Religious Right

The Next Chapter

In two weeks, you will have your first chance to read Jim Wallis' latest book, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America. You'll soon hear about the upcoming book tour, a new website featuring the book and a slate of other activities planned around the launch.



I had the chance to read the manuscript a few months ago, and I feel real excitement about what this book can mean to our personal lives as sojourners, to our faith [...]

Mitt Romney's Defining Moment

In what may be the defining moment of his campaign, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a Mormon, addressed the issue of faith and its bearing on his pursuit of the presidency. Pundits inevitably compared Romney's speech in College Station, Texas, with the speech that John F. Kennedy gave just down the road at the Rice Hotel, Houston, on September 12, 1960.


The parallels [...]

Renewed Faith

Sojourners magazine was recommended to me by my brother-in-law, so I sent away for a free trial issue. The September-October 2007 issue was my first exposure to your magazine, and upon reading “Iraq: The Tipping Point” (by Jim Wallis), I immediately mailed my check for a subscription. Thank you for renewing my faith in honest journalism and for proving that not all Christians have to be conservative Republicans!

Diana Trepesowsky
San Diego, California

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Sojourners Magazine December 2007
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Robertson for Rudy

Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani for president is simply astonishing. Robertson - the television preacher who founded the 700 Club and once ran for president himself - has made opposition to abortion and same sex marriage his political north star and has been a relentless champion of traditional marriage and family values.


Remember Robertson's merciless attacks on President Bill Clinton's lapses of sexual morality with Monica Lewinsky? Or his comments about how the 9/11 [...]

Truth and Consequence

Nicholas Kristof, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for what the judges called "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world." Through a combination of humanitarian commitment, fearless reporting, and sheer doggedness, Kristof has brought the stories of poverty-stricken and exploited people to the morning paper and demanded that we care. Sojourners editor-in-chief Jim Wallis interviewed Kristof in January 2007 in Davos, Switzerland.

Jim Wallis: You've identified the big, important moral issues of our time—something few journalists do well. How did you figure it out?

Nicholas Kristof: My journalistic break was covering the Tiananmen Square democracy movement; I was on Tiananmen Square when it was crushed. It was very traumatic for me. We don't know, but probably 500 people were killed.

Over time it also became clear that number-wise it really wasn't such a big deal in the context of all of China. I remember at one point reading that every year in rural China, 3,000 people die in floods and that 700,000 young women and girls are kidnapped and sold. Gradually I began to grope for some way to cover these issues that affect a lot of people but that don't fit into our paradigm of government repression.

Wallis: Those stories didn't make the news.

Kristof: No. I thought that one of our real failings as journalists in China was not adequately covering the "one child" policy. There was a renewed crackdown when I lived in Beijing, and probably no government policy in the world affected more people in a more intimate way than that crackdown against families. It took us a few years to notice because it happened in rural China—we were paying much too much attention to what was going on in the center.

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Sojourners Magazine August 2007
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The Wizard of Colorado Springs

In spring 1998, James Dobson, founder and head of Focus on the Family, was mad, and he traveled to Washington, D.C., to vent his fury. Since its formation in the late 1970s, the Religious Right had helped elect every president, with the notable exception of Bill Clinton, and had boosted the Republicans into control of Congress. Yet by Dobson's reckoning, the Religious Right had precious little to show for its efforts. He complained about continued funding for Planned Parenthood and for safe-sex education and the distribution of condoms. He worried that the civil rights of gays and lesbians would win legal protection, and he lamented the failure to outlaw abortion.

Meeting with congressional leaders in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, Dobson repeated some version of the refrain he had used at a Religious Right rally in Phoenix. "Does the Republican Party want our votes—no strings attached—to court us every two years, and then to say, 'Don't call me. I'll call you,' and not to care for the moral law of the universe?" he asked. "If it is, I'm gone, and if I go—I'm not going to threaten anybody because I don't influence the world—but if I go, I will do everything I can to take as many people with me as possible."

Dobson's tirade left Republican members of Congress quaking in their boots. As Dan Gilgoff argues in The Jesus Machine, Dobson may not "influence the world," but he carries a lot of weight, especially among those associated with the Religious Right.

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Sojourners Magazine August 2007
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