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Circle of Protection Ads: A Telling Distortion of Scripture
Acton Institute ^ | July 29, 2011 | KENNETH SPENCE

Posted on 07/30/2011 7:19:21 AM PDT by NYer

The Circle of Protection radio advertisements being broadcast in three states right now make their arguments, such as they are, from a quotation of the Bible and a federal poverty program that might be cut in a debt ceiling compromise. But the scriptural quotation is a serious misuse of the Book of Proverbs, and the claims about heating assistance programs are at best overblown: the ads are really not better than their goofy contemporary piano track.

The Circle of Protection, of which the group Sojourners that produced the ads is a founding member, enjoyed the high honor of a meeting at the White House last week, which was supposed to be about the debt ceiling crisis and which poverty programs are in danger. But they came away without even discovering President Obama’s thoughts on the program they were about to feature in a radio campaign.

LIHEAP, the federal heating assistance program Sojourners wails about, doesn’t even have the blessing of the President. The program’s $5 billion budget is twice what it needs to be, he said in February. What the President knows, but can’t say publicly, is that LIHEAP is a waste- and fraud-ridden program operating with exactly the kind of money-is-no-object attitude that precipitated the debt ceiling crisis. Believe it or not, one hundred percent of the fraudulent applications for heating assistance made during a Government Accountability Office investigation were approved.

And not only is the program inefficient, it is actually redundant. As the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, state laws prohibit energy companies from turning off the poor’s heat in the winter, so LIHEAP funds simply go to utility companies that wouldn’t have otherwise collected their fees. Sojourners set up the $2.5 billion in LIHEAP cuts against $2.5 billion in “tax breaks for oil companies.” I don’t see the towering social injustice there, but Sojourners seems to think that energy utilities are eminently more deserving of federal largess than oil companies.

The more serious distortion is the group’s misuse of the Book of Proverbs, with which they begin their ads. “The Book of Proverbs teaches that ‘where there is no leadership, a nation falls’ and ‘the poor are shunned, while the rich have many friends,’” intones Pastor Tom Jelinek at the beginning of the Nevada ad. He is actually quoting two different chapters in Proverbs—eleven and fourteen—which I have indicated by the use of quotation marks. There is no such indication in the radio ad, however: he continues right from chapter eleven to chapter fourteen as if the two passages were one. That is what we call deceitfulness, and it’s best kept out of discussions of Sacred Scripture.

The effect of the deception is that Proverbs’ statement about the poor and the rich seems quite clearly a political one, which in the context of chapter fourteen it is not (unless, like the Circle of Protection, you think that religion exists to serve politics). The surrounding verses say nothing of “nations” or “leaders,” so Sojourners went back to chapter eleven to establish their interpretation. “The poor man shall be hateful even to his own neighbor: but the friends of the rich are many,” reads Proverbs 14:20, and the message is super-political. The wise man of chapter fourteen will be mindful of this friendship gap, and tend to the needs of the poor, who often lack the social safety net of the rich. But the verse is certainly not an anachronistic call to bureaucratic political action.

How ironic. Sojourners, blinded by its own topsy-turvy approach to religious engagement in political debate and reading the Bible as a political document, didn’t see that the verse they were going to quote is an exhortation to private charity. And by welding the verse to another one from another chapter, all the while pretending that they are quoting a singular passage, the group imposes that false interpretation upon radio listeners. I am not suggesting that the trick is deliberate, for how could an organization that sees the Church as the bride of Caesar understand that the Bible is more than a manual for the curing of earthly injustice?

That the ads sound like the work of a Washington PR firm ought to alert listeners to the inherent disorder of the Circle of Protection message. Political activity must be inspired by an evangelical spirit, and when instead the use of Sacred Scripture is inspired by political ends, the Gospel is profaned.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: advertising; jimwallis; liberationtheology; liheap; marxists; proletariat; radio; scripture; sojourners; wallis

1 posted on 07/30/2011 7:19:24 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

Liberals Strategize With Jim Wallis (Sojourners)

In January 2005, Democrat Senators met in a closed session with Wallis to figure out how they could use religious language to pull evangelical voters away from the Republican Party to vote Democratic. In addition, 15 Democrat House members made Wallis their guest of honor at a breakfast. His topic was how to turn religious voters in to Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NM) admitted that Wallis was working closely with the leadership to lure religious voters to the Democrat Party.

