Obama ex-pastor offers sanctuary for Occupy protesters. Calls on churches nationwide to open ‘basements and halls’
Posted on November 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM EST
By Aaron Klein
A recent member of President Obama’s White House faith council has offered his parish as sanctuary to Occupy protesters, calling on churches nationwide to similarly open their doors.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs time to invite the Occupy Movement to church!‚ÄĚ wrote Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a ministry professing a devotion to the pursuit of “social justice.”
Wallis penned an article in his church‚Äôs magazine, also entitled Sojourners, calling for a ‚Äúchurch sanctuary for the Occupy movement.‚ÄĚ
Wallis was appointed in February 2009 to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a White House group replete with advocates for using religion to advance “social justice.” Each council appointee serves a one year term.
Wallis reportedly is a spiritual adviser to Obama and has known the president for years.
Writing in his magazine, Wallis suggested that Thanksgiving is the ‚Äúperfect occasion‚ÄĚ for churches to aid the Occupy movement.
‚ÄúOpen our church basements and parish halls as safe places to sleep ‚ÄĒ shelter and sanctuary as cold weather descends upon many of our cities,‚ÄĚ he wrote.
‚ÄúThe Occupy movement needs a sanctuary. And what better safe and welcome place could these young people find than with communities of faith?
‚ÄúAs we provide that safe sanctuary for a new generation of protesters who dream of a better world, let us also engage them in the spirituality of the change they seek.‚ÄĚ
Continued Wallis: ‚ÄúConcentrations of wealth and power, unfairness in our political process, the loss of opportunity ‚ÄĒ especially for the next generation ‚ÄĒ and the alarming rise of poverty in the world‚Äôs richest nation are all fundamental concerns for people of faith.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúSo let‚Äôs invite the young occupiers into our churches and ministries for good conversation and a great meal,‚ÄĚ he added.
Wallis recommended churches provide Turkey dinner to the Occupiers, remarking the protesters are likely sick of pizza.
He blasted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for clearing out Zuccotti Park of protesters earlier this week.
‚ÄúBloomberg is the poster child for the ‚Äė1 percent,‚Äô‚Äô wrote Wallis. ¬†‚ÄúHe is the archetypal wealthy man who bought political power, and the uprising in his city to challenge what he himself stands for has made the mayor uncomfortable about the protests since the beginning.‚ÄĚ
Wallis is founder of the Sojourners ministry as well as a progressive magazine also titled Sojourners.
The Associated Baptist Press described Wallis as a “politically progressive evangelical and longtime advocate for the poor.”
The Huffington Post identified Wallis as a “Christian author and social-justice advocate.”