Sally Quinn Lets Jim Wallis Claim Glenn Beck's Unfairly Painting Him as a Leftist

At the On Faith page of The Washington Post and Newsweek, Sally Quinn interviewed liberal Sojourners magazine publisher Jim Wallis about his squabble with Glenn Beck about the meaning of “social justice” and Christianity.

Quinn probably could have lined up Beck – after all, he sat down for an online interview with Katie Couric. Quinn wanted to know if Beck would keep attacking if Wallis and his liberal friends would benefit. Wallis insisted he told his staff no personal attacks on Beck: “We have to stay on the high ground here.” Quinn asked, “Is it hard?”Wallis replied, “Sometimes, when they’re just misrepresenting. They said, ‘Does the Gospel call us to redistribution? ‘ I said ‘Yes.’ ‘So Jim Wallis wants the government to come in…’ I didn’t say anything like that. (Laughing). That’s dishonest.”

Wallis has made a career out of confusing the words of Jesus to help the poor with the socialist idea that only the government can truly lift the poor.

As for staying on the "high ground," Wallis denounced Beck personally on The Huffington Post: "His show should now be in the same category as Howard Stern. Stern practices pornography and Beck denies the central teachings of Jesus and the Bible. So Christians should stop watching his show and pray for him and Howard Stern."

Earlier in the Quinn interview, he insisted all faiths lead to “social justice” activism:  
To say that Jesus calls us – I must say, I was in a synagogue last Friday, and Jewish faith calls us. And I was with Muslims last night in New York City, and Islam calls us – you know, to the common good, to serve our brother and our sister, and yes, to justice. To social and economic justice. To say, as Glenn Beck has said, that that’s just a slippery slope to Marxism is just not true.  

Wallis has a habit of posing as a centrist, not a leftist. (See Marvin Olasky on that, who's recently debated him on campus.) Last week, Quinn interviewed Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller -- another liberal -- and they discussed Heaven and Hell.

MILLER: At its core, Heaven is a paradox. It has to be both believable, and unbelievable at the same time. It’s silence and it’s song. You know, everyone is there, and the elect are there. You know, your family is there, and your enemies are there. Like, you have to be able to have a both-and, you have to be able to imagine it in this extremely paradoxical way for it to make any sense at all.

QUINN: Do you believe in Hell? 

MILLER: No.

QUINN: So how can, how can someone believe in heaven and not believe in hell?

MILLER: I’m not alone, just so you know. Belief in Hell is tanking, like the economy tanked last year. People just – belief in Heaven is pretty stable, about 80 percent, and belief in Hell is just going down the toilet. And I think that’s partially because Americans are more and more willing to see that there are many paths to God. There’s a kind of global-ness to our religious world right now which makes people sort of unable to stick to the straight and narrow, at least in America.
Quinn quipped: “It’s interesting to me that Hell is, how can we say, not hot anymore.”
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis