April 17, 2014

John Couretas: Protect the Poor, Not Poverty Programs

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Source: Acton Institute | By John Couretas One of the disturbing aspects of the liberal/progressive faith campaign known as the Circle of Protection is that its organizers have such little regard – indeed are blind to -- the innate freedom of the human person. Their campaign, which has published “A Statement on Why We Need to Protect Programs for the Poor,” equates the welfare of the “least of these” in American society to the amount of assistance they receive from the government -- a bizarre view from a community that trades in spiritual verities. Circle of Protection supporters see people locked into their circumstances, stratified into masses permanently in a one-down position, thrown into a class struggle where the life saving protection of “powerful lobbies” is nowhere to be found. And while they argue that budgets are moral documents, their metrics for this fiscal morality are all in dollars and cents. Not only does the Circle of Protection group appear to be oblivious … [Read more...]

Christians for a Sustainable Economy Challenge Jim Wallis and “Progressive Christians”

Christians for a Sustainable Economy

In response to Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourner's Magazine and leader of the Christian wing of Progressive activism, several conservative Christians gathered recently to form the Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE). We intend to counter what we see as the unjustified and irresponsible appropriation of the authority and vocabulary of the Christian moral tradition in service to ideas and policies that threaten the fiscal and cultural fiber of American society. The "Christian Progressive" movement conflates the biblical mandate to care for the poor with the policy prescriptions of big government and deficit spending. Recently Wallis led a highly publicized White House visit of Progressive religious leaders to create the impression that any objection to the spending of the Obama administration was de-facto a threat to the poor. Needless to say he got plenty of attention. (Hear Wallis explain the purpose of the visit at the Huffington Post. Read a critique of the visit by the … [Read more...]

Rev. Robert J. Sirico: The Church as the Bride of Caesar

Rev. Robert J. Sirico

Rev. Robert J. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute criticizes Rev. Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourner's Magazine. Wallis, the "self-appointed chaplain to the Democratic National Committee" as Sirico calls him, was recently revealed to be taking money from George Soros, a charge he denied at first but was finally forced to confirm as more proof was offered. Sirico correctly critiques Wallis for his conflation of religion into politics, particularly using the poor to justify financial bloat and the imposition of debt on future generations. Source: National Review Online | Rev. Robert J. Sirico It is telling that the Washington Post report on the religious Left’s Circle of Protection campaign for big government describes the effort as one that would “send chills through any politician who looks to churches and religious groups as a source of large voting blocs,” because, in fact, this is not an honest faith-inspired campaign … [Read more...]

Wallis & Colson: Conviction and Civility

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Source: Christianity Today | By Jim Wallis and Chuck Colson We should not lose this moment for moral reflection and renewal. We are both evangelical Christians who believe that our treatment of the poor, weak, and most vulnerable is how a society is best biblically measured. Yet we usually find ourselves at opposite poles politically and often differ with each other. We believe these political differences are normal and even to be expected among citizens expressing their faith in the public arena, for God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. In the aftermath of the horrible and senseless shooting in Arizona and some of the troubling responses to it, we, as leaders in the faith community, affirm with one voice our principled commitment to civil discourse in our nation's public life. The President rightly said that no act of incivility can be blamed for the profoundly evil shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the tragic killing and wounding of 19 of her … [Read more...]

Jim Wallis and the Soros connection

For years I've been critical of Jim Wallis, the self-styled "prophetic voice" (his term) of Progressive politics in the American public square. "Prophetic voice" is a term that borrows from the Christian moral lexicon to lend moral authority and offer religious cover to secular Progressive ideology. Wallis operates in the mold of the National Council of Churches (NCC) and conflates Christian thinking with Marxist social dogma. Like the NCC, Wallis was lost in the wilderness for decades. "Christian Progressives" are dogged by a sense of their own irrelevance. An ideology which unequivocally dismisses religion doesn't have much room for professional religious types like Wallis or the NCC. He seemed to have found his voice after the Obama election however, rising to become one of Obama's "religious advisers" and all around gadfly on the Progressive speaking circuit and occasional appearances on MSNBC. But there's trouble in Wallis land. It turns out George Soros has been pumping … [Read more...]

Prophet Jim Wallis Explains the Doctrine of Coercive Repentance

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More Wallis dressing redistributionism in Christian garb. ++++++++++++++ By John Couretas. Source: Acton Institute In a new column on Sojourners, Prophet Jim Wallis reveals that Wall Street financiers are coming to him for confession, sometimes skulking along darkened streets to hide their shame: Some come like Nicodemus – a religious leader who came to talk to Jesus in private – at night. Many have felt remorseful about what happened on Wall Street and how it has hurt so many people. They describe the behavior in their profession with words such as “greedy,” “risky,” or “reckless.” These business and banking leaders do feel sorry, but repentance means that remorse must be coupled with a change in the behaviors that led to the problems. The Prophet, who can read their very thoughts (”repentance and accountability were far from their minds”), bids them to change their ways and reminds them about God and Mammon. … [Read more...]

Prophet Jim Wallis and the Ecclesia of Economic Ignorance

Jim Wallis

Wallis poses as a centrist but his economic prescriptions are hard-left with lots of self-congratulatory "prophetic" moralizing thrown in. +++++++++++++++++++ By John Couretas. Acton Institute This class of the very poor – those who are just on the borders of pauperism or fairly over the borders – is rapidly growing. Wealth is increasing very fast; poverty, even pauperism, is increasing still more rapidly. – Washington Gladden, Applied Christianity (1886) For three decades, we have experienced a social engineered inequality that is really a sin – of biblical proportions. We have indeed seen class warfare, but this war has been waged by the wealthy and their political allies against the poor and the middle class. – Jim Wallis, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street (2010) One of Jim Wallis’ long running aims at Sojourners is to cast himself as a moderate or centrist (God is not a Republican. Or a Democrat). This is howling nonsense to anyone who … [Read more...]