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Last year Jim Wallis encountered a barrage of criticism when WORLD reported that his religious left organization, Sojourners, took $325,000 from the world's most notorious billionaire, pro-abortion atheist George Soros (July 17 and Sept. 11, 2010). Now he's at it again: In an email note to me, Wallis confirmed that Soros' Open Society Foundation has just given Sojourners $150,000 more.
The donation is more evidence that Wallis and Sojourners are on the left, even though the organization appeals to young evangelicals by claiming to be apolitical-in Wallis' summation, not left but "deep." Sojourners has paid its bills through contributions from co-religionists but also with $250,000 from The Tides Foundation, $200,000 from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and additional sums from Barbra Streisand and others.
For some contributors, Sojourners is a useful tool in reducing evangelical support for conservatives. Others have grander motives: Soros himself has stated, "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States."
Wallis defended his decision to solicit and accept Soros funds by pointing me to William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, who accepted donations from disreputable sources. Booth, though, took contributions from liquor-sellers and gamblers who knew he would undercut their endeavors. Soros gives money to Wallis to promote the political views they share.
Booth helped the poor without campaigning for governmental growth and materialistic panaceas: He explained, "To get a man soundly saved it is not enough to put on him a pair of new breeches, to give him regular work, or even to give him a University education. These things are all outside a man, and if the inside remains unchanged you have wasted your labor."