God's Politics

God's Politics


Video: Jim Wallis on Tucker Carlson

posted by gp_intern

Also, watch the panel discussion with Pat Buchanan and Peter Fenn that follows Jim’s interview – he and his ideas are mentioned several times:



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jesse

posted February 20, 2007 at 4:06 pm


Democrats aren’t rethinking their views on abortion, as Wallis claims. They’re just talking about it differently. We can tell the difference.



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kevin s.

posted February 20, 2007 at 4:30 pm


Jim Wallis isn’t rethinking his view on abortion either. He just spent three minutes refusing to answer a simple question and pivoting to stale talking points. Now he’s going to talk about how Tucker Carlson only wanted to talk about abortion. Tucker is correct that abortion is part of the orthodoxy of the left. They will raise hell if abortion rights are threatened, and will even filibuster court nominees over the issue. And yet, when it comes to “tax cuts for the rich”, they acquiesce. When it comes to the environment, nary a peep (well, maybe some peeping, but certainly no policy). I think there is a fair question of why Democrats are so willing to fall on their swords over this issue, especially if they think it is a tragedy. Shouldn’t Christian progressives be required to look beyond the abortion issue as well?



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John

posted February 20, 2007 at 4:53 pm


He just spent three minutes refusing to answer a simple question That’s the problem in a nutshell. Even suggesting that abortion is a “simple question” with presumably a “simple solution” completely ends the possibility of any reasonable dialogue as we saw in the interview with Carlson. Unless and until christians of all stripes recognize the complexity and interconnectedness of issues like abortion, poverty, justice, etc. and stop trying to be purists, the endless monotonous chorus of competing monologues will go on.



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jesse

posted February 20, 2007 at 5:12 pm


I love how Wallis states that abortion rights are in the Democratic party’s plank, and “that’s not going to change.” I’m sure he’d be just as accepting of any Republican party plank, as well.For those calling for “common sense solutions” on abortion that everybody agrees on, let me ask you a question…what if all of the policies for reducing abortion are enacted that the Democrats are proposing–what if they lead to a decline of a few thousand abortions a year? Then what? Let’s face it…no one believes any of the proposals being debated will dramatically reduce the abortion rate. Most Republicans are supportive of these policies, btw. There would still be over a million a year, over 3,000 a day. Most Democrats want abortion to be paid for by the federal government. What if they get their way? Research has found that restricting government funds for abortions will reduce the abortion rate. Covering abortion in their health care plans will only increase it.The truth is the only way to dramatically decrease abortions is to pass laws which restrict it. Democrats will do everything in their power to keep democracy from working on this issue, even using it as litmus tests on every judge they appoint.Their extremism on abortion needs to be challenged, and Wallis doesn’t have the guts to do it.



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kevin s.

posted February 20, 2007 at 5:13 pm


I am aware that abortion is a complicated issue, but Tucker’s question was simple. The environment is a complicated issue, but if someone asks me if I want the U.S. to support the Kyoto treaty, I can say “no” without doing a dance.



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ron

posted February 20, 2007 at 5:50 pm


Forget poverty and the environment for the moment. Fundamentalists and evangelicals just ASSUME that the Biblical position on the fetus, from one cell onward, that it is just as “sacred” as a viable adult, and that the non-negotiable-ness of their position is demanded by the Bible. That just ain’t so; it’s B.S.(Exodus 21:22).



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kevin s.

posted February 20, 2007 at 7:09 pm


Ron,First, that verse doesn’t address the issue as conclusively as you claim it does. Second, my reason for opposing abortion is that I think murder is wrong (obviously, the Bible backs me up on this point) and that I see no coherent or logical way of simply deciding that this is okay simply because the person murdered is in the womb. This is certainly the prevalent case against legal abortion, in a nutshell.



