Jim Wallis, age 72, is a venerable Religious Left patriarch, having founded what became Sojourners magazine, originally called The Post-American, in 1971. Now Wallis has stepped down as Sojourners editor after he tried to delete an article accusing Roman Catholicism of rampant racism. His attempt prompted two other editors publicly to resign. The now restored article is called “The Catholic Church Has a Visible White Power Faction.”
This has been coming for some time; it’s really an event waiting for an excuse to happen. I’m surprised it didn’t happen when he pulled Sojourner’s punches on the Believe Out Loud campaign. At the time he gave the following explanation:
But these debates (over LGBT issues) have not been at the core of our calling, which is much more focused on matters of poverty, racial justice, stewardship of the creation, and the defence of life and peace. These have been our core mission concerns, and we try to unite diverse Christian constituencies around them, while encouraging deep dialogue on other matters which often divide. Essential to our mission is the calling together of broad groups of Christians, who might disagree on issues of sexuality, to still work together on how to reduce poverty, end wars, and mobilize around other issues of social justice.
What Wallis finally succumbed to was the American left’s obsession with leaving class differences out of their agenda. Like their counterparts on the aspirational right, who won’t discuss it out of shame-honor considerations, the left will divide society on anything–race, sexual orientation or reorientation, gender, you name it–rather than socio-economic differentiation. It’s the same with the critical race theory types, who have simply taken white supremacists’ governing assumptions and flipped them to their own use. You can accuse the left of many things, but originality isn’t one of them.
Wallis has found out that it’s easy to get left behind, as I predicted he would on LGBT issues:
His stance on same sex civil marriage–that we need same sex civil unions–may sound good to him but will not cut it with his LGBT friends, or at least their leadership. One thing he will find out the hard way–as many North American Anglicans have–is that the message of the LGBT community to the nation and the church is the same as Ulysses Grant’s to Simon Bolivar Buckner: no terms except unconditional surrender. I expect that, sooner or later, he will sell the pass on the Christian sexual ethic, as his Main Line counterparts have done, but that is something he will have to deal with.
And it’s the same now with race…
For those on the left, a question: when will they cancel you? As Leon Trotsky, Lin Biao or even Mao Dun found out, it’s not a matter of if but when.