Jim Wallis: Obama’s “Red” Spiritual Adviser
Posted by Dr. David Noebel | Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 5:10 pm CT
El Salvador has officially joined the Red regimes of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia. South America is turning Red, dark Red, and little is being said to alert North Americans of the encroaching Red plague. Perhaps that’s because North America is moving in the same direction. The president of the United States has surrounded himself with socialists, and some of those closest to him have had a part in turning South America Red.
According to the Associated Press (March 17, 2009), Mauricio Funes, the presidential candidate of the Farbundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) is the new head of the nation of El Salvador. Behind Funes “is a party of former Marxist guerrillas that fought to overthrow U.S.-backed governments in the 1980s and whose rise to power has raised fears of a communist regime in the war-scarred Central American country.”
The AP admits “ex-guerrillas will almost certainly form part of the Funes government, including Vice President-elect Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a rebel commander-turned-congressman.”
And then there’s the “drug” connection! Investor’s Business Daily reports that “last May, the FMLN confessed to ‘a relationship’ with Colombia’s drug-trafficking FARC Marxist terrorists after documents found on the computer of dead FARC chieftain Raul Reyes, killed in a 2008 raid, proved it” (March 16, 2009).
Funes, of course, says he’ll “govern moderately, more like Brazil ‘socialist’ President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva than Venezuela’s radical [communist] Hugo Chavez.” Of course, this is what the Nicaraguan communist Daniel Ortega said, too, before he displayed his communist “proletariat morality” by hugging the communist dictators Castro and Chavez. Ortega and all his South American pals are hard-core Marxist-Leninists.
While all of this, of course, is relevant to an ardent free-market capitalist, what really frightens me is that Obama’s latest announced “spiritual adviser” has had connections with all these Marxist regimes. And who is the president’s latest adviser? The Rev. Jim Wallis.
Frontpage Magazine (March 17, 2009) reports, “The most notable of [Obama’s] spiritual advisers today is his friend of many years, Rev. Jim Wallis.” Rev. Wallis admits that he and Obama have “been talking faith and politics for a long time.” He was picked by Obama to draft the faith-based policies of his campaign at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last year. Why should this alarm us?
First, Jim Wallis has had relationships with the communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).
Second, his “Witness for Peace” was an attempt to defend the Nicaraguan Sandinistas! Wallis, together with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Obama’s former pastor of 20 years) “rallied support for the communist Nicaraguan regime and protested actions by the United States which supported the anti-communist Contra rebels” (Family World News, February 2009, p. 7).
Third, Wallis and his Sojourners community of fellow-travelers believe Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua and the other revolutionary forces “restructuring socialist societies” are the communist paradises the United States needs to emulate in order to establish “social justice.” Writing in the November 1983 issue of Sojourners, Jacob Laksin notes, “Jim Wallis and Jim Rice drafted what would become the charter of leftist activists committed to the proliferation of communist revolutions in Central America” (Laksin, “Sojourners: History, Activities and Agendas” in Discoverthenetworks.org., 2005).
The ugly truth is Wallis wishes to see the destruction of the United States as a nation and in its place “a radical nonconformist community” patterned after the progressive, socialist commune he established in Washington, D.C., in 1971 (Laksin, Ibid.).
“The Sojourners community,” says Laksin, “actively embraced ‘liberation theology,’ rallying to the cause of communist regimes that had seized power with the promise of bringing about a revolutionary restructuring of society.” Clark Pinnock, a disaffected former member of Sojourners, said that the community’s members were “100 percent in favor of the Nicaraguan [communist] revolution” (Laksin, Ibid.).
All this revolutionary activity in spite of the fact that today’s Cuba, for example, has to import 84 percent of its food supply due to the socialistic mess of the agricultural system (150,000 oxen till the ground because tractors represent capitalism). However, in a move that looks more like capitalism than Marxism’s state farms, “Raul Castro is moving to boost food production by putting more land under the control of private farmers” (The Weekly Standard, March 23, 2009).
