Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Point/Counterpoint: What DO we say about Jim Wallis?

The beat goes on in the Sojo Mother's Day ad story. If you "missed a meeting" Episcopal Cafe has all the back story ... here and here. The second link is to a piece that asks an important question, "What should progressive Christians do about Jim Wallis?"

My opinion ... and of course I have one ... is that we continue to call him and Sojourners to live up to the values they commit to in their mission statement ...
“to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world”
... and to call them to account for the times they fall short of that high calling -- which they (IMHO) clearly did by declining to run an ad that simply challenged churches to welcome families with same-sex parents.

Which leads me to my "point/counterpoint:"
“I’m afraid we’ll have to decline. Sojourners position is to avoid taking sides on this issue. In that care [sic], the decision to accept advertising may give the appearance of taking sides.” Sojourners spokesperson

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jim Wallis is "good people." And by not taking a position on "this issue" Sojourners takes a position -- and the position is we have to make a choice between fighting poverty and war and fighting homophobia. It is, I believe, a dangerously false dichotomy.

That's what I told the Newsweek reporter who called this morning. And that's what I continue to believe is the truth we're called to speak in love to Jim Wallis and to our partners in justice at Sojourners.


hillsideslide said...


Glad Newsweek asked for your opinion. Hope it makes it to print.

bnichols23 said...

Agreed, & of course well said as usual. At the risk of reiterating what I said on Ecafe, if LGBT is a "distraction" to fighting poverty, so is ministry. Or education, for that matter, or any number of other things. It's a false dichotomy *&* a false argument, IM(AdmittedlyNotSo)HO....

Bill Nichols

Unknown said...

I think you're straining at a knat. My church had a spread of food for mothers after the service Sunday. The only persons asked to hold back were the men who were asked to allow the women to get in line first. No one was asked for birth cirtificates.

As a single adoptive father my son legally has no mother but he actually has two, his birth mother whom he knows and his godmother. He honored both on Mothers Day.