Obama hasn’t found a church yet, but he told ABC that he gets devotionals sent to his Blackberry every day, courtesy of his new “spiritual advisor”, Jim Wallis. If you want to know what Obama believes and why he acts out his “faith” the way that he does, look no further than the men he chooses to spiritually mentor and guide him.
So, who is Jim Wallis? According to Discover The Networks:
- Activist preacher and editor of the leftwing Christian magazine Sojourners
- Democratic Party operative
- Apologist for communist atrocities in Cambodia and Vietnam
- Dedicated foe of capitalism
- Contends that Biblical scripture calls for large central government to aid the poor
More than a mere religious leader, Wallis, a registered Democrat, is also an adroit political operative, publicly portraying himself as a politically neutral religious figure whose overriding allegiance is to God. Always with the disclaimer that neither major political party can claim to authoritatively represent the values of religious faith, Wallis passionately contends that Republican policies tend to be immoral and godless.
A self-described activist preacher, Jim Wallis was born into an evangelical family in Detroit, Michigan in June 1948. In the 1960s his religious views drove him to join the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement. His participation in peace protests nearly resulted in his expulsion from the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, a conservative Christian seminary where he was then enrolled. While at Trinity, Wallis founded an anti-capitalism magazine called the Post-American which identified wealth redistribution and government-managed economies as the keys to achieving “social justice.” He also railed against American foreign policy and joined the radical Students for a Democratic Society.
In 1971 Wallis and his Post-American colleagues changed the name of their publication to Sojourners, and in the mid-1970s they moved their base of operation from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Wallis has served as Sojourners’ editor ever since.
To this day, Wallis remains fiercely opposed to capitalism and the free market system. In many interviews, he has stressed his belief that capitalism has proven to be an unmitigated failure. “Our systems have failed the poor and they have failed the earth,” Wallis has said. “They have failed the creation.”
What about Wallis’ magazine and ministry, known as Sojourners?
- Evangelical Christian ministry that preaches radical leftwing politics
- Championed Communist revolution in Central America
Founded by Jim Wallis, Sojourners is a Washington, D.C.-based Christian evangelical ministry professing a devotion to the pursuit of “social justice.” Formed in Chicago in 1971 by religious students enrolled at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, Sojourners was originally known as the People’s Christian Coalition (PCC). The PCC community relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1975, at which time it adopted its new name.
An allusion to Biblical pilgrims, the name “Sojourners” signifies, to the organization’s members, commitment to a radical social order. “For us,” Sojourners declares, “the word ‘radical’ has always meant ‘rooted.’ The explosive mix of biblical faith and radical social renewal that ignited Sojourners in the beginning will continue to fuel our pilgrimage … in the years to come.”
Sojourners’ statement of faith spelled out the organization’s key tenets: “Violence and war will not resolve the inevitable conflicts between people and nations”; “We refuse to accept structures and assumptions that normalize poverty and segregate the world by class”; and “We believe that gospel faith transforms our economics, gives us the power to share our bread and resources, welcomes all to the table of God’s provision, and provides a vision for social revolution.”
As one of its first acts, Sojourners formed a commune in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Southern Columbia Heights. Members shared their finances, participated in various activist campaigns, and organized events at both the neighborhood and national levels. The themes of these campaigns, echoed monthly in the pages of the group’s in-house publication Sojourners, centered on attacking U.S. foreign policy, denouncing American “imperialism,” and extolling Marxist revolutionary movements in the Third World.
Now that he no longer draws spiritual succor from Jeremiah Wright—the America-hating, racist demagogue who served as his pastor and spiritual mentor for twenty years—Barack Obama has turned elsewhere for guidance in the task of carrying out his political duties while remaining true to his religious values.
The most notable of his spiritual advisors today is his friend of many years, Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the Sojourners organization. Says Wallis, “We’ve [he and Obama] been talking faith and politics for a long time.”
Who is Jim Wallis? According to The New York Times, Wallis “leans left on some issues” but overall is a “centrist, social justice” kind of guy. But a closer look at Wallis’s background reveals him to be nearly as radical, if better at disguising the fact, as Jeremiah Wright.