It appears that Raul Castro is learning what America’s early pilgrims learned back in the 1620s! William Bradford noted in his “History of Plymouth Plantation” that once he canceled the pilgrims’ socialistic experiment and provided each settler with a piece of property to till, starvation was averted. We can hope and pray that Raul Castro continues to implement more capitalistic policies and will learn firsthand the economic system that has brought more people out of poverty than any other in the history of the world. (See Rodney Stark, “The Victory of Reason.”)
Of course, Wallis should have learned the lessons of Plymouth Plantation early in his education, but may not have because our Secular Humanistic K-12 curricula delete most of the history of the pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact in an attempt to avoid acknowledging its “advancement of Christianity.” (Sadly, one first-grade textbook that does include the pilgrims has them “praying to the Indians.”)
For years, Wallis has been in the forefront of the “evangelical” left and has been fêted at numerous evangelical colleges and seminaries. That seems to be the “in” thing right now. His publication Sojourners is piled high on these campuses for the reading pleasure of the naïve and foolish.
Unbeknown to these colleges and seminaries is Wallis’ Red background. He was the president of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) while at Michigan State University. The SDS was the youth arm of the League for Industrial Democracy – the American counterpart to the British Fabian Society founded to promote socialism throughout the West. One of the League’s mentors for years was Norman Thomas, who argued that “the American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened” (Google, Norman Thomas quotes). Another prominent League mentor was John Dewey, a signatory of the atheistic, socialistic 1933 “Humanist Manifesto.” The SDS actually merits a chapter in Richard J. Ellis’s work “The Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism in America,” published by the University of Kansas Press.
In October of 1969, SDS original organizer Tom Hayden directed his followers to “set off on a rampage, smashing windows of parked cars, hurling rocks and bricks through apartment windows, and fighting with police.” Hayden blamed the police for his violence even though later his followers “comforted themselves, because theirs was a violence to end all violence, a liberating and righteous violence that would rid the world of a system that deformed and destroyed people. Such glorious ends justified, even ennobled, violent means” (Ellis, p. 137).
Ellis insists that the language of revolution and violent confrontation was evident throughout the ranks of the SDS. Jim Wallis was part and parcel of this pro-communist group of radicals and revolutionaries.
Wallis’ Sojourners enterprise has been a radical, socialistic undertaking from the start. Frontpage Magazine (March 17, 2009) says, “As one of its first acts, Sojourners formed a commune in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Southern Columbia Heights, where members shared their finances and participated in various activist campaigns that centered on attacking the U.S. foreign policy, denouncing American ‘imperialism,’ and extolling Marxist revolutionary movements in the Third World.”
Sojourners contributing editors included the radical Daniel “Pentagon Papers” Berrigan, Walter Brueggemann, James Hal Cone (author of the racist “Black Theology and Black Power” in which the white race is depicted as devils), Rosemary Radford Ruether (professor of Feminist Theology, Catholics for Choice, God is the feminine Gaia), Ron Sider, Cornel West and Garry Wills. Today, Sojourners’ Board of Directors includes Wallis, Ron Sider, Brian McLaren and Bart Campolo.
Over the years, Wallis has been pro-Vietcong and actually gloried in America’s defeat in Vietnam. He said, “I don’t know how else to express the quiet emotion that rushed through me when the news reports showed that the United States had finally been defeated in Vietnam” (Ronald H. Nash, “Why The Left Is Not Right,” p. 58).
However, like Jane Fonda, Wallis said next to nothing about the communist genocide that followed the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia. In fact, in a typical communist response, he criticized those fleeing Vietnam by boat as somehow attempting “to support their consumer habits in other lands” (Nash, p. 59).
Wallis has been closely associated with Richard Barnet (former contributing editor of Sojourners) and the Institute for Policy Studies, a radical left-wing think tank supporting socialist revolutionaries around the world; Wallis had his book “The Soul of Politics” published by Orbis Books in 1994, a radical left-wing Roman Catholic publishing arm of the radical left-wing Maryknollers; Sojourner magazine has been a strong supporter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and, indeed, has supported every left-wing, liberation theology cause around the world.