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Doug

posted February 20, 2007 at 8:23 pm


why are women getting abortions? Poverty seems to be a big key. If you’re poor then you know that having a baby will likely leave you in poverty for a long period of time. When you’re pregnant, you get a reduction in pay for your time away (unless you are working part time at the walmart in which case you probablly get nothing). Once you have children (if you choose to keep them) the supports are minimal. If you want to see abortion rates go down then you need to address things like poverty and women’s rights. Making it illegal will just send poor young women back to the back allies.



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Catfish N. Cod

posted February 20, 2007 at 9:13 pm


Tucker: “Reverse your party’s position on issue A or I won’t listen to anything you have to say.” Wallis: “We’ve managed to get the party moving away from extremism on issue A. Can we work on B, C, D, E, and F now?” Tucker: “Reverse your party’s position on issue A or I won’t listen to anything you have to say.” ….what exactly has been accomplished here by Tucker’s stance? Wouldn’t it make more sense to say, “Okay, I can work some on B now. But before we go to C I want to see more progress on A.” Litmus tests are a very, very very old thing in Christianity. The usual results were purges, persecutions, and schisms. Very little in the way of positive results ever occurred, and those positive results that did were usually accidents (or perhaps acts of the Spirit) having nothing to do with the original disagreements.What exactly do you gain in insisting on a ban that will not have broad support in our lifetimes? How many more fetuses were aborted because your party refused pragmatism in favor of principle?



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Gary Schrag

posted February 21, 2007 at 3:25 am


Jim, Admitedly I don’t watch Tucker often, and the reason I don’t is that when Tucker doesn’t like the point that is being made by his guest he interrupts. You did an excellent job of “keeping on message.” Congratulations! Who isn’t opposed to abortion. I certainly am, but there is no way that we will get to where we want to be as a culture by simply passing a law to ban abortion. It is simply bad public policy. The one thing we can agree on is that we want to reduce the number of abortions as quickly as we can. We could do that if those that label themselves as pro-life would let truly work for all life. As long as it remains a political football we will not make progress. What is the backup plan to responsibly deal with the unintended consequenses of simply banning abortions? We need to build an infrastucture to deal with the massive number of unwanted babies that will result, the vast number of children born to parents incapable of caring for them, the desperate people who will seek out illegal abortions, and too many other things that are going to arise if we do not work this through over a long period of time while we devote ourselves to reducing the number of abortions. As far as Tucker’s focus on partial birth abortion, we could already have a ban by inserting the phrase, including the health of the mother. That has gap that some will choose to drive through, but it could be the first step toward closing the gap. I have not addressed the matter of who do we really want included in the decision making process of this very difficult and agonizing matter, but that may be something that can be discussed at another time. Gary



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kevin s.

posted February 21, 2007 at 3:46 am


“As far as Tucker’s focus on partial birth abortion, we could already have a ban by inserting the phrase, including the health of the mother.” Are there any documented circumstances of a mother’s health necessitating a baby be partially birthed, and then killed? If no, then any question of the mother’s health is somewhat misleading, is it not?”It is simply bad public policy.” So simple that you apparently don’t need any supporting logic. I think bad policy permits the murder of individuals who cannot speak for themselves. You can argue the merits of that statement, but it is far from simple.”We need to build an infrastucture to deal with the massive number of unwanted babies that will result,” You are aware, are you not, that adoption in this country is expensive, bureaucratic and rare? A simple fix to the problem is to lower to costs of adoption (which can exceed $10,000), and remove the bureaucratic system that is currently tenable only because demand exceeds supply. “I have not addressed the matter of who do we really want included in the decision making process of this very difficult and agonizing matter, but that may be something that can be discussed at another time.” Perhaps it can be discussed now, since you already brought it up. Right now, those legally included in the decision making process are a scared pregnant women and an abortion doctor who stands to profit from her abortion. Assuming you are a progressive (correct me if I am wrong), you have no problem with government telling me what energy sources I must subsidize, which vaccines I must have administered to my children, which schools I must support with my money, etc…But when it comes to the protection of human life, government has no say in the decision? That doesn’t really make sense. From a purely libertarian point of view, perhaps, but you are simply inconsistent.



