Hypocrisy. The Bible, particularly the New Testament, says much about it, and none of it good. Jesus repeatedly condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, calling them “whitewashed tombs,” among other things. One of the oldest books of the Bible, the Book of Job, has this to say:
But the hypocrites in heart store up wrath; they do no cry for help when He binds them; they die in youth, and their life ends among the perverted persons. (Job 36:13 NKJV)
Perhaps Jim Wallis, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Sojourners, might want to do a topical study on the subject of hypocrisy. As Tim Graham at Newsbusters notes in an item this past weekend, Wallis has been pitching a lot of Bible verses at congressional Republicans recently. Wallis claims, as Graham puts it, that “God Wants Socialism, Not Shutdowns.” As Wallis himself explained in an article at the Huffington Post last Thursday, he and his colleagues were on Capitol Hill last week reading 2,000 verses on the poor and injustice:
Christian leaders from across the political and theological spectrum joined together in a “Faithful Filibuster” across the street from the Capitol. For every day that Congress is in session during the shutdown, we will read those verses to remind our lawmakers that justice for the poor should always be our priority, but now more than ever.
Perhaps someone from the establishment media should go down to the “Faithful Filibuster” this week and ask him: If God wants socialism, why doesn’t Jim Wallis practice it himself? According to IRS Form 990s for Sojourners available online through GuideStar, in FY2011 — the last year that Sojourners’ Form 990s are available — Wallis pulled in more than $200,000 in salary and other compensation. Here’s a screenshot of his earnings ($203,451):
Wallis’ salary for Sojourners is nearly four times that of the annual national median household income for 2011 ($51,413).
Not only is Jim Wallis pulling in multiples more in compensation than most American households, he’s also raking in more than most non-profit CEOs in the region.
According to Charity Navigator’s most recent in-depth study of charity CEO pay (released October 3), the average charity CEO in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes the high-dollar areas of New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. (where Sojourners is based), is $147,474. That means Wallis is making 27 percent more than his charity peers in the region.
But that’s taking into account all non-profits.
In FY2010, when Wallis made $197,446, the average non-profit CEO in the religious sector (the same sector Sojourners lists on their Form 990s) was just $90,000.
Jim Wallis, full-time hawker of “God Wants Socialism,” makes more than twice his colleagues who head religious non-profits.
In fairness, he’s suffered in the Obama Depression like all Americans. His compensation in FY2010 and FY2011 is short of the $218,162 he pulled in during FY2009. Presumably, one way that Jim Wallis makes ends meet in this time of economic downturn is through the advances and sales of his various books, like the one he released earlier this year titled On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good. Conveniently, you can buy his new book through the Sojourners website for the low price of $21.99. Add an extra $3.95 if you want the study guide.
All for the common good, no doubt.
Wallis might respond that he gives his six-figure salary away as charity. Who knows? He’s perfectly free to do that (with the sizeable write-off taken on his taxes), but if that’s the case his decision is made of his own free will — and not at the point of a socialist’s gun.
That’s the ugly reality of the socialism Jim Wallis believes God wants from you. And as the Sojourners’ IRS Form 990s show, selling socialism is good business.