economic, and spiritual empowerment [...]
Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis to participate in a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's latest post, "What Are God's Real Politics?"
You asked for specific issues from a [...]
I won't even try to describe all of the maddening details of finding a HUD apartment for a homeless, no-income family that consists of a mother, five kids under the age of nine, and a nurturing father. It suffices to say that after three weeks of slogging through that kind of absurdity and ugliness, I began to understand why the mother, our friend Jaleena, tried to kill herself when her original building got condemned. Even with all that, we barely managed an awful apartment, and by the time [...]
This Training for Change conference was a good experience, one that I did not expect and that challenged me deeply. One of the tools we practiced was learning to tell our personal stories to build relationships with each other. I'm not very good at that, and I have a hard time finding the desire to open up to strangers.
But the more the ideas of "relationships" and "stories" were [...]
I, like most, have multiple tribes of which I consider myself a part. This weekend I ate with, spoke with, worshiped with, learned from, and was amazed by a new tribe of people. There was kinship, and a sense of shared experience, struggle, fear, and hope among this new tribe.
I was glad to hear something in Brian McLaren's session on "scared to talk politics in church?" It wasn't something Brian said but rather something from someone who doesn't look like me, and [...]
Yesterday I was in a class where we were trying to frame up the story of ourselves--not just an idealistic fluffy tale--but one that when you told it, others would understand in their gut why you felt the way you feel and maybe even get a glimpse of the "real" you and move a little bit closer to you as a person. A gentleman shared with me his negative feeling of experiencing that vulnerability. I do believe that most people feel this way...scared to go deeper....scared to really talk about [...]
A few years back 50 Cent starred in the movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" about a young drug dealer who leaves his dealing to pursue a career as a rap star. The contrast is stark: utter poverty or incredible wealth. No matter the level of material poverty or wealth, believing that more "toys" is the goal will never overcome widespread poverty.
I ran into an acquaintance here at Pentecost 2008 who reminded me of how this "get rich or die trying" message is ingrained in our psychology at [...]
As I attended Pentecost 2008 I was reminded that Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign is celebrating its 40th anniversary. On Friday, Mary Nelson (Board Member of CCDA) and I facilitated a workshop on "Building the Beloved Community." Building the Beloved Community was one of the central messages of Dr. King's ministry. The Poor People's Campaign of 1968 [...]
Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis for a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's first post, "Let's Clarify the Politics of the Bible."
Thanks for your post, David. I'm looking forward to this discussion with [...]
I'll be attending Sojourners' Pentecost conference this weekend. Why am I excited? What am I expecting? I'm looking forward to honesty about the challenges we face when we are serious about overcoming poverty.
One of my greatest struggles around large issues like poverty is that I either feel like I'm not informed well enough or that I'm not doing enough. On one hand, I talk in [...]
I feel like I try so hard and I'm not sure what I'm actually doing. That is one reason why I wanted to go to Pentecost 2008: Training for Change. I want to be part of something bigger and know that we as a larger group have the passion to really do something. I've been sick of the way things are going and how, it seems, the church is growing cold in many ways. It makes my stomach sick to [...]
1. not guided by conscience; unscrupulous.
2. not in accordance with what is just or reasonable: unconscionable behavior.
3. excessive; extortionate: an unconscionable profit.
I have had some "unconscionable" things on my mind a lot lately as I have been working with the 20-somethings who make up Orlando Food Not Bombs and University of [...]
I don't want to assume that readers automatically know who Steven Curtis Chapman is, but if you've been surfing the Web recently, it's very likely you may have seen the name. Chapman is one of the most visible and influential figures of the Christian music genre. As of 2007, he has sold more than 10 million albums, has nine gold and platinum albums, and won five Grammy awards.
Four years ago, Call to Renewal conducted a 12-day "Rolling to Overcome Poverty" bus tour to say that poverty was a religious and electoral issue. Despite our best efforts, the word was rarely spoken in either campaign, or in the presidential debates. This year, it's already different.
On Wednesday, John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama, which, of course, made headlines across the country. But at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, rally where the two men spoke, something even more important [...]
Last evening, I was privileged to be one of the religious leaders asked to participate in the Compassion Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life and broadcast by CNN from Messiah College. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated; Sen. John McCain declined.
The religious leaders asked questions of real substance, focusing on difficult and important policy choices. We are not so much interested in the personal testimonies [...]