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Gary Schrag

posted February 21, 2007 at 4:35 am


Kevin, I do not know Kevin about documenting the circumstances regarding the health of the mother. You imply that you know the answer. My understanding is that there are circumstances where it can affect the health of the mother. I do not want an impersonal law to dictate the decisions made at such a time. There will be some who abuse this, but most will not. My understanding is that these account for a very some number. But it does make political points that the right wing does not want to release. I did not say the matter is simple, in fact the whole point of my comments is that this is a very complicated difficult matter that cannot be solved with a law. That is what you want to do. Make abortion illegal, problem solved. I am suggesting that such an act done without the infrastructure needed will result in matters for which we must prepare ourselves. Concerning your point about adoption. Your statement supports my contention that we need to work on matters such as this. As with all major decisions this must be carefully thought through I am the father of two children that we adopted, so I know something about it. One a daughter that had been abused by her mother and shuttled around to foster homes. She was 10 when she came to us. Life has been and is still very difficult for her. The other a son adopted as an infant. Very different outcome. He is a very delightful young man with a great family. Regarding who is included in the decision making process: Again we need to work on this. Whether legally or not as a pastor I have been very much involved in the process. A law would preclude this option as there would be nothing to discuss, which also has serious consequences. Whether or not I am a progressive. I don’t think that labels apply to me very well. I grew up as a Taft Republican (I’m really old). Taft was considered a conservative then, the Republican party originated Equal Rights Amendment, I could go on, but suffice it to say what passes for conservative and Republican today is quite different. I consider myself a disciple of Jesus trying to be faithful with the aid of the Holy Spirit. For the discussion on very difficult decisions I am looking for an atmosphere where discusssions can occur that reflect the Spirit within amd among us. Denegration of those who disagree with us is done by all of us in our worst times and not the vision that Jesus had for us. It appears that we all want the government involved in some things, not always the same things. That is democracy and when discussions are not possible democracies die. Kevin, I have read enough of your submissions to know that we will disagree on a lot of things. I sometimes feel that there a those who do not want to hear my views. Take a lesson from the Apostle Paul who gave us much of the New Testament because there were severe differences in the Church. He even called some of his opponents “dogs” but rejoiced that Christ was being preached and he didn’t break fellowship with them. He also worried about how other Christians thought of him as is evidenced by II Corinthian. That is probably enought for tonight.Grace and Peace, Gary



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jesse

posted February 21, 2007 at 4:51 am


Gary, You must know that the “health of mother” exception for the partial birth abortion “ban” includes “emotional health” and is basically meaningless. One abortionist who performed many of them came forward in the NY Times and said he “lied through (his) teeth” about it being medically necessary.Of course, those who oppose making abortion illegal for all the problems it might bring should note the fact that illegitimacy INCREASED once abortion was legalized. Abortion rates also increased with each year it was legal (up until about 1980). Law affects culture, too.



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Barbara

posted February 21, 2007 at 8:13 pm


I love it how all you men get to speak on the subject of abortion. If it were your bodies (need I say anymore). Are Christians/Evangelicals against the death sentence, are they against WAR (with a capital W), etc.? Bring them into the world, starve them to death by the age of 5 or send them off to war by the age of 18 to be killed (need I say more). It is hypocritical. When you have the religious right sayng no to birth control, condoms, etc., because they try to tell people what to do in the bedroom, wake up, people are having sex!!!!! So you educate, you inform people, you allow them birth control, condoms, etc. and abortion rates would go down. You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. Such puritans while speaking, but behind your backs there all doing something else. Instead of looking at gay marriage, why don’t you look at your own marriages. Most divorces occur in the RED STATES. I am so sick and tired of this stuff being shoved at me. The christian right has turned people off to the true meaning of Jesus. Don’t get me started on all the commercials about VIAGRA!!! That’s ok with you guys though, isn’t it. It is such crap and the hypocracy that comes out of the religious rights mouths is sickening, hateful and bigotry. IT IS CALLED SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Our country was never declared a Christian nation, read your history and educate yourself. And please don’t quote scripture.



