God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Taking the Vision to the Streets

posted by gp_intern

I want to personally invite you to Washington, D.C., on June 3-6 to participate in Pentecost 2007: Taking the Vision to the Streets. I’m asking you to come because this is not just another conference: This will be an important step in a campaign aimed at the critical presidential election year of 2008. What is the plan? We hope to do nothing less than put poverty on the national agenda, and challenge candidates from both parties to present the nation with their plans for dramatic poverty reduction both at home and globally. I believe we can really make a difference, but only if we are all in it together.

Last year, we launched “From Poverty to Opportunity: A Covenant for a New America,” a powerful tool for breaking the liberal-conservative paralysis on poverty, transcending the frozen ideological debate that traps the poor between false alternatives, calling the nation to a results-based program, and moving us all to higher ground. This year, we will take the Covenant to a new level by calling on our national leaders to put poverty near the top of the political agenda.

Taking the Vision to the Streets begins with a Sunday night revival, where I will share the preaching with Rev. Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Rev. Freddie Haynes, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. We will also have inspiring gospel music to lift our souls for the work ahead.

A panel of church leaders and activists, including Brian McLaren, Sam Rodriquez, Rich Nathan, and Shane Claiborne will lead a discussion on “How to Put Poverty on the Agenda of your Local Church.” Marshall Ganz will lead an organizing institute to give you practical skills for putting poverty on the agenda.

We’ll be giving our 6th annual Amos and Joseph Awards. This year’s “Amos,” a person who faithfully uses a position of influence to benefit those in poverty, is Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission, a human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and oppression. Our “Joseph,” a person who comes from a humble background to serve God and community, is Rev. Romal Tune, president of Clergy Strategic Alliances, which works to equip pastors and congregations with the skills necessary to build power and improve their communities.

And, in its fourth year now, our Emerging Leaders program (for faith-inspired activists younger than 30) may be one of the most exciting offerings of the conference. This includes a special evening with Christa Mazzone. Here, young leaders have the opportunity to establish relationships that could last a lifetime as we all seek to build a new movement.

We are also finishing the details on our presidential candidates forum on faith, values, and poverty. I’ll have an exciting announcement tomorrow about who will be joining us; you don’t want to miss it.

As a participant, you will join workshops and seminars offering very practical training in how to use the Covenant, develop organizing skills, learn how to do effective media work, round out your knowledge of the issues, deepen your understanding of “prophetic advocacy,” and network with other faith-based advocates, especially from your region.

Click here to learn more about Pentecost 2007, June 3 – 6 in Washington, D.C.!

Pentecost 2007 is the next step in a campaign that will last through the 2008 election year season and beyond – don’t miss this important event.

Vote with your feet. Take the vision to the streets. Show up to make a difference. Tell the media, by your presence, that the faith community cares about our neighbors in poverty. Tell your political representatives the kind of leadership that you expect from them – we’ll set up the appointments for you. And there will be a Capitol Hill reception, like last year, at which both Democratic and Republican leaders will speak.

So do come. And bring some friends. Send this invitation to others. Bring a delegation from your community, church, or school. Drive if you live a day’s drive away or less, or make your plane reservations today.

Click here to register for Pentecost 2007.

We need you to sign up right away: Make a statement about your faith and its implications. Washington needs to hear from you, and we need your help and support. See you soon!
And stay tuned for the exciting announcement tomorrow on our presidential forum.



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Comments read comments(26)
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Payshun

posted April 26, 2007 at 9:36 pm


I would love to be there. That sounds awesome. i will do what I can but blessings on a great event. p



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js

posted April 26, 2007 at 10:54 pm


Sounds like a great event, but why so few women speakers?



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EN

posted April 27, 2007 at 1:08 am


What does it matter whether the speakers are male or female? The message is what counts.



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Mike Hayes

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:28 am


Jim, Best wishes for this opportunity for personal encounters among supporters of the values in “God’s Politics”. I think extension of this opportunity to the legislative districts and states would be more effective than this DC encounter. Sojourners could allow us to do that, just by using a message similar to the one you just sent, to enable us to interact with other supporters.



