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tv   Washington Journal Rev. Jim Wallis  CSPAN  April 12, 2020 12:20pm-12:50pm EDT

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>> monday night, especially evening addition of "washington journal -- edition of "washington journal" on the federal response to the coronavirus. fauci, with dr. anthony a member of the white house coronavirus task force, and the director of the infectious diseases division at the university of alabama at birmingham's school of medicine on the national fight on the coronavirus and his own experience contracting and recovering from the disease. join us on "washington journal" prime time monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. program jime to the wallace. jim wallace the founder of sojourners. thank you for being with us. happy easter.
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you.: happy easter to host: tell us your thoughts. what typically would be your easter sunday tradition and what are you doing this easter sunday? of course, easter is this proclamation, this belief, this conviction of hope over despair and life over death, even though, in the midst of what we are going through, that easter was never a time to go back to normal. this idea of packing churches to start the economy -- that is public health recklessness. easter is, let's make things new and we need that now more than ever. backing scientists, the doctors and doing the physical distancing which is
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necessary to save lives. so here we are. matthew 18 says, we are gathered .o derringer -- together we will probably feel closer together to our fellow parishioners all over the world. we are learning in the churches how to worship virtually, how to virtual, how to care for each other virtual. one of our roles is to back the scientists and doctors. and it does not -- it is not consistent with christ to infect our neighbors in neighborhoods. we will heal the nation by saying -- staying physically distant, but standing apart, but never being alone. the solidarity we need is there. host: we have a number of
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callers. i want to get your thoughts on peopleople who say -- are saying we see church as an essential service. if people can go to liquor stores or go to drive-through fast food restaurants, wire churches or other religious organizations prevented from having people in a gathering? bout -- about a public health. gathering together in a big building is a way of infecting neighbors. this is not about religious liberty. this is about public health. and so we are backing the authority of the states. most of us are doing this. we are physically distancing until this curve is flattened and we can get past this
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terribly infectious disease. you do not love your neighbor by infecting them, and by infecting your neighborhoods. so we are doing that together all over the country and we are feeling, often, closer than ever before. we have also learned -- it is almost like good friday. thisod friday there was powerful image of christ on the cross with his hands nailed to saying to all the suffering, ithose cannot stop your suffering, but i am with you in it. but today, today christ's hands are outstretched saying, all we have seen revealed by this inequities, all the all that is wrong, unjust,
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povertyeven racism and are being revealed as preconditions for getting this disease and dying of it because of how people are made to live. yet now jesus says come to me. i can make all things new. i can make all things new. join with me and let's together make things new. owe respect to public health and then we will be the healing spirit of christ in the world. this virus has revealed our bad and wrong and must not any longer be acceptable. protectingproject -- the least. matthew 25 -- i was hungry, i was thursday, i was naked, i was sick, i was the stranger, i was in prison, and where were you? as you treat the least of these,
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that is how we treat him. in washington, where we are today, the least of these are the least important. comments, jimour our guest, you wrote tw o scriptures come to mind for me in the last week. 5:16. ephesians also the days that preceded the unexpected onslaught of the killer virus were also people. they have become days of untruthfulness, accelerated bigotry, the promotion of fear, political targeting of those jesus tells to protect -- those on the margins.
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biblical --his is a as a biblical implication of the coronavirus? guest: i wrote that before the coronavirus. time has has shown these things, revealed these things. that is why the data shows me that things like poverty and becausere preconditions of people's lack of access to health care, to save housing. to reliable incomes -- all of that. easter, more this than ever, we want to proclaim for followers of jesus the least of these are the most important
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even if they are the least important in washington. as we come out of easter, we want to learn those things that the virus has shown us are wrong. let us make all things new. host: you are probably hearing a lot of this conversation. coronavirus- is the an act of god? faith leaders debate tough questions. when responding was a rabbi, who said it people want to make meaning in a time of fear, uncertainty. that is understandable. passover is coming up so people are making those comparisons, but no, i do not think god is smiting us. my theology does not involve a man in the sky with a pair of dice. what do you think of those comments? guest: i think she is right.