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kevin s.

posted February 21, 2007 at 9:43 pm


“I love it how all you men get to speak on the subject of abortion. If it were your bodies (need I say anymore). ” Well, my wife is opposed to legal abortion as well, and I would still be even if it were my body. We do not have two governments, one for men and one for women. Women get to vote about things men do and vice versa. “Are Christians/Evangelicals against the death sentence” I am, and many others are, but a case can be made that we treat murderers differently from babies. I’d be opposed to imprisoning newborns, but i have no problem jailing 30 year old criminals.”Bring them into the world, starve them to death by the age of 5 or send them off to war by the age of 18 to be killed (need I say more).” Well, if we starve them to death, then we can’t send them off to war. Actually, obesity is a bigger problem among poor children, and I am for taking active steps to remedy that fact. “When you have the religious right sayng no to birth control, condoms, etc.,” My wife and I use birth control, as do most of the couples we know who are Christian (except those wanting to have kids, of course). The question of issuing contraceptives is one of whether that reinforces an ethos that having sex is an early age is normal, and whether abstinence training can combat this ethos. As it stands, I think the two sides are forging reasonable compromises between the two messages. “Such puritans while speaking, but behind your backs there all doing something else” There are plenty of consistent folks encouraging people to wait until marriage. I was one, and I know of many others. I don’t know of anyone who is arguing on behalf of puritanism. “Instead of looking at gay marriage, why don’t you look at your own marriage.” I’m happy in mine. “Most divorces occur in the RED STATES.” Most marriages occur in red states, so it stands to reason.”The christian right has turned people off to the true meaning of Jesus.” What, in your opinion, is the true meaning of Jesus? “Don’t get me started on all the commercials about VIAGRA!!! That’s ok with you guys though, isn’t it. It is such crap and the hypocracy that comes out of the religious rights mouths is sickening, hateful and bigotry. ” I’m not sure what Viagra has to do with sickening, hateful bigotry. Can you unpack this a little? But seriously, why is it hypocritical to be unopposed to the use of Viagra?”Our country was never declared a Christian nation, read your history and educate yourself.” No, but we have to have some agreed upon moral code, Christian or otherwise, upon which to frame our laws. For me, you cannot logically extricate the need to protect innocent life from the need to protect innocent life in the womb, Bible or no Bible. “And please don’t quote scripture.” Okey-dokey…



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Mark P

posted February 22, 2007 at 8:09 pm


Can someone please explain this whole “abortion is a tragedy but shouldn’t be outlawed” business? Two option for a fetus in question. Either he/she/it IS a person or he/she/it ISN’T a person. IF the fetus is a person, he/she merits the full protection of the law and the preservation of his/her Constitutional and natural right to life. IF the fetus is a person, abortion then truly is murder and should be considered as such. If the fetus is a person, there is NO excuse for not overturning Roe v Wade. However. IF the fetus is NOT a person, WHERE IS THE TRAGEDY? IF it is just a lump of attached cells without personhood, WHY is it a tragedy? We remove warts all the time. There is no tragedy, then, and what motivation is left to care whether abortions happen or don’t happen? I’m not seeing this middle ground. If the fetus is a person, ban the damn thing. Otherwise, why fret over more or less of this medical procedure to remove bothersome cells? “I love it how all you men get to speak on the subject of abortion. If it were your bodies (need I say anymore).” “I love how all you Northerners get to speak on the subject of slavery. If it were your plantations (need I say anymore).” Look. IF a fetus is a PERSON, it doesn’t matter if it’s your body, my body, the body of a rock god… it doesn’t matter; the baby merits legal protection, and the preservation of his/her Constitutional and God-given right to life. Whose body it’s in has nothing to do with it; whether or not the fetus is a person has EVERYTHING to do with it.