And yes, Wallis portrays the evangelical right that happens to be pro-American and anti-communist “as members of the forces of darkness” (Nash, p. 66, 71). For Wallis, a good Christian is someone who is pro-communist and socialist, while a bad Christian is someone who is anti-communist and pro-capitalist. The cry of the Sojourners crowd is “social justice” for the poor and downtrodden – social justice being code for socialism/communism.
I could not disagree more strongly. I contend that the Marxist-Leninist worldview is 100 percent contrary to biblical Christianity, and I document this extensively in my book “Understanding the Times.” Further, communism is directly responsible for the murder of tens of millions of human beings, a slaughter documented by Stephane Courtois, et. al. in their 1999 book, “The Black Book on Communism” (Harvard University Press).
I will attempt to be as kind and gentle as humanly possible and break the news to the Rev. Wallis and his “spiritual” advisee Barack Obama – socialism has never lifted the poor out of poverty. It has equally distributed poverty, but it has never been able to create the wealth that is partially responsible for lifting the poor out of poverty.
I say “partially responsible” because one’s worldview is even more important than wealth in reducing poverty. But socialism is a flawed idea, and it poisons the worldview of the people it influences. Our brothers on the evangelical left, who are concerned with the poor, need to read Theodore Dalrymple’s “Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass.” Although not a Christian, Dalrymple understands perfectly the importance of a proper worldview and its role in combating poverty, drugs, crime and broken families.
Can we admit a hard truth? Christian capitalist Truett Cathy’s Chic-fil-A has done more to fight poverty and help the poor than all the pronouncements of Jim Wallis, Ron Sider, Daniel Berrigan, Brian McLaren, Tony and Bart Campolo, and their entire crew of left-wing sociological and economic friends combined.
Thomas Sowell explains, “It would be devastating to the egos of the intelligentsia to realize, much less admit, that businesses have done more to reduce poverty than all the intellectuals put together. Ultimately, it is only wealth that can reduce poverty, and most of the intelligentsia have no interest whatever in finding out what actions and policies increase the national wealth” (Capitalism Magazine, May 9, 2005).
In fact, the intellectuals are the very ones who complain about those who do increase wealth. Again, Thomas Sowell speaks to this issue: “Think about the things that have improved our lives the most over the past century – medical advances, the transportation revolution, huge increases in consumer goods, dramatic improvements in housing, the computer revolution. The people who created these things – the doers – are not popular heroes. Our heroes are the talkers who complain about the doers.”
Socialism is built on a slogan: “What can government do for me today?” instead of “What can I do to better prepare myself to take care of myself in order to be a better Christian and servant of my Lord?” Preparation involves individual responsibility, traditional family values, education, love of God and neighbor, and compassion for the up-and-outers as well as the down-and-outers.
Socialists stand against nearly every Christian, conservative principle imaginable. Compare the socialist agenda with Yale professor David Gelernter’s summary of the conservative position – “the freedom of every American to make his own way, free speech on the radio and everywhere else, free elections for workers and other people … freedom to acknowledge and celebrate the nation’s rootedness in Christianity, Judaism and the Bible … love of liberty and love of God” (National Review, March 23, 2009, p. 32).
In 2006, Barack Obama was the keynote speaker at Jim Wallis’ Call to Renewal conference, “Building a Covenant for a New America.” Following his address, in an interview by the United Church News, he cited “the teachings of the UCC (United Church of Christ) as foundation stones for his political work.” He said, “Just as my pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, welcomed me as a young man years ago, UCC churches across the country open their doors to millions of Americans each Sunday . … I believe that democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal values. Social justice and national security are both universal values, values that may originate for some in their religious beliefs, but are shared by us all.”
What Americans can look forward to now that Rev. Wallis has the ear of the president is what Sojourners magazine has been pedaling since 1971 – “advocating America’s transformation into a socialist nation” (Accuracy in Media Research Report, May 1983, Section 19).
Could it be that America, who turned her back on God by deciding that prayer and the Bible can no longer grace her public schools, but homosexuality (indeed the whole GLBTQ rainbow), abortion counseling and condoms in school colors are welcomed, is experiencing the very judgment of God? There are consequences for “forgetting God,” as Solzhenitsyn noted about his mother country, Russia. These same consequences are piling up on the metro-sexual West in general and on the United States in particular.