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i think that image of christ on the cross over the coronavirus suffering, saying i cannot stop your suffering, but i am with you in it. that is what the cross is. with us in the suffering. and now we believe that this resurrected christ is saying that hope can triumph over despair, life over death. we have to believe people -- we cannot see it -- believing it makes us change. how do we act and hope -- in hope. how do we protect those from this virus? protecting the vulnerable. protecting -- focusing our attention on the vulnerable is the vocation of a faith community and we are doing that all over the country. we are saying to our political leaders in our new legislation
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that you have to protect those who are most in jeopardy. people, people who do not have health care. isn't it interesting now how we see that everyone having health care, universal health care, would be the best thing for the common good of all of us and for the common health of all of us? if people had steady incomes, that would make us more economically stable, all of us. so we have to ask what is best for the common good and common health. this virus can teach us things if we have the ears to hear and the eyes to see. host: comments and calls for jim .allace -- (202) 748-8000 first up is michael. will make my comment sure into the point.
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i am not a long-winded preacher. 13:1 it says be in subjection to the superior authorities. words. god's own i thank you for taking my call. i see governors and mayors who are the ones responsible for the people saying, indeed, physical distancing, staying away from each other right now is the only way to heal this nation and save lives. so i went to see us doing that. i agree with you entirely. that is what we should be doing. i think they are looking to us for that. i do not want to see people infected from church services, even funerals. time of social
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distancing, but here's the issue. i think this is showing the world how to do social or physical distancing without leading to social isolation. we cannot let that happen. we are finding all kinds of ways to help us prevent the social distancinghat social , which is necessary for our health, could create. we are trying to show we can reach out to each other and take care of each other in that kind of time. so, how do we work with the doctors and scientists and governors who are telling us to stay home? church is going on. york harris frank in new -- here is frank in new york. caller: just trying to give an atheists point of view --
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atheist's point of view. i watch the show every day. a lot of god talk. watch these churches, especially evangelicals, that can heal the children out of touching their head on a wheelchair. what is the fear of christians of going to church? why can't someone just touch their head and make the virus go away? is the virus too strong for god? i feel like we talk too much about prayer. i think we should be talking more about science. we are wasting a lot of time thinking we have telepathic goal toers talking to and imagine -- an imaginary person. frank, i agree with you that talk is not enough. god talk.
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i went to see us putting our faith into action. terms oflarly in caring for those who are left out. who will do that ? is the question. we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves, but who is going to love our neighbors beyond our own doors? that is what we have to do. i understand that there are plenty of reasons that christians have failed to live the way jesus taught that turns people into not being believers at all. and i understand those things, i do, but now is the time not just for talk, but for action. who is putting into action love, care, the compassion, the empathy that people associate with who jesus was? what he taught, what he
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believed, how he lived. we want to be followers of jesus in this time. it is more important than ever to take care of each other, especially what christ called the least of these. and has made people not believe and what we say. but now is the time for us to put jesus' words into action. i want to see love go viral. love go viral as this virus has. unchurchedwho are have the need for inspiration and sustenance. and we are looking to find a way to take care of ourselves and then get beyond ourselves and take care of those who are in such serious trouble. host: steve calling from oak ridge, tennessee. caller: thank you for today's program. you have highlighted what i have been saying for years. unfortunately, has
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been divided into two camps -- twtrue christians and the invenr and theho feel like -- evangelicals who feel like everybody is out to get them. i wasn't even jell-o coal until all this hate started showing up -- even jell-o coal until all evangelica untill hate started's -- showing up. mym a liberal and most of friends are and we are all christians. it is sad to me the way this country is being divided. thefact is that evangelicals have thrown jesus havef the window and
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picked donald trump to be their new lord and savior. that is not the way it works at all. reverend wallace is a true christian and represents true christianity. it is all about love, helping one another. it is not about money. the problem with this country is that we have replaced jesus with money and he very explicitly talks about that in his gospels. for this thank you morning and the opportunity to call in. reverend wallace, i truly appreciate the fact that you are a true christian and you follow the teachings. host: thank you. ever, ity be more than is time to reclaim jesus. we have been polarized, politicized. somehow, jesus gets
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squeezed out by our politics. that is when we are conformed to the world as it is. when jesus gets squeezed out with some political hate and fear, even violence, so i think this is a time when we are called back to jesus to -- jesus, what he said, did he mean it? he did. it, weegin to follow jesus, whatple say he was doing, this is what we need, what i need right now. so let's put the politics aside. our faith is supposed to shape our politics, not the other way around.