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kevin s.

posted February 22, 2007 at 9:25 pm


“Can someone please explain this whole “abortion is a tragedy but shouldn’t be outlawed” business?” I think the pro-choice movement typically executes one of two strategies in advocating what is essentially an untenable position. The first is to muddle the issue as much as possible by introducing irrelevant rhetoric (“safe, legal, and rare”, “dangerous corners” etc…) that sound rational but do nothing to address the ethicl issue raised by the procedure. The second is to ignore the logic of the issue, and resort to ad hominems (“get your laws out of my uterus”, “your Bible, my body” etc…)The tact preferred here is to say that we can reduce the number of abortions by advocating policies that increase funding for health care. This does not address the ethical concerns of abortion either, and have an added bonus of being completely unprovable and, therefore, impossible to disprove as well.



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Kevin K (yet another Kevin)

posted February 22, 2007 at 11:20 pm


When folks start understanding and addressing the causes instead of the symptoms (abortion!), the affects of the abortion problem, like so many others, may have a flying chance of being mitigated. Any other “solutions” are simply eyewash.



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Mark P

posted February 23, 2007 at 12:41 am


I also confess that telling people who believe abortion has killed 40 million people in the United States the last thirty years that they should compromise to find a more tenable position is absurd in the extreme…. or that they should overlook the 40 million dead image-bearers and instead focus on poverty… Just insane. If the fetus is just a lump of cells, fine… but don’t go telling people who believe 40 million have died that they should either (a) compromise or (b) focus their attention somewhere. To the truly pro-life individual, it’s like telling Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn that he should stop focusing on Stalinist death camps in “The Gulag Archipelago” and instead think about the Soviet poor or learn to compromise with Josef Stalin to reduce the number of condemn individuals. It’s nuts, and should the historical concensus conclude in a hundred years that aborted babies were in fact people, the Jim Wallis’ of the world who advocated compromise will be the new Neville Chamberlains… except actively worse.



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Jackie Henry

posted February 28, 2007 at 3:51 pm


It’s not a matter of one party or another “rethinking their stand on abortion, it’s time to consider the reasons. If a women is going to die, if she has been raped should the government have the right to make that choice for her? I hear a lot of men debating the right of abortion, but they are not the ones who carry the child. I see the government and insurance companies deny payment for birth control pills, even if it being used to control a physical disorder such a polycistic ovarian syndrome which can ultimatly cause early death in women either with cancer, heart problems, diabetes,and other serious issues which insurance covers the costs. There stance is that pregnancy is avoidable. They do however cover the cost of mediation for erectile dysfunction because it is a “medical’ problem. This would decrease pregnancy so maybe it should not be considered medically necessary. The drug companies put on offensive commericals about which one to use so you can chose you moment of passion. In government this is a male dominated discussion without any thought as to how it affects women, or any compassion for how it affects women, using religion as their right to make the choice and never considering the cost of not considering who they are disregarding. Religion and politics were never met to mix that is why in Duetormony Moses wrote civil law, moral law and religious law, even he knew as he wandered the desert for 40 years listening to what God was telling him that civil and religious law don’t alway mix but that moral law was supposed, “supposed” to guide us as we make choices in both and religious life and civil life. Above all we are supposed to love one another as we would love ourselves, instead we make women become criminals and go to jail. I personally could not have an abortion, my first child died at birth and my daughter who has polycistic ovarian syndrome has had two premie babies who by the grace of God have survived and doing well but she nearly died twice and Isaac who weighed 1lb 1oz and was 11 inches long still has along ways to go, so far God has blessed us as he did Abraham when he took Isaac to be sacrificed and given us back our baby each time he was at the brink death but I saw to many times in that nursery the struggle without the grace of good results and I have grieved myself and my heart broke for each of those women, so when the men in this government make our choices for us it as wrong as not respecting the miracle of life.



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