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kevin s.

posted April 27, 2007 at 8:42 am


I can sympathize. Puttin gpoverty on the national agenda is always hard in a thriving economy.



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Reformer

posted April 27, 2007 at 9:59 am


That’s a great cause. Wish I could be there. Good luck with it.



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Living Hope In Jesus

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:18 pm


We want to invite you to “Living Hope In Jesus” (www.livinghopeinjesus.com). The LORD Jesus has eternal treasures waiting for you there!!! Stephen and Bonita Ann Richie Living Hope In Jesus http://www.livinghopeinjesus.com



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Donny

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:48 pm


Pentecost 2007? You do not fear the blasphemy that is promoted, taught and encouraged in Liberal/Progressive/Secular-Humanistic ideology and preaching Jim? How is the Holy Spirit going to bless the abominations of Progressive ideology and theology that lay just behind the scenes? You discard and edit out and pick and choose scripture to elect Democrats to political power over the Church body. Have you no shame at all? Hasn’t the suffering of children under Democrat politics ever come to your ears? Where is the rejoicing of “Leftists” that partial birth abortion is now morally and legally “illegal” again? Instead your side is angered and saddened by the saving of innocent lives. And why I wonder, WHY are the usual anti-Christian suspects (The ACLU and Barry Lynn’s AU radicals) so quiet about YOUR involvment in politics? Let me answer. Because there is no difference between you and them.You don’t want the poor helped. You want Democrat voters. Otherwise you would support individual freedoms of conservative values, morals and politics. Instead you views are just typical Marxist comunism with a white collar disguise. Religion is not the opiate of the people, opion is. And Leftists love free access to drugs. Visit europe. And, taxing honest people into communism is not helping the poor. It is slavery of all to a godless socialism that has been proven for its evil. Marx was not a fan of Christians. Socialism does not elevate society, it debases it. Like your support for abortion, liberal theology, same-gender sexual practices and relativism.I wish I could be there just to challenge your heretical teachings. To point out the chaff in Progressive words and actions. How are the poor going to be helped by turning America into a socialist state where chaos and secularism is god? Your pal Hugo Chavez hates Christians as he becomes (of course) a totalitarian despot declaring war on the United States of America. As you and all his Marxist buds sit silent. What is wrong with people that they allow so many heretics of Progressive evil to claim authority in Church matters? The great falling away begins with Liberalism painted over with the word “peace.”The abomination that brings desolation . . . we have already seen an example of it in Sodom and Gomorrah. They very same society that Socialsit Progressives desire to build again for today. Only the authentic God of Pentecost can save people from the snare set for them by those pushing Progressive ideology and political power. The New Testament and those that wrote it, testifies against Progressive aims and goals. That is why it is so edited by Liberals. May God help those to escape the traps set for them under the banner of Liberal Democrat politics, for they are many and cunning.



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SkepticalMystic

posted April 27, 2007 at 4:06 pm


So, Donny, are you bypassing a firewall, or do all the patients get this much Internet time at your asylum?



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squeaky

posted April 27, 2007 at 4:53 pm


OK everyone–I know the temptation is great, but DO NOT under any circumstances feed the Donny troll! Ever see the movie Gremlins?



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 5:07 pm


squeaky | 04.27.07 – 10:58 am | #Little tough don’t you think? I personally wonder why does Wallis plan these events around times when I would like to be with family and friends and I think that other would too. Sorry for being the skeptic but…if this event is going to be anything like the National Cathedal – I believe we know who is going to be bashed, who will be cannonized – the retoric will be the same just with a more ‘litergical’ feel to it. (not sure that this is a safe place for me) Why not just do it bacause you feel it needs to be done and not tie it to a religious holiday? Just a thought – Wallis can do whatever he wants to as it is still a free country. Later – .



