Jim Wallis vs. Tony Perkins on CBS Evening News

Tonight, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric offered a story about how not all evangelical Christians are right-wing Republicans. The story featured Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners Magazine in juxtaposition to Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.

Couric opened the story by saying, “Many people might assume all evangelicals are conservative Republicans and speak with one voice, but more and more, this is a group that’s branching out in different directions.”

Couric doesn't quite get it right. She paints it like there has never been any other kind of politically-active Christian other than the kind repesented by James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, D. James Kennedy, or Donald Wildmon.

Jim Wallis’ Sojourners has been in existence since 1971, and other long-standing major Christian leaders have had issues with the Religious Right, including James Skillen (Center for Public Justice) and Ronald Sider (Evangelicals for Social Action). However, it is true that in the last election we have seen a renewed interest in Jim Wallis’ words, as evidenced by his book God’s Politics being on the The New York Times bestseller list for four months.

The Emerging Church has embraced Wallis (I first heard him speak in person at the Emergent Conference in 2004). The reason that he is a good match with emerging church sensibilities is that he exemplifies a post-conservative/post-liberal political agenda (what is now being called "purple politics"). Wallis refuses to allow partisan politics to guide his prophetic voice but rather attempts to be a prophetic voice into the politics of both the left and the right.

Watch the “You Tube” video of the CBS story by first clicking on the image, then on the play button.

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