“During a silent retreat at a Carthusian monastery in the high Sierras, I received a vision,” Wallis said in a statement delivered via fax from his hermitage on Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island. “God — as Aslan, the great lion of [C.S.] Lewis’ Naria — appeared to me but he was not alone. He was accompanied by a rabbit — a hare carrying a pocketwatch that was tethered to his waistcoat by a golden chain. Aslan and the Hare invited me to walk with them to Starbucks, but when we arrived, it was a not a chain coffee shop. Rather, it was a traditional Japanese tea house. Aslan spoke to me: ‘Jim you really should try the tea. It’s better for you than your fair trade coffee.’
“As I reached for my the cup of tea on the table in front of me, I awoke, startled, heart racing, covered in sweat,” Wallis continued in his statement, which appeared to have been written with a quill pen and ink. “That’s when I knew: God wants me to join the tea party. I have seen the error of my ways. The Mighty Aslan has spoken loudly and clearly. And I have heeded his call.”
Wallis, 51, has been on sabbatical from Sojourners since January. He was set to return to the 40-year-old organization’s D.C. offices April 9. His unexpected announcement is a complete 180-degree turn from his public statements about the tea party in the past, including a May 2010 post titled, “How Christian is Tea Party Libertarianism?”
In fact, his “unexpected announcement” wasn’t without an explanation: Today is April 1. And, at the risk of disappointing Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, who purportedly released a joint statement in response to the news—It said, simply, “BOOYAH!”—I’m calling this bit of news an April Fool’s joke.
Not a bad one at that.