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Donny

posted April 27, 2007 at 5:52 pm


S-M, Why not try to answer my points? Wallis is trumping Marxist socialism and pretending not to. Why does he do so? The Secular Humanism that runs through the veins of Wallisites and their progressive political agenda, has nothing at all in common with the faith delivered once to the saints.To make it simple for you, Wallis (as does the typical Progressive)preaches a different Gospel from the one defined by Christ Jesus, Peter, John, James, Jude, Paul and the other expositors referenced in the New Testament.



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Donny

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:00 pm


Squeaky, If I cut and paste the Epistles of Jude, Peter, John and James, or the letters from Paul to Churches in his day, or copy and present the Gospels, you would still be calling that the works of a troll. But any honest person that compares the Gospel and New Testament writings to the actions and behaviors encouraged and promoted by Progressives, will see that they have a different belief system than that of Christians. Your epithets do not change reality.



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Doug

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:43 pm


I assume this is going to be calling for more of the goverenment taking or should I say stealing people’s hard earned money through taxes to redistribute to the poor. One question for you liberal christians out there, where in the bible does Jesus say to steal people’s money through taxes to help the poor? If you are forced to pay how is that really sacrificing? By the way did not Jesus say the poor will always be around? Seems to me that means it will never be gone. Liberals and Liberal christians scare me. They are helping take away our freedoms one layer at a time. Think social security or socialized medicine. Pretty soon we will no longer be free. Donny great posts. You speak the truth brother. Jim Wallis is a false profit indeed.



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Kristopher

posted April 27, 2007 at 7:34 pm


Donny, I have to admit, I don’t necessarily disagree with your ideology, but I do disagree with your tact. I can understand that you are looking at it as keeping your Christian brother accountable, but you are not doing anything but putting people on the defensive, as soon as you start typing. Your passion is admirable, but your accusatory tone is as off putting as when other poster’s say things like supporters of the Iraq war will rot in hell.



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squeaky

posted April 27, 2007 at 8:00 pm


Donny–if you cut and paste the epistles you will find that more often than not, they speak of caring for the poor and the least among us. You will find they tell us not to put our focus on our material wealth, but rather to give everything away and serve the Lord. You will find in the Book of Acts, a Christian community who sold all their possessions and owned everything in kind so that no one amongst them would be needy (is this not socialism?). When you and others say all Wallis wants to do is raise our taxes, I ask you two questions: 1. Show me the proof that that is the only approach they are taking. I seriously doubt that they are taking such a simplistic approach to a very complex problem that clearly requires multifaceted solutions. 2. Why are you so defensive or your money? We are told time and time again in the Gostpels not to worry about money and that material wealth is no wealth at all. Is this not idolatry? And Doug–”The poor will always be around”. So are you using that as justification not to care for the poor? A Bible verse taken entirely out of context? Two can play at that game. Jesus also said “Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasars.” And you ASSUME this is about government raising taxes. By your own admission you haven’t even studied what Wallis and others are proposing. How do you know that is what they are saying? Donny, it very much saddens me that you see only black and white and if something doesn’t measure up to your narrow view of the Gospel, it must be evil or sinful. It is disturbing that you claim to be a follower of Christ, yet you have no understanding of Christ’s compassion towards sinners. When I read the Gospels, the only people I see Christ rebuking are those who think they know it all and who think they are already righteous and perfect in their religiousity. He only rebuked those who thought they were greater than others. Christ implored us to take care of the least of these, a comment which cannot be dismissed by His words “you will always have the poor with you.” You paint every Liberal or Democrat as a minion of Hell and there is not room in your heart for the possibility that very committed Christians can also be Liberal in their politics. Based on the words you have said here and in previous threads, you would argue that the true test of a Christian is whether or not they are a card-carrying Republican, not whether they have accepted Christ as personal Lord and Savior. Maybe you should take the time to actually UNDERSTAND Christians who lean towards the left politically. What is it that we see on that side of the political spectrum that we believe more closely fits the Gospel? What is it on the side of the Right that we think doesn’t fit the Gospel? But an honest attempt on your part to do that would require actually engaging in dialogue with people you disagree with. That would require some openness on your part and some honest discussion. And so far, I haven’t seen you make any attempt to do that whatsoever. You may find there is common ground. You may find we can work together even with diverse viewpoints. You may find you aren’t right about everything. Read the Gospel–where does Christ reject ANYONE according to their political views? He reached out to the poor, the Roman Centurian, the Pharisees, the rich, the disenfranchised, the lepers, the women, the Samaritans, everyone. He confounded the people of the day because the second He sounded like He was on your side, He was reaching out to your arch enemy. We are your brothers and sisters in Christ, whether you like it or not. Try, just try, building bridges, not erecting walls. Personally, I would welcome your perspective because I think a multitude of perspectives is more likely to bring about positive change because when you look at a problem from only one viewpoint, you may miss some important factors. But when you bully your way in here with nothing but thoughtless inflammatory statements, you look like all you care about is your own wealth, your own viewpoint, and that you aren’t at all interested in finding an actual solution to this problem. Your perspective is only valuable if you come to the table ready to roll up your sleeves and thoughtfully listen while respectfully presenting your own views. But so far all you ever do is throw stones, set up and attack strawmen, and never offer any solutions.