In 2005, Wallis was appearing on TV and radio talk shows all over the U.S. and was being interviewed by the mainstream print media as well.

The New York Times reported that Democrats in the House has picked Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) to establish a “faith working group” that would “encourage lawmakers to sprinkle references to God and religion into their speeches.” Jim Wallis was their pick to help them devise clever ways to fool Americans into believing secular liberals had found “religion.”

2 posted on 07/30/2011 7:33:17 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Re-Focus: TEA means the "Taxed Enough Already" Grass-Roots Movement)
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To: Al


October 2004, Wallis published a commentary in his magazine, Sojourners, claiming that the “The Religious Right Era Is Over.”

In his March 2006 Sojourners email newsletter, he penned the essay: “The Religious Right Is Losing Control.” In this attack on religious conservatives, Wallis made the questionable claim that his religious right enemies have lost the battle over the environment. He praised the efforts of the Evangelical Environmental Network and expressed support for its “Evangelical Climate Initiative.”

TVC opposes the EEN and has published a lengthy report on where this group receives its funding­and what the real objectives may be: to disrupt America’s economy through a series of environmental treaties: “Environmental Group Funded By Pro-Abort, Pro-Homosexual Foundation.”

In his commentary, Wallis observed: “The best news of all for the American church and society is this: The monologue of the Religious Right is over, and a new dialogue has just begun.” Wallis, of course, is incorrect as he has been in his support for Communist regimes during the past 30 years.

Why Do Liberals Love Wallis So Much?

The question conservative Christians should ask is why is a pastor so popular among secularist liberals who routinely vilify Christians for their involvement in political issues.

The answer is to be found in Jim Wallis’ consistently radical­and even Marxist­worldview. has published a lengthy expose on Jim Wallis’ far-left background, including his anti-capitalist views and his support of Communist or terrorist regimes throughout the history of Sojourners.

While Wallis was in seminary, he founded an anti-capitalist magazine called Post-American. In it, Wallis called for the redistribution of wealth and government-managed economies. This anti-capitalist worldview is expressed in religious terms as a quest for “social justice.”

In 1971, Wallis moved his Post-American operation to Washington, DC and renamed it Sojourners.

Throughout the history of Sojourners, Wallis has taken a consistently left-wing and anti-American stance. He was an anti-war activist against the Vietnam War.

After the fall of Vietnam to the North Vietnamese Communist tyrants, Wallis actually criticized the refugees fleeing from that nation. He claimed they were leaving Vietnam “to support their consumer habit in other lands.” In short, they were leaving Vietnam because they had become greedy capitalists who didn’t wish to live under a socialist dictatorship.

Wallis support the Sandinista Communists when they sought to take over Nicaragua in the 1980s. He also whitewashed the cruelty of this revolutionary movement in Latin America. Wallis also supported liberation theology and sided with the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, the public relations arm of an El Salvadoran terrorist group known as the FMLN.

Since the slaughter of millions under Communist rule in Vietnam and Cambodia, Wallis has recanted some of his more obvious pro-Communist viewpoints, but he claims that both Communist and Capitalist systems are equally to blame for world poverty: “Our systems have failed the poor and they have failed the earth. They have failed the creation,” said Wallis.

In 1983, Joan Harris with Accuracy in Media, published a lengthy book on the far-left policies of Sojourners and Jim Wallis.

In The Sojourners File, Harris took 53 political positions of Sojourners on such issues as the right of Israel to exist, human rights, terrorism, socialism, capitalism, etc., and compared those positions to the official positions of the Soviet Union.

In all 53 position statements, Sojourners’ views were in line with the positions of the Soviet Union.

