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August 28, 2013 8:41 am

Christian Century Publisher is a Hypocrite on Racial Justice

avatar by Dexter Van Zile

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The homepage of "The Christian Century." Photo: The Christian Century.

Reverend John M. Buchanan is the editor and publisher of Christian Century, the house organ for mainline Protestantism in the United States. Buchanan has written a moving commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, titled “Remembering the Dream,” which appears on Buchanan’s blog – “Hold to the Good.”

Buchanan, who invokes Amos and Isaiah in his piece, laments that more needs to be done to bring about the justice that MLK summoned from the American people. He writes:

Unemployment and resultant poverty and family dysfunction, educational inequality, street violence all fall heavily on African Americans, as does a deeply ingrained racism which still surfaces regularly in our midst. The best remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. and that amazing day 50 years ago is a recommitment to King’s hope and plea, that America would one day fully live up to its own noblest vision – of a nation where all men and women and children are treated equally everywhere and are free to pursue ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

If Buchanan is truly interested in offering a credible remembrance of MLK’s speech, he should look to the masthead of Christian Century. The masthead includes the name of James M. Wall who served as editor of Christian Century from 1972 to 1999 (with two absences to work on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaigns).

Wall, who is listed as “Contributing Editor,” is now serving as associate editor for Veterans News Now, a magazine that traffics in naked anti-Semitism and has even published an article by David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan.

Wall has simply gone off the deep end by associating with this publication.

Nevertheless, David Heim, the magazine’s executive editor, has defended Wall and his presence on the publication’s masthead.

The Board of Trustees of the Christian Century foundation has refused to step in and remove Wall from the masthead.

Reverend Buchanan, who is editor and publisher of the magazine, also shares responsibility for this outrage. By refusing to act, Buchanan is lending credibility to a hateful agenda that is antithetical to the message of justice and reconciliation that MLK preached in Washington in 1963.

If Buchanan were really serious about attending to matters of racism, he would remove Wall’s name from the masthead of Christian Century.

Until this rank hypocrisy is resolved, neither Buchanan, nor the magazine he publishes, can be taken seriously.

Dexter Van Zile is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

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  • Elliot J. Stamler

    Please do NOT confuse Rev. John M. Buchanan with the Rev. John H. Buchanan, retired Republican member of Congress and a staunch defender of civil liberties, enemy of extremism and a co-founder of People For The American Way. Then Rep. Buchanan was essentially forced out of politics in Alabama when the insane right-wing loonies took control from responsible thoughtful Goldwater conservatives..Rep. Buchanan was and is a Christian minister.

  • Efram Paul

    Buchanan is just your usual Christian liar. He calls for an end to racism on one side of his mouth, while glorifying in racism from the other side. He is your usual Christian bigot, like Carter. Somehow freedom, love, tolerance, justice, concern evaporate when Jews are involved with such anti-Semitic filth.


  • Marty Johnston

    I had seen Veteran’s News Now, and was disgusted by their web site. The allegations that Israel was responsible for 9-11 and all of the world’s ills is nothing more than antisemitism pretending to be antizionism.

    So I did a quick search on Christian Century’s web site, and not only is Wall in their masthead, this page lists him as a senior contributing editor.