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MARY R.

posted April 27, 2007 at 8:34 pm


Jim – I would love to attend Pentecost 2007 but responsibilities do not allow. How about a simulcast on the West Coast and MidWest?? There must be others like me who want to participate but can’t travel across the country. But blessings on the conference!!



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Doug

posted April 27, 2007 at 9:02 pm


Squeaky, I am not saying you must be a card carrying rebulican to be saved. I am saying that the majority of the people and policies liberals support are not based on scripture. You still did not answer my question of where in the bible does it say that the government is supposed to steal money thru taxation and transfer it to the poor? As far as Jesus saying there will always be poor people I am not saying not to help them. I am saying to take the government out of the way. All the government has done is to make the poor more poor then they already are. Allow the individual to decide how to help the poor. As far as assuming what the conference is about I can make that assunmption because Jim Wallis is a liberal and liberals response to everything except war is more government help. I leave with one thought, Why is it that if I were to walk up to you and demand that you give me 50 percent of the money in your wallet to me so I could give to the guy on the street it would be a crime but when the government does the same thing it is ok? Something for you Liberals to think about.



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squeaky

posted April 27, 2007 at 9:25 pm


Doug, “I am not saying you must be a card carrying rebulican to be saved.” My comment was directed at Donny in this regard, and his propensity for vilifying anything even remotely liberal. “I am saying that the majority of the people and policies liberals support are not based on scripture.” Like what? Care for the least of these? Care for God’s creation? Live simply so that others may simply live? “You still did not answer my question of where in the bible does it say that the government is supposed to steal money thru taxation and transfer it to the poor? As far as Jesus saying there will always be poor people I am not saying not to help them.” True. However, “certainly give to Ceasar what is Ceasars” expresses an ambivalence on Jesus’ part about taxes. Taxes were even worse in Jesus’ time. But, you’re right, He didn’t say that we should give our money to the government to give to the poor. He was actually a lot more extreme than that–He was known to tell people to sell all they had and give it to the poor. The question then becomes whether you are against taxes because you are unable to give enough to the poor, or whether you are against taxes because you are against the fact it takes money away from your pocket. “I am saying to take the government out of the way.” This Jesus never said. “All the government has done is to make the poor more poor then they already are.” I need some facts here. You can’t make a statement like that without some evidence. “As far as assuming what the conference is about I can make that assunmption because Jim Wallis is a liberal and liberals response to everything except war is more government help.” Or, alternatively, the reason for the conference is to bring together a wide range of perspectives so that we can look at the problem of poverty in a balanced way. But you’ll never know, because you paint all liberals with that broad brush that says “this is what they believe”…and that without even asking them. I, for one, don’t believe all the problems of the world can be solved with government intervention or by throwing money at problems. And I rather left-leaning, so how do I fit in your preconceptions? Maybe there are a myriad of viewpoints amongst Christians and maybe they all need to be heard and considered thoughtfully and respectfully. No one, and especially not those who we disagree with, should be barred from the discussion. “I leave with one thought, Why is it that if I were to walk up to you and demand that you give me 50 percent of the money in your wallet to me so I could give to the guy on the street it would be a crime but when the government does the same thing it is ok? Something for you Liberals to think about.” That’s just a strawman. You again are assuming that all liberals want to do is fix the problem by throwing money at it. I also hope that you are equally against corporate welfare as well. How many big businesses would no long exist were it not for government bailouts? Where does Jesus say to protect the “most of these”?



