Pastor Jim Wallis isn't one to candy-coat his views about Jesus and the Bible. Wallis, who is revered as the modern-day father of the "Christian left," has urged believers to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement and has made his own, personal quest for social justice known. He continues to allege that the protesters who insist that they are "the 99 percent" are people who "stand with Jesus."
Over the weekend, The Blaze reported about a video interview with the leftist pastor that was aired earlier this week at Lifetree Café locations across the country. In a short clip from the presentation, Wallis was seen claiming that America is "not a Christian nation" and that it has "never been a Christian nation."
"We set this up so that it would not be a Christian nation for any religious framework," he proclaimed. "Where in the Bible is there a special place for America? Where do we get that that’s bad theology…just bad theology."
While the entire speech isn't yet available, The Blaze was given exclusive access by Lifetree Café to see a longer portion of Wallis' commentary. In addition to making this claim -- that the U.S. is not, as many believe it to be, a nation rooted in Christian values, Wallis railed against American exceptionalism.
"We are accountable to God's purposes and God's principles, but there's no special covenant with America here," Wallis continued. "It doesn't exist and to say so is really...a heresy. American exceptionalism, theologically, is a heresy. It's not true and it's very dangerous."
American exceptionalism is the notion and worldview that the U.S. is a nation that is unique in its creation. The ideological constructs that govern the U.S. and upon which it was founded -- liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissezfaire -- set it apart, according to the theory of exceptionalism, from any other nation on the earth.
The term was coined in 1831 by French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited America and subsequently wrote the book, "Democracy in America." "
"The position of the Americans is quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one," Tocqueville said.
Conservative historian David Barton has covered this issue in detail, writing:
America has a wonderful spiritual and constitutional legacy. It is no surprise that Secularists, Atheists, Leftists, and Liberals have relentlessly attacked every aspect of that heritage. They must sever citizens from a knowledge of their true history if they are to succeed in moving the country in a new direction.
Such attacks are to be expected, but what is surprising that some who would be described as conservative Christians have now joined with them and become leaders in the attack on America’s rich Christian heritage. They are trying to convince Christians not only that America does not have a Biblical foundation but specifically that the Founding Fathers were largely pagans who represented the spirit of the Anti-Christ. They further assert that Christians should not be involved in the political arena or similar areas of culture.
Clearly, Barton would argue that Wallis' words fall into the category he is warning about in the aforementioned text. In his interview, Wallis went on to explain how he views the nation's faith identity and admitted his penchant for telling the international community that America is not a Christian country.
"Most of us in the faith community believe in religious liberty and that we should be a diverse and pluralistic nation in terms of our faith traditions and want to respect and affirm and live out of that mutual respect and collaboration," Wallis said. "So we're not a Christian nation. I've said that on Al Jazeera, on Voice of America -- because I want people to know this is not a Christian nation in which other religions should be afraid."
Watch the extended clip that shows these words, below:
(H/T: Lifetree Café)