Obama pastor offers sanctuary for rioters
Calls on churches nationwide to open 'basements and halls'
Posted: November 17, 2011
3:27 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2011 WND
A member of President Obama's controversial faith council has offered his parish as sanctuary to Occupy protesters and has called on churches nationwide to similarly open their doors to activists from the anti-capitalist movement.
"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 called Sojourners, calling for a "church sanctuary for the Occupy movement."
Wallis was appointed to 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."
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.
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"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 that 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."
Obama's controversial pastor
Wallis is a socialist activist who has championed communist causes and previously labeled the U.S. "the great captor and destroyer of human life."
The Associated Baptist Press described Wallis as a "politically progressive evangelical and longtime advocate for the poor." The Huffington Post identified him as a "Christian author and social-justice advocate."
Wallis, however, is a longtime socialist advocate whose Sojourners magazine has championed communist causes.
Wallis began his activism as a protester and then later Michigan leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, the 1960s anti-war group from which Bill Ayers' Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization splintered.
Discover the Networks documented that as a theology student, Wallis founded an anti-capitalism magazine called the Post-American, which identified wealth redistribution and government-managed economies as the keys to achieving "social justice."
In 1971, Wallis renamed his magazine Sojourners. He has since served as editor of the publication.
Sojourners' official "statement of faith" urges readers to "refuse to accept [capitalist] structures and assumptions that normalize poverty and segregate the world by class."
Sojourners has published a slew of radicals, including socialist activist Cornel West and James Cone, considered the founder of Black Liberation Theology, which spawned the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor of nearly 20 years.
Wallis' magazine actively lobbied for communist regimes that seized power in Latin America in the late 1970s, including the Sandinista dictatorship in Nicaragua. Sojourners in the 1980s was a fierce opponent of the U.S. nuclear buildup, claiming the policy was "an intolerable evil" irreconcilably at odds with Christianity.
Discover the Networks notes how Sojourners originally formed a socialist commune in Washington, D.C., where members shared finances and launched anti-capitalist activism.
In his 1976 book, "Agenda for Biblical People," Wallis called the U.S. "the great power, the great seducer, the great captor and destroyer of human life, the great master of humanity and history in its totalitarian claims and designs."
Wallis continues to openly support socialism. Along with socialist activist West, Wallis in 1995 founded Call to Renewal, a coalition of religious groups demanding the spread of U.S. wealth to promote "social justice."
White House pushing churches to be 'green'?
Other members of Obama's faith council write for Wallis' Sojourners magazine.
In January, Obama named to his faith council Lynne Hybels, a leader of Willow Creek Church, an inter-denominational, multi-generational megachurch located in a Chicago suburb.
The church is led by Hybels' husband, Bill, a social justice advocate who created the Global Leadership Summit, an international Christian group.
Lynne Hybels' official title at Willow Creek Church is advocate for global engagement. She is also a regular contributor to Sojourners magazine.
She has advocated for the "greenest" church on the planet, while discussing Scripture as it relates to the Palestinians and calling for a fight against American "racial injustice."
Also writing at Sojourners, as WND reported, is Eboo Patel, another member of the White House faith council.
Patel declared that everything he was taught about Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson and American "fairness" and "equality" was wrong.
WND also reported Patel, a Muslim activist from Chicago, compared al-Qaida to what he called Christian "totalitarians" in the U.S. and Jewish "totalitarians" in Israel.
Earlier, WND reported Patel is deeply tied to Weather Underground founder Ayers. Also, Patel has blasted what he calls the "myths" of America – describing them as beliefs that the country is "a land of freedom and equality and justice."
Obama church sanctuary for draft dodgers
Obama himself is not unfamiliar with churches serving as sanctuary for radical protesters.
As WND previously reported, the Hawaii church where Obama attended Sunday school as a boy, First Unitarian, was a far-left activist congregation that may have helped provide the president's initial political education.
While Obama's membership as an adult in the controversial Trinity United Church of Christ has received widespread media attention, almost nothing has been reported about his Sunday school attendance at the Hawaii church.
First Unitarian, a member of the Unitarian Universalist denomination, served as a sanctuary for draft dodgers and was strongly tied to the Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, during the time Ayers was a leader in that organization. The Weathermen was an offshoot of the SDS.
Andrew Walden, publisher and editor of the Hawaii Free Press, dug up newspaper clippings from that period as well as print editions of "The Roach," an SDS publication describing the group's draft-dodging activism, including at the Unitarian church.
After living from age 7 with his mother and step-father in Indonesia, where he was enrolled as a Muslim in public schools, Obama was sent back to Hawaii at age 11 in 1971 to reside with his grandmother. His mother moved back to Hawaii in 1972 and stayed there until 1977, when she relocated again to Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
In his autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," Obama recounts on page 17 moving to Hawaii and being enrolled in the Unitarian church.
When Obama's maternal grandmother died in November 2008, the memorial service, attended by the then-presidential candidate, was held in Honolulu's Unitarian church.
According to an account in the Tampa Tribune, when Obama was reminded at his grandmother's memorial service that he attended the church's Sunday school as a child, his eyes lit up, and he turned to his wife, Michelle, and said, "Hey, that's right. This is where I went to Sunday school."
with research by Brenda J. Elliott
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