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Doug

posted April 28, 2007 at 2:23 am


I am very much against corporate welfare as well. We have been fighting the war on poverty for how many years now? I am against taxation because as I said it is stealing. Yes Jesus said to take all you had and give it away but because you love him and you choose to. Not because you are forced to. God does not force you to do anything. He does give you the choice. With the goverenment taxing you you have no choice. I would love for you to work while I stay home and then have the gov. give me half of your money. That is why I am against the govt. taking my money from me and giving to the poor. It is done thru force and not by choice. Nothing is christian or moral about that.



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Payshun

posted April 28, 2007 at 4:16 am


So doug, You are against using your taxes to support other vital infrarstructure maintanance (highway construction…) and building up a military too? It just seems like a very hard position to hold since you feel like the government is stealing from you. p



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Doug

posted April 28, 2007 at 6:08 am


I am not against paying taxes for the things the govt. is suppossed to do which is protect us with the military and to build roads and bridges. I am against them taxing my money and using it for social causes. Oh but I forget we are the entitilment generation. Evertyhing is owed to us. Soon we will not be free.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 28, 2007 at 3:42 pm


I personally wonder why does Wallis plan these events around times when I would like to be with family and friends and I think that other would too. Moderatelad I’m sure your presence will be sorely missed, Moderatelad. Shame on Jim and SOJO for not making sure you could be there.



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Payshun

posted April 28, 2007 at 6:47 pm


I am not against paying taxes for the things the govt. is suppossed to do which is protect us with the military and to build roads and bridges. I am against them taxing my money and using it for social causes. Oh but I forget we are the entitilment generation. Evertyhing is owed to us. Soon we will not be free. DougIn case you have not noticed this country has always been built on entitlements. Look at the bill of rights, the constitution and how our early forefathers lived. Rich, white men felt entitled to rule this country and their homes any way they saw fit.That has not really changed much.But I think you overdo it. I don’t feel entitled I just think the government can do more to make sure everyone’s rights are protected especially when it has been used to make sure those rights were abrogated in the first place. So if justice is entitlement then yah I support entitlements. p



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moderatelad

posted April 29, 2007 at 2:08 am


Sarasotakid | 04.28.07 – 9:47 am | #your presence will be sorely missed Funny – I would be the last one to be missed or welcomed. I just think that when planning an event you would plan it for a weekemd when people would be free to attend. For years I worked PT in a church and would raerly be able to take time off on a weekend like this.There are so many weekends that have no significance than being a ‘weekend’ – why not one of those? Be blessed – .



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D Jay

posted April 30, 2007 at 8:14 pm


Dear Rev Wallis – Thank you for pointing out that neither the left nor the right owns God.Based on your insight, may I make the following programmatic recommendations for Sojourners? 1. Encourage voters to support independent (or independent-thinking) candidates rather than those who toe party-lines. One way is to encourage the emergence of multiple grassroots coalitions supporting such candidates as a counterweight.2. Set up a Wiki for a New America in which people can envision an alternate US to that which exists at present. Participants could critically engage the weaknesses of the present system (e.g., limits of the constitution, foreign and domestic policies, more accountable politics) while working towards a new one.All people who do not vote (and many others) know that the system is broken, but may not be able to envisage another one emerging under the current bipartisan stranglehold. A vision of what else is possible could emerge from such a wiki.



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