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Why Did Only 115 People Show Up for Your Protest Against Welfare Spending Cuts? Do You Represent That Few People?

Gary North
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Once again, Jim Wallis has demonstrated in full public view that he represents a tiny, politically impotent segment of evangelical Protestantism.

I say:

"When you send out emails for two months, when you make a public protest your organization's big event of the year, and only 115 people show up, this much is clear: you have no political clout. Your followers just aren't interested in putting anything of value on the line. If this is the best they can do for the cause, and so few show up, then your movement is at best a fringe movement."

Previously, I asked this question: What Happens After Your Latest "Line in the Sand" for Congress Gets Washed Away? Another One? http://www.garynorth.com/public/658.cfm

How many lines in the sand will Jim Wallis draw? How many will be washed away as fast as this one was?

Sojourners positions itself as a Christian activist organization, not a think tank. But if 115 protesters is the extent of its activism regarding the most important political protest in the orgnanization's 25-year history -- more welfare state money supposedly on the chopping block -- then Sojourners is better characterized as an inactivist organization.

When you organize a protest on Capitol Hill, you had better have your ducks in a row. Nothing says "losers -- safely ignored" louder than a protest that fails to attract enough people to fill a park. Wallis's group would not have filled a freshman economics class at Wheaton College.

Wallis can of course claim that those who showed up were leaders. Leaders of what? Of whom? When leaders show up for the big, symbolic, media-relevant confrontation, but without bringing any followers, politicians conclude -- accurately, in my view -- that those who showed up are not backed up by followers who are ready to take significant action.

Had Martin Luther King, Jr., marched on Selma with 114 other people, the event would not be in the history books. The South would still be segregated.

The House of Representatives can safely ignore Wallis's constituents. He made that clear on December 14, 2004.

This is as visible a failure as Wallis has ever organized. Nothing could be more clear: his Left-wing, pro-welfare state agenda has almost no supporters in the Protestant evangelical community. He appeals mainly to professors of sociology in tiny Christian colleges, but hardly anyone else.

The illusion is over. There is no pea under the shell. There is a mailing list. There is a website. There is not much else.

In politics, if you cannot deliver the votes, you are irrelevant.

Jim Wallis cannot deliver the votes.

Wallis occasionally gets interviewed on Left-wing secular media shows, but their audiences are equally unwilling to commit or to take big risks for the cause -- and surely not in the name of Christ. They regard Wallis as a voice crying in the wilderness, as indeed he is. But, unlike Moses, his life's self-appointed task is to deliver the poor into the hands of Pharaoh. His movement is not an exodus, but rather a call to stay in Egypt and enjoy government-funded leeks and onions.

The story and photos are on the Sojourners site: http://sojo.net/index.cfm?action=action.display_c&item=051214_arrests


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