Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jim Wallis Admits Taking Donations from Soros after Calling Marvin Olasky a Liar for Telling the Truth

Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Christianity Today has a post on the Jim Wallis mini-scandal. It turns out that Wallis has been getting funding from billionaire leftist George Soros, who funds dozens of ultra-leftist organizations including pro-abortion, pro-same-sex "marriage" groups and faux "Catholic" groups that promote abortion and seek to fool Catholics into voting for Obama. It comes as no surprise that he has been helping Sojourners given its role of trying to fool Evangelicals into voting for Obama.

But the scandal is not so much that Sojourners got money from him - although he is one unsavory source of funding for a supposedly Christian organization - but that Wallis lied about it when he was accused of taking money from Soros.

Bailey quotes Marvin Olasky, who made the accusation:
Jim Wallis has admitted that Sojourners has received funding in the past from liberal billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute.

Last month, Marvin Olasky asked Wallis to admit his affiliations on the left when reported on the money from Soros in World magazine.

George Soros, one of the leading billionaire leftists—he has financed groups promoting abortion, atheism, same-sex marriage, and gargantuan government—bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. A year later, here's how Jim rebutted a criticism of "religious progressives" for being allied with Soros and "I know of no connections to those liberal funds and groups that are as direct as the Religious Right's ties to right-wing funders."

Since then Sojourners has received at least two more grants from Soros organizations. Sojourners revenues have more than tripled—from $1,601,171 in 2001-2002 to $5,283,650 in 2008-2009—as secular leftists have learned to use the religious left to elect Obama and others.

Apparently, shilling for Obama has been lucrative for Sojourners in its latest incarnation as a front organization for the Democratic Party: 5 million per year is not bad. Later, Wallis doubled down on his deceptive claim that he was a pure as the driven snow.

In a Patheos interview, Wallis suggested that Olasky was lying.

“It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros. Given the financial crisis of nonprofits, maybe Marvin should call Soros and ask him to send us money.

“So, no, we don’t receive money from George Soros. Our books are totally open, always have been. Our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners. That’s where it comes from. In fact, we’ve had funding blocked, this year and last, by liberal foundations who didn’t like our stance on abortion. Other liberal groups were happy to point out to them that our stance wasn’t kosher on abortion, so our funding was blocked.

“So tell Marvin he should check his facts, and not imitate Glenn Beck.”

It is kind of interesting how obsessed Jim Wallis is with Glenn Beck; Beck has obviously gotten into his head in a serious way. But it certainly wasn't very nice of Wallis to call Marvin Olasky a liar. Bailey quotes Olasky's response to Wallis' accusation:

Jay Richards of National Review and Olasky responded to Wallis. Here's Olasky again:

Want to see for yourself what someone apparently did not want you to see? Click here to download the PDF, go to page 225, and you’ll see the grant to Sojourners.

You can also see the 2006 grant by downloading the 990-PF for that year and going to page 125. And by the way, look at page 114 of the 990-PF for 2007: another $100,000 grant to Sojourners “to support the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform campaign.”

Unfortunately for Sojourners and Wallis, the web pages did not disappear quickly enough. Bailey notes:

Wallis released a statement through a spokesperson to Patheos.

I should have declined to comment until I was able to review the blog post in question and consulted with our staff on the details of our funding over the past several years. Instead, I answered in the spirit of the accusation and did not recall the details of our funding over the decade in question. The spirit of the accusation was that Sojourners is beholden to funders on the political left, which is false. The allegation concerned three grants received over 10 years from the Open Society Institute that made up the tiniest fraction of Sojourners' funding during that decade -- so small that I hadn't remembered them.

That is one mealy-mouthed admission of guilt. There is no apology to Olasky and a lame attempt to justify himself while taking a feeble shot at conservatives in the process. No CEO of a non-profit would "forget" about a $200,000 donation from a foundation when his total budget was less than 2 million dollars. Jim Wallis has come a long way - or fallen a long way depending on your point of view.

It is now impossible to regard Sojourners as anything more than a front organization for the secular Left and the Democratic Party that has been seized by Leftist extremists.

For more details on the disappearing web pages, see Jay Richards' article at National Review Online entitled "Why is Jim Wallis Denying That He Received Grants From Deep-Pocketed Leftists Like George Soros?"

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