In what serves as a metaphor for the shocking biblical illiteracy of the “religious left,” Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, in his opposition to free expression of opinion against Islamic jihad, issued the following written statement in the form of a press release Sept. 26:
“The second of the Ten Commandments is ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’” he was quoted as saying. “It didn’t come with stipulations. It didn’t come with extra addendums, with added qualifiers. Christians around the world need to put that into action as often as we can, especially where we see hatred like this.”
The “hatred like this” he was referring to was an ad campaign running in the New York subway system that made the following statement: “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
A few points here for the deeply misguided and morally confused Mr. Wallis:
- The second of the Ten Commandments has nothing to do with loving one’s neighbor, as any Sunday School child should be able to tell you. It is “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (KJV). Now, how does a so-called “Christian minister” make a mistake like that? Is it stupidity? Is it deliberate distortion? In fact, the statement Wallis suggested was the second of the Ten Commandments is not to be found in any version of the Ten Commandments. Rather, he is confusing the Ten Commandments with another question altogether, asked in Matthew 22 of Jesus/Yeshua by one of the Pharisees: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Yeshua answered him: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Maybe Wallis meant to say, “The second greatest commandment is love they neighbor as thyself.” But he didn’t say that. Wallis, who claims to be a minister of the Gospel actually misquoted the Ten Commandments in writing – and, as far as I know, has not corrected himself. (Correction: A spokeswoman for Jim Wallis contacted WND to say the misquoted biblical reference was corrected an hour after initially issued). By the way, Yeshua wasn’t saying anything revolutionary and new here. He was quoting the Torah as He nearly always did, in this case, Leviticus 19:18.
- Now, more to the substantive point Wallis appears to be making: Apparently, he believes criticizing violence, brutality, savagery and barbarism – not to mention false religions – is a violation of the commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Does that make sense to anyone? That is one of the most non-coherent arguments I have ever heard. Yeshua Himself condemned violence, brutality, savagery, barbarism and false religions. Was He violating His own commandment when He did that? In fact, Wallis calls the denunciation of violence, brutality, savagery and barbarism in the name of Islam “hatred.” This kind of reasoning is the product of a twisted mind and tortured soul.
- Lastly, Wallis is not only turning biblical morality on its head with his confusion of loving one’s neighbor with tolerance of sin, he is also doing something here that is quite un-American. He is attacking the constitutionally protected, God-given, inalienable right of free speech by attacking a judge’s ruling supporting it.
But that’s what we have come to expect from the religious left and Jim Wallis.