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i went to reclaim jesus in this moment, lift him up, and see what he said and decide if he meant it. and if he did it, what does it mean for us to mean that too? and love one another, and protected those who jesus called the least of these -- protect those who jesus called the least of these? hello. i really enjoyed it. that thet is fundamental beliefs that i believe is that do onto others as you would have others do unto you. the reverend was so right. we just have to love each other. i am staying away from my neighbors and my church because i want to protect those people. i want to love those people. and i would like them to do the same for me and not go to church
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and not be around large groups. when i go to the store, it is safer. i think going out once, maybe storeto go to the grocery and i am doing everything to keep my family and myself safe. that arehese churches holding services, one reason they are doing that is because they get publicity. they are getting a lot of publicity for themselves and for thesechurches and governments that are going in there and try to stop them is getting a lot of publicity because they are the rough and tough people laying down the law. being on the news all the time. stop showing this defiance. people will be more apt to do
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what is right and stay home. host: thank you. caller: i could not have said it better guest: i could not have said it better than you. we've not stop church. churches still -- church is still going on. i am with you. in a few minutes, my family will be going to church in the living room right here in my house and will be taught not only taking care of east -- ourselves, but each other, as you say. truth is very few churches are having services in defiance of the law. the ones that are our, predictably, the loud mega church pastors who all they ever do is draw attention to themselves. andhe media covers that
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wants to make this into a religious freedom issue, which is absolutely ridiculous. this is not religious liberty. this is public health. this is not infecting our neighbors. let the loud people be allowed in the media cover them. very, very few pastors and priests are doing this. we are doing what is best to do when you are in a pandemic. you love your neighbors by staying physically apart, but not losing that connection, that solidarity, so worship is going on, prayers going on, even music is going on with technology the way it is now. i would not worry about the few people who are loud mega church pastors who always want to draw attention to themselves. i ignore them. the new york times easter pandemic.dline -- the
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as a theologian wrote, in a message directed tocifically directed christians inclined to rebel against the quarantine, there is a duty to interpret the present moment. what does it mean that god has willed conditions in which our lifestyle is grounded, our consumption is cut to a minimum, our days are occupied with basic resourceslity, our and economic hopes are reduced, and we remained -- made more dependent on one another? what does it mean that our nation states -- and that the most technologically advanced companies -- countries face the
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humility of their limits? we might think this tells us nothing about ourselves, but if and hastyrough this expectation of a return to normal, perhaps we are missing the front middle point of this exercise. -- fundamental point of this exercise. right.he is easter is not a time to return to normal. we should not -- we should be made more humble by all of this. we should see those who are always vulnerable. how can we learn from this, how can this make us more open, more loving, more aware of what is us?und is how are we are after this will depend on how we act through it, with,e do, who we do that
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how we bring the polarization together around compassion, around the common good. i think we can learn from the suffering and take it to a different place. easter to me is a day to proclaim that hope can prevail over despair and that life can prevail over death. and we see a world in which, while things are coming apart, jesus is saying i can, i will make things new. host: we do not want to make you late for your service. a couple more calls for you. reverend jim wallace. his most recent book is christ in crisis. we go to lorenzo in michigan. time.: i appreciate the in reference to mr. wallace's comment and also the text message he read about how people
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do not accept this as a smiting from god. are led to believe god gave us the freedom to believe what we want to believe, but we are still responsible for what we do. that according to god in reference to our relationship know it, i accepted, i is offensive to god not -- i hadging his name a relationship with my father. there are times he disciplined me. that is metaphoric to how we are supposed to look at god. god chastens us, he tests us. -- that heorming does not want to correct us work that he cannot use death or to
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change our attitudes. love,nnerisms in what we like what your caller said earlier about good and evil, that is worse -- host: we will let you go. said you will know the truth and the truth will set you three. i've been thinking a lot about that, truthfulness. it is important in this crisis. i think the truth really can set us.ree and can heal untruthfulness is making people sick. so let's go back. let's go back to the truth. let's tell the truth and not be afraid of the truth. know that the truth can help us
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and save us and bring us together again. this time will either drive us apart, polarizes further, or bring us back together again. i am trusting and believing and acting on the easter conviction that we can be brought together again and that hope will finally triumph over despair, even life over death. that is what i am hoping and believing and praying today on this easter sunday. wallace, the founder and president of sojourners. happy easter to you and your family. >> a pretty large bank associated with the -- >> eight was the call heard around the world from the ill-fated manned lunar mission of apollo 13. today, american history tv marks
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the 50th anniversary with the 1970 nasa documentary "houston, we have got a problem." james lowell shares his memories of the flight. >> we never committed to ourselves that we are not going to make it. >> the flight director recalls nasa's efforts to ensure the astronauts' safe return. special on the 50th anniversary of apollo 13 today at 1:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. joining us is claire babineau fontenot. she is the ceo of the organization feeding america. thank you for being with us this morning. tell us what the last month has been like for your organization. guest:


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