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.
“It’s time to invite the Occupy Movement to church!” wrote Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a ministry professing a devotion to the pursuit of “social justice.”
Wallis penned an article in his church’s magazine, also entitled Sojourners, calling for a “church sanctuary for the Occupy movement.”
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 “perfect occasion” for churches to aid the Occupy movement.
“Open our church basements and parish halls as safe places to sleep — shelter and sanctuary as cold weather descends upon many of our cities,” he wrote.
“The Occupy movement needs a sanctuary. And what better safe and welcome place could these young people find than with communities of faith?
“As 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.”
Continued Wallis: “Concentrations of wealth and power, unfairness in our political process, the loss of opportunity — especially for the next generation — and the alarming rise of poverty in the world’s richest nation are all fundamental concerns for people of faith.”
“So let’s invite the young occupiers into our churches and ministries for good conversation and a great meal,” 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.
“Bloomberg is the poster child for the ‘1 percent,’’ wrote Wallis. “He 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.”
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.”