God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Deep in the Heart of Texas

posted by gp_editor

A Baptist church rooted deep in the heart of Red-State, Bible-Belt America might not be the place you’d expect to see people of faith rallying behind a Christian social justice agenda.
Last week I spoke at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, just miles from President Bush’s home congregation, Highland Park Methodist Church. More than 1,000 faith-inspired activists filled the pews.
I spoke to the group at the invitation of the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), an organization offering an alternative voice to the Religious Right since 1995 in a state where conservative religious operatives have dominated the public square for decades. In 12 short years, TFN’s membership has grown to include 26,000 religious and community leaders.
Often my most encouraging moments on the road take place at the book-signing table immediately following my speaking engagements. That’s when I get to meet people who most deeply resonate with the message. Among them:
• A young hipster in beat-up jeans and a white V-neck T-shirt approached me after the event. He explained how he abandoned his faith while coming to grips with his fundamentalist Southern Baptist upbringing. “Something just didn’t ring true about all that,” he said, “but your book helped bring me back to faith.”
• A beaming middle-aged man with a cadenced Texan twang thanked me for “getting him off of his retired butt” to embrace involvement in the movement.
• A 15-passenger van of 20-something Baylor University students – who drove more than 100 miles for the event – included two impressive Latino women who really inspired me with their passion and vision to transform their communities from the ground up.
Events like these continue to show how much has changed in just a few years. It’s no longer presumed that when Christians speak publicly about moral values, they’re mainly trumpeting two hot-button issues that once defined evangelical involvement in politics. Instead, overcoming poverty, challenging the logic of endless war for purposes of national security, and responsibly stewarding God’s creation are becoming foundational moral commitments to a whole new generation.
Something is happening in the heartland. The spirit is moving. A movement is growing. People are increasingly pursuing social justice as an authentic expression of their faith. I believe that a new “Great Awakening” is close at hand. Even deep in the heart of Texas.



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Wolverine

posted July 31, 2007 at 10:29 am


Texas is (as Texans themselves like to point out) a pretty big state. So I’m not completely shocked to discover that there are at least 1000 lefties.
I’ll bet you’ll find even more in Austin!
Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted July 31, 2007 at 10:41 am


This group’s principle victories include defeating vouchers and passing hate crimes legislation that provides for the death penalty for those who murder out of hatred of women or homosexuals.
The group’s present efforts include efforts to federally fund embryonic stem cell research, eliminate charter schools, allow gay adoption, and forbidding organized prayer in schools.
Naturally, there is not mention of God in the ‘about’ section.
That is textbook leftism. If the religious right is obsessed with only two “hot button” issues, how do you reconcile the efforts of this group to “counter the religious right” on such a broad swath of issues?



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henk

posted July 31, 2007 at 10:50 am


“two impressive Latino women who really inspired me with their passion and vision to transform their communities from the ground up”
Can you tell me more about them? Weblog?
I am a reborn christian from holland and try to build something up here but don’t know how. Have some experience with squatting.
http://www.antenna.nl/anaisnin/anais.htm



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Eric

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:03 am


Thanks for making us aware of this Kevin.
I was going to take Jim’s word for it that this was simply a group of left-of-center Christians joining together to take action in their local communities to help the poor, ensure justice for those who can’t help themselves, work for affordable housing, and support local candidates that share these goals.
Instead it looks like their only purpose for being is to oppose anything right-of-center Christians (and non-Christians) support. They even say they oppose allowing local school districts to have more control over class size, curriculum, and other essentials of teaching. I wonder where they get the justification for this position from Christ’s teaching.
In fact, they don’t justify any of the positions they’ve taken based on scripture and don’t mention Christ or God in any of their materials. That’s quite strange for a group made up of Christians who believe they are doing the Lord’s work.
Check it out for yourselves: http://www.tfn.org/



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Stephen Wright

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:18 am


I don’t think Mr. Wallis claimed that TFN was a “Christian organization” or that they claimed to do the “Lord’s work”. I think he mentioned that some of their increased membership included “religious and community leaders”. HE also stated that this took place in a church and that many of the congregants were Christians.
All Christians, at one time of another, have joined forced with others of different-minded spiritual views for a common cause. How many Christians have stood alongside a Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist to oppose the Iraq War?
Keep in mind that the body of Christ is diverse. All of the issues that Kevin mentions have Christians on both sides of them, and I can say that as a Christian from Texas, I’m very proud of many of the issues that TFN fights for.



