Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sojourners' Receiving Money from George Soros?

We first became concerned about the Sojourners when we learned that they, in conjunction with the Jesuit founded Alinskyite organization PICO, produced the Health Care Tool Kit: A Guide to the Health-Care Reform Debate.” Our concern was that PICO was co-opting Catholic parishes to their cause.

Today, there is an interesting story in the National Review by Jay C. Richards. Please make sure to read the whole thing.


"Why Is Jim Wallis Denying that He Receives Grants from Deep-Pocketed Leftists like George Soros?

In World magazine on July 17, Marvin Olasky called on “progressive evangelical” Jim Wallis to come clean and admit that he is not a non-partisan, as he likes to claim, but rather a devoted man of the Left. Olasky reported that Wallis’s organization, Sojourners, had received grants from George Soros’s foundation, the Open Society Institute (OSI), and had lent Sojourners’ mailing list to the Obama campaign.

Now, it isn’t news that both Sojourners and Wallis are friends of the Left; I explored the connections in my book Money, Greed and God, and others have connected the dots as well. But were Wallis and Sojourners actively involved with secular left-wing mega-donors and with the election machinery of the Left? After reading Olasky’s piece, I decided to look into the charges, and I now strongly suspect that Olasky is onto something that merits further inquiry.
Among the documents I now have are pages from the OSI website that list two grants to Sojourners — one for $200,000 in 2004, “To support the Messaging and Mobilization Project: Engaging Christians on the Importance of Civic Involvement,” and one for $25,000 in 2006, “To support a branding assessment” for the purpose of merging “Sojourners and Call to Renewal into one organization.” I have physical copies of these pages, which is good, because these pages seem to have disappeared from the OSI website (I’m sure that’s just a coincidence)....

According to Sojourners’ 990s (go here and search for “Sojourners” in “DC”), their total assets went from $513,896 in 2002 to $4,615,468 in 2009. Call me skeptical, but I’d be willing to bet that this windfall didn’t all come from humble readers of Sojourners magazine. If in fact Wallis did get money from Soros and various other left-wing foundations, what I don’t get is why Wallis doesn’t just say, “Sure, we get (or have gotten) money from left-wing foundations. We differ on a few points but agree on a host of important issues.” Instead, we’re getting cagey denials and disappearing webpages."

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