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God's Politics

Video: Jim Wallis Announces Candidates Forum on Larry King

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posted May 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Rev. Wallis, A little off topic here but re the King Show last night, I thought you made another excellent appearance. I personally thought Barry Lynn stood out among all of you, however. You didn t directly respond to his most insightful comment: LYNN: people don’t want their politicians acting like they’re resolving these issues on the basis even of the Holy Scripture, which 80 percent of Americans claim is their holy scripture. They want reason, God given or otherwise, to play a role in deciding the most contentious issues of our time. You gave an evasive respone here, Jim, and that s surprising since you ve visited so many different places around the country. Lynn was once again right on target in reasserting the importance of this issue when he talked about Edwards addressing the moral leader question at the Democratic debates: LYNN: I think it’s reasonable for someone to ponder, as John Edwards did, and to say this is why the lord means something to me, but, also, be clear, as John Edwards frequently is, that he knows that his personal religious beliefs cannot trump the values of the constitution, cannot trump the commonly shared values that all of us have as Americans. When he speaks personally, he says I’m speaking personally. I think Lynn makes a great point about the kind of person of faith voters want to see. There s a clear difference between Obama and Edwards, for instance. Edwards lets his authenticity flow more naturally whereas Obama s authenticity is enhanced by his vibrant and engaging presence. Obama articulates his faith very well, but he maintains a tough posterior sometimes almost too business like. He often conjoins a new moral vision with metaphors and analogies about past spiritual social movements. He s very good at this and that s what I like about him. He s like a rock star they say. This doesn t necessarily mean he s endeared himself to the public. It means he s got a powerful image and speaks sternly about his convictions, which is very admirable. And let me say I definitely believe we need this kind of leadership in our next president. But, in my opinion, voters are drawn to more than enthusiasm. They can learn various history lessons and identify with whichever spiritual movement they wish, along the way. My point is that we ought not forget what ultimately ingratiates a candidate to the voters, which brings me to Edwards. Edwards is quickly appearing more wholesome than any other candidate, in the eyes of the public. There s a sense of openness and vulnerability about Edwards and it s clear that he wants to take all of us along with him in a kind of shared spiritual awakening. My question to you is: even though we re going through a social paradigm shift in society, isn t it more important for the public to experience this change organically, together, with the example someone like Edwards is setting? I agree that we should draw on past examples such as the Civil Right s Movement to help guide our moral compasses today. But the touch of spontaneous sincerity in Edwards is something I don t think Obama has yet to hone in on. And this is ultimately what I believe voters will connect with and be inspired by.

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God's Politics Moderator

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:44 pm

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: which includes: Courtesy and Respect: You agree that you will be courteous to every Beliefnet member, even those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person’s ideas, not about them personally. You agree not to make negative personal remarks about other Beliefnet members. You agree not to engage in derogatory name-calling, including calling anyone evil, a liar, Satanic, demonic, antichrist, a Nazi, or other inflammatory comparisons. Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions. Disruptive behavior may include creating a disproportionate number of posts or discussions to disrupt conversation; creating off-topic posts; making statements that are deliberately inflammatory; expanding a disagreement from one discussion to another; or any behavior that interferes with conversations or inhibits the ability of others to use and enjoy this website for its intended purposes. Vulgarity: You agree not to display words, information, or images that are vulgar, obscene, graphically violent, graphically sexual, harm minors in any way, exploit images of children, or are otherwise objectionable. Copying Content: Beliefnet discussions are intended for interactive conversation; members are encouraged to express their own ideas in their own words, not to parrot the words of others. You agree not to create posts that consist substantially of material copied from another source. Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to:

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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 11:52 pm

I expect Wallis’ post on Falwell to be short and sweet. I don’t think he lacks decorum. If you want the vulgar response, take a look at what the nasties at Dailykos have to say. As much as I disagree with the Christian left, they can’t hold a fire to some of their secular counterparts. Absolutely bananas.

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posted May 16, 2007 at 12:53 am

Thank you Sojourners for continuing to do an awesome job! Thanks for all you do to communicate Christian values in a fresh, compassionate, and reconciling manner. Thanks for opening up the conversation.

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posted May 16, 2007 at 5:54 am

Kevin S.–Why did you make the comment you did above? I ask because I see the Moderator visited this thread, and I was wondering if you were responding to the Moderator. Or were you responding to something you saw before the Moderator removed it? I am curious, because every time the Moderator visits, I wonder whether s/he thought people were being rude, or whether there were rude comments that the Moderator removed, or whether it is just a routine visit to check that people are remaining civil.

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posted May 16, 2007 at 6:06 am

Squeaky, I actually made a comment at the top that was removed (that Kevin was responding to). I was basically imploring Sojo to either say nothing about Falwell or at least not say anything that is distasteful. It is a little bizarre that this comment was removed!

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Mike Hayes

posted May 16, 2007 at 2:30 pm

I thought the exchange of views on Larry King was very informative. I also think this sequence of comments about that exchange illustrates the greater value of blocking of comments prior to posting, instead of removal after comments have already been posted. There are rules of conduct, but when those rules are violated and a comment is removed after the fact, trying to understand other comments does become confusing. Maybe the result will be that we will all be more thoughtful about what we post. I think pre-moderation would be better, but I appreciate the effort that is now being made to expect some level of compliance with the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct.

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posted May 16, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Mike, Debate on this blog happens all hours of the day…having people wait hours (or even days) for their comments to be screened and then appear would make debate impossible.

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Steven Riggs

posted May 16, 2007 at 8:43 pm

In my opinion, it is incomplete and unfair to not include candidate Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico. I understand he is not the frontrunner right now, but he is a valid and most experienced foreign affairs candidate and gaining ground. Rev. Wallis mentioned Darfur. Plus, Gov. Richardson could be on anyone’s list for Vice President considering his strong background. It just makes sense to not exclude him.

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kevin s.

posted May 16, 2007 at 10:52 pm

“Kevin S.–Why did you make the comment you did above?” Yeah. The moderator sort of left me in the lurch there.

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