For those on the religious left, the Rev. Jim Wallis is the poster child for social justice theology. Wallis, who is known for speaking out vehemently against the Christian right, has made a career of pushing liberal social and political policies.
In 1971, Wallis founded Sojourners Magazine (originally entitled, The Post American). The magazine’s mission is as follows:
…to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world.
On the surface this seems benign, but the group’s call to engage in “social justice” has led to overtly political activities that its members believe fall under the guise and premise of the Christian Bible. Aside from abortion — a social occurrence that Wallis would like to see reduced — there are few instances in which he doesn’t lean left.
Like the other religious groups The Blaze has explored in this series, Sojourners has, in the past, had financial ties to radical billionaire Geore Soros — a fact that Wallis, himself, once infamously denied. Last year, he flatly denied accusations that his organization received funding from Soros. A battle royale commenced last summer when World Magazine’s Marvin Olasky asked Wallis to admit his leftist affiliations. Olasky wrote:
George Soros, one of the leading billionaire leftists—he has financed groups promoting abortion, atheism, same-sex marriage, and gargantuan government—bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. A year later, here’s how Jim rebutted a criticism of “religious progressives” for being allied with Soros and MoveOn.org: “I know of no connections to those liberal funds and groups that are as direct as the Religious Right’s ties to right-wing funders.”
Since then Sojourners has received at least two more grants from Soros organizations. Sojourners revenues have more than tripled—from $1,601,171 in 2001-2002 to $5,283,650 in 2008-2009—as secular leftists have learned to use the religious left to elect Obama and others.
As Christianity Today reports, Wallis attempted to debunk the aforementioned funding claims, saying that both Glenn Beck (who had nothing to do, at all, with the accusations) and Olasky lie “for a living.” While speaking in an interview with Patheos, he suggested that Olasky was mistaken:
“It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros. Given the financial crisis of nonprofits, maybe Marvin should call Soros and ask him to send us money.
“So, no, we don’t receive money from George Soros. Our books are totally open, always have been. Our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners. That’s where it comes from. In fact, we’ve had funding blocked, this year and last, by liberal foundations who didn’t like our stance on abortion.
Wallis went on to say that Olasky should “check his facts” and avoid imitating Glenn Beck. Olasky, armed with plenty of documentation to back up his claims, posted links that verifiably tied Sojourners to Soros. Faced with no other option but to concede, Wallis phoned Olasky with an apology and an appeal for forgiveness (which was granted). He also released a statement that claimed he simply did not “recall the details” of Sojourners funding and that he should have learned more before responding.
Interestingly, despite incessantly being told the contrary, Jim Wallis doesn’t see himself as a liberal. The religious leader, who is currently President Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor, who gave the Democratic weekly radio address after the 2006 midterms and who has criticized the religious right for years, never seems to own or adhere to any progressive labels. Yet, on a multitude of issues, Wallis stands with Democrats and liberals, alike. In a 2008 interview with Christianity Today, he said:
“The war in Iraq was not a just war. It didn’t conform to the standards at all. And that’s the view of the vast majority of evangelicals around the world. I think it was the worst mistake in American foreign-policy history, with the exception of Vietnam.”
Surely there are conservatives who agree with this statement, but its fervency aligns more readily with the Democratic mantra. Wallis has also called for war criminal investigations against President George W. Bush, Vice-president Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In 2007, he wrote an article for TIME Magazine, entitled, “The Religious Right’s Era is Over.” While lamenting the damage the Christian right has allegedly done over the past few decades, he concluded that America was now moving beyond rightest dialogue and into en era that “…may [be] shaped by a dynamic and more progressive faith.” A more progressive faith? What does that mean, exactly, if not standing as an advocation of leftism?
The most telling words in his TIME piece seem to endorse a movement to utilize faith to progress liberal policies. He writes:
Even more amazing, the Left is starting to get it. Progressive politics is remembering its own religious history and recovering the language of faith. Democrats are learning to connect issues with values and are now engaging with the faith community. They are running more candidates who have been emboldened to come out of the closet as believers themselves. Meanwhile, many Republicans have had it with the Religious Right. Both sides are asking how to connect faith and values with politics. People know now that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and we are all learning that religion should not be in the pocket of any political party; it calls all of us to moral accountability.
Back in 2005, DiscoverTheNetworks.org had this to say about Wallis and Sojourners:
In the aftermath of the November 2004 elections, a consensus among Democratic Party leaders was that their defeat could be attributed to their party’s disconnect from religious voters. Seeking a way to remedy this as quickly as possible, they turned to Jim Wallis for help in developing a strategy for making Democratic candidates more appealing to the coveted religious demographic…
…some fifteen Democratic members of the House made Wallis the guest of honor at a breakfast confab whose subject was devising ways to instill support for the Democratic Party into the hearts of the religious faithful…
Predictably, Wallis also writes for The Huffington Post. Recently, he railed against the war in Afghanistan, penning, “The president’s decision to finish his first term with twice as many U.S. troops in Afghanistan as when he took office is a political and moral mistake.”
He took to his HuffPo blog back in May to claim that state-created immigration laws “do more harm than good” and lamented the pain and suffering that illegals endure in America. Currently, Sojourners has an initiative called, “Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform” (which Soros’ Open Society Institute gave $100,000 to back in 2007). The project’s site says:
Unfortunately, the results [of state-produced immigration laws] have been ill-conceived, financially unsustainable and discriminatory proposals and legislation that do nothing to make our states safer and institutionalize discrimination against entire communities.
In March, Wallis also wrote that Republicans are proposing “radical” cuts to programs that impact the poor. Earlier today, Tim King, the communications director over at Sojourners, published a blog post on this subject in which he advocated for a “moral budget.” He writes:
As the federal debt ceiling standoff threatens to cause an economic catastrophe for our nation, more than 4,000 pastors across the country are opposing proposed immoral budget cuts that harm the most vulnerable people in their congregations and communities.
An open letter to Congress and the president ran today as a full page ad in Politico. (You can view the ad and full list of signers here.)
Here’s a screen shot that shows part of the advertisement (the letter was co-sponsored by Sojourners and Faith in Public Life):
It is virtually impossible to read statements from both Sojourners and Wallis and conclude that either party isn’t wildly supportive of a more liberal agenda. Recently, Wallis participated in a leftist Christian conference, we know Sojourners partners with Faith in Public Life and Faithful America (another Soros-sponsored group), last year Wallis claimed that Jesus was a liberation theologian – and who can forget his tough words for Rep. Paul Ryan (who Wallis calls a bully and claims has no experience with poor people)?:
While Wallis claims he doesn’t care much whether issues are “left or right” and he says that he picks messages and stances based on spiritual morality, reality pains a divergent picture. Some of his statements, alone, illustrate a far-leftism on fiscal policy. Here are just two examples:
“An affluant church…is an affront to the gospel. The Bible doesn’t mind prosperity as long as it is shared.”
When asked if he supports redistribution of wealth, he says: “Absolutely, without any hesitation. That’s what the gospel is all about.”
Considering Soro’s penchant for far-leftism, the idea that he would support an organization that is as moderate as Wallis claims seems unlikely.
In June, The Blaze began delving into atheist Soros’ ties to religious groups. The first organization we examined, Faithful America, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soros’ Open Society Institute. Then, we covered the leftist agenda that the National Council of Churches (NCC) embraces. This piece, with its focus on Wallis and Sojourners, is the final in the series.