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Moderatelad

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:20 am


Often my most encouraging moments on the road take place at the book-signing table immediately following my speaking engagements.
It would be an encourgaing moment for anyone seeing all those books being sold and all that money going in the bank.
In 12 short years, TFN’s membership has grown to include 26,000 religious and community leaders.
OK – lets define religious and community leaders. Just because they are attending a church and living in community like most of us – does not make them a leader. (98 denominational leaders out of over 7000 registered denominations in the US alone and several of the 98 were from the same denomination or were mega-church pastors and not leaders in the denomination)
Again you create the ‘us vs. them’. You’re correct and we, the others, are wrong. Can you ever write an article that celebrates your accomplishments or activities without using those who you do not agree with to blast in an atempt to bolster your image? The more I read what you write the more it causes me to either stay where I am or to become more conservative on some issues. Your issues are compelling and need to be delt with – your style of writing and the delivery of your message slaps me in the face and causes me to step away.
I am a 3rd of the way through your book – not sure I can muster up the motivation to finish it.
Slapped in MN.
Have a blessed day.
.



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Don

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:46 am


Kevin S:
Do you have sources for your accusations?
D



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kevin s.

posted July 31, 2007 at 12:17 pm


Don,
Their website, which says the following.
On religious freedom…
“Texas Freedom Network Education Fund studied “charitable choice” in Texas and released a report on the program in 2002. TFNEF found a program that allowed tax dollars to fund religious activities and buy program supplies like Bibles and violated the religious freedom of people in need.”
Heavens? Distributing Bibles to the poor? That would have had the prophets on the lawn of the Governor’s mansion. Or not.
On vouchers, gay adoption, stem cell research (from their newsletter):
“Members lobbied against private school vouchers and efforts to
ban foster parenting by gay and lesbian families, and for stem cell research, responsible sex education and religious freedom.”
On hate crimes legislation:
“The Texas Freedom Network proudly worked in 2001 for the successful passage of a strong state law that increased penalties for hate crimes.”
On charter schools:
“Promising innovation and student achievement, the Legislature created charter schools in 1995 as an experiment in deregulating and privatizing public schools. Instead, the number of academically and financially failing charter schools has far outpaced the number of successful, stable charter schools. ”
The about section can be found here…
http://www.tfn.org/aboutus/



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Greg Johnson

posted July 31, 2007 at 12:20 pm


This is great news! Thanks for making a difference in our day.
Greg Johnson
Founding Pastor
Loving God Fellowship
http://www.GAJohnson.org



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Eric

posted July 31, 2007 at 12:59 pm


Stephen – It looks like you’re right. This group isn’t a Christian group or even a more general faith-based group at all. It’s a liberal activist group that Jim spoke to that happens to have some “people of faith” as members.
I must have gotten the wrong impression when Jim wrote that “Something is happening in the heartland. The spirit is moving. A movement is growing. People are increasingly pursuing social justice as an authentic expression of their faith. I believe that a new ‘Great Awakening’ is close at hand.”
I incorrectly assumed he meant the Holy Spirit and the Christian faith when he spoke of the “spirit” and “faith.” And I assumed he was referring to a Christian “awakening” when he alluded to the Great Awakening. It sounds like he just meant people’s spirits were moving, they are pursuing social justice because of faith in something, and it’s really just a political awakening. I assumed it was something with greater meaning than liberals organizing against conservatives.



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kevin s.

posted July 31, 2007 at 1:05 pm


” I assumed it was something with greater meaning than liberals organizing against conservatives.”
Silly rabbit.



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Stephen Wright

posted July 31, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Eric — Right. So, at worst this article is not deceptive, but rather open to misinterpretation or different points of view.
I think it’s too easy to write off God moving in something just because all of its members aren’t Christians. Sure, the positions TFN advocates can be debated as “Christlike” policies…and without going into each issue that Kevin mentioned (another post perhaps?)you will find Christians on all sides (for example, the argument can be made that a strict separation of chruch and state benefits both the church and the state..how might you feel if your government was using tax dollars to fund Qurans for the poor?).
But back to “the awakening”…let’s say for example that a coalition of Christian and non-Christian groups combined (as they are now doing) to stop the genocide in Darfur and Eastern Chad. If the genocide ended, most of us reading this would truly praise God. This miraculous work would not be negated simply because many who fought for the similar goal are not believers.
Notice the point of the article…the main idea isn’t that TFN is awesome and groups that oppose it are not. The point is that people are coming to and growing in Christ as a result of their social justice work with TFN. THese are people who have been shunned or turned off by groups that have an opposite viewpoint. And they are doing so because progressive Christians and secular groups are taking up issues that they feel are important and bringing them closer to Christ. If you feel that strict adherence to Conservative, Southern Baptist-type philosophies are Christ’ way, then great…here in Texas, there are many groups that feel similarly (both Christian and non) and you will no doubt be ministered to. But, if you don’t share that viewpoint, then there are groups (again, Christian and non) such as TFN that will also “minister” to you. It’s a win-win and God is too big for us to assume that we can’t find Christ in non-Christian groups, people, etc.



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kevin s.

posted July 31, 2007 at 2:48 pm


“But back to “the awakening”…let’s say for example that a coalition of Christian and non-Christian groups combined (as they are now doing) to stop the genocide in Darfur and Eastern Chad.”
Or, say, the distribution of Bibles to the poor… Okay, I’ll stop, but that’s the point. Christians rallying around the defeat of a profound injustice is compelling. Christians having differing opinions about the effective of charter schools??? Certainly compelling to teacher’s unions, but does opposition to school privatiziation really constitute prophecy?
“Notice the point of the article…the main idea isn’t that TFN is awesome and groups that oppose it are not.”
I think that is very much the point. People are rejecting big, bad “conservative religious operatives” in favor of good, old fashioned, um, “liberal less-religious operatives”. I see no evidence in this article that people are growing in Christ (which is sad when this event is held in a church).
If I told you that my church had Chuck Colson give a talk on politics, and that his talk caused many to spiritual awakenings by way of reject liberal policies, would you be excited about that? Maybe you would, if you believe that political participation is inherently a good thing, but is that really what this article is getting at?
“But, if you don’t share that viewpoint, then there are groups (again, Christian and non) such as TFN that will also “minister” to you”
What you seem to be suggesting is that it doesn’t matter whether the group is Christian or not, because they can minister to you either way. Isn’t that antithetical to Wallis’ purported mission to demonstrate that the left doesn’t get it insofar as they embrace secularism?
I am not arguing that the TFN shouldn’t exist (misguided as they may be), but rather I am wondering how they represent a manifestation of “God’s Politics”.



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Moderatelad

posted July 31, 2007 at 2:51 pm


Something is happening in the heartland. The spirit is moving. A movement is growing. People are increasingly pursuing social justice as an authentic expression of their faith. I believe that a new “Great Awakening” is close at hand. Even deep in the heart of Texas.
I sorry – there has always been something happening in the heartland – the church has been there in the past when people need assistance and they will be there long after Sojo is a fond memory. Social justice has been happening all along in small towns and large cities all around the nation and the world. I wish Wallis and Co. would realize that they could be part of a great work or awakening rathe than ‘the’ awakening. There will be a greater awakening the likes of the world has never seen in the past few centuries. It will, I believe, come out of Africa and will cause many to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It will bring many organizations that are doing ‘kingdon work’ to do more and coordinate with others so that all will hear that Christ died for their sins too. With the ‘lone ranger’ attitude of Sojo and Co. – I do not see them being a part of it as they take a lot of print space blasting the very organizations that could be working with them in several areas. How sad. Please excuse me – I am going to take out my Hymnal now and read some of the hymns that talk about God’s provision and guidance to lift my spirit to do more for my fellow man – something that I for the most part do not get here.
Blessings on all –
.



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jesse

posted July 31, 2007 at 4:27 pm


I think Kevin’s hypothetical about Chuck Colson is worth pondering. How would people on the left here feel about a speaker promoting conservative politics at a church event?
It makes me uncomfortable to see this sort of political event at a church, and I hope to never be involved with a church that invites Wallis or any of his conservative counterparts to give these types of political speeches.
I’ve also seen about 20 versions of these self-congratulatory articles written by Wallis. It’s kind of getting old.



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Asinus Gravis

posted July 31, 2007 at 5:04 pm


Clearly most of the commentators on this blog were not at the Wilshire Baptist Church to hear Jim Wallis. I was. It was a religious, an evangelical Christian talk that was enthusiastically received by a highly varied audience composed of all ages and races.
It could be called “liberal” only in the sense that it encompassed the full range of the gospels and prophets. Those key Christian documents are overwhelmingly focused on the responsibilities of each of us and of our leaders–religious and political–to care for the poor, the sick, the homeless, the imprisoned, the aliens, the needy of all sorts. Jesus told us