Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Hope is a choice."

I spent much of the day yesterday at Colorado College's symposium on religion and politics ("Why Be Afraid?"), and I had a chance to hear progressive evangelical Jim Wallis not once, but twice.

Wallis subbed for no-show Ted Haggard (he had an out-of-town emergency to deal with) for an afternoon debate, and he gave his own scheduled talk that evening titled "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It."

Wallis didn't speak: He preached. He called on CC students to become activists -- to use their own beliefs or ideals to change the culture and the nation. He railed against the "religious right" but stressed that the public square needs religion, invoking the name of Martin Luther King Jr. several times during his hour-long presentation.

"Hope is a choice," he said. "It's a decision we make because of this thing called faith."

CC gave the evangelical preacher a standing ovation: As assistant professor Gail Murphy-Geiss noted, will wonders never cease.


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