Harris observed: “Sojourners never criticizes a Marxist state. … The United States and the West are the only violators of human rights to Sojourners because they are the capitalists. Marxists, by Sojourners definition, cannot violate human rights.”

This is an amazing discovery. Yet, it is not so surprising given Jim Wallis’ consistent support for socialism and against capitalism or the American way of life throughout his writings. In fact, in 1979, the journal Mission Tracks published an interview with Wallis. He told the reporter it was his hope that “more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes.”

3 posted on 07/30/2011 7:37:05 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Re-Focus: TEA means the "Taxed Enough Already" Grass-Roots Movement)
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To: All

From the article: “Political activity must be inspired by an evangelical spirit, and when instead the use of Sacred Scripture is inspired by political ends, the Gospel is profaned.”

IT TAKES A CERTAIN AMOUNT of chutzpah to write a book called God’s Politics. But you have only to read a few pages of Jim Wallis’s new bestseller by that name to discover that it isn’t actually about the politics of an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful deity at all. Instead, it’s 384 pages of Jim’s politics, and Jim (with a couple of notable exceptions) is a pretty average, down-the-line leftist ...
MAINLY, THOUGH, what Wallis is up to these days is building his “movement for spiritual and social change” and arguing for optimism over cynicism. Previous theological agonies dispelled, Wallis fills his book with chatty anecdotes from his speaking tours, his time teaching at Harvard, his appearances on TV and talk radio, his travels at home and abroad. He closes the book with the self-congratulatory (and possibility heretical) declaration: “we are the ones we have been waiting for.”

Excerpted from the 2005 Weekly Standard article:

God’s Democrat
From the April 11, 2005 issue: The church of Jim Wallis.
by Katherine Mangu-Ward
04/11/2005, Volume 010, Issue 28

4 posted on 07/30/2011 7:40:08 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Re-Focus: TEA means the "Taxed Enough Already" Grass-Roots Movement)
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To: All

“Circle of Protection Ads: A Telling Distortion of Scripture”

The Marxist Jim Wallis wants us to pervert justice by favoring the poor. Leviticus 19:15 “is a helpful correction” to that notion.

Think we’ll ever see him quoting that Scripture?


Indictment of people like Jim Wallis:

“..[Some are involved in] a disastrous confusion between the poor of Scripture and the proletariat of [Karl] Marx.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI


The deceiver Wallis can run, but he can’t hide:

Soros Funding of Sojourners is Only The Tip of the Iceberg
Acton Institute ^ | 8/26/2010 | Jonathan Witt

5 posted on 07/30/2011 8:12:00 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Re-Focus: TEA means the "Taxed Enough Already" Grass-Roots Movement)
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To: Matchett-PI; All
Catholics love Jim Wallis and Sojourners, partly because he supports their political agendas (Caritas In Veritate, healthcare reform, immigration reform, redistribution of wealth, socialist governments & democrat politicians in general), but mostly because he encourages them to help dig a grave for the Religious Right.

Related threads:
'Speeches come and go, but policies continue' (Jim Wallis barf alert)
Rescuing Jesus from the right (Nutcase Tony Campolo Cited As Role Model Religious Leader)
Interfaith group launches social justice campaign (Jim Wallis/Sojourners Barf Alert)
Conservative, Liberal or Christian? (Feedback needed: Feel free to support or diss it)
Pentecost of Big Government
'Red-Letter Christians' and Their Dangerous Omissions
The Religious Right's Era Is Over
Christians seek border changes
Worshipping Obama
Barack Obama’s Newest Spiritual Advisor-Marxist preacher latest mentor on matters of faith
Obama administration completes faith adviser list
God's Democrat sends me an URGENT message (Jim Wallis/Sojourners)
Doing The Truth In Love: An Evangelical Call for Response to "Caritas In Veritate"
68 Protestant Leaders Applaud Encyclical-Caritas in Veritate [Ecumenical]
Leviticus and Immigration
MahonyFest 2007 - Jim Wallis a key speaker

6 posted on 07/30/2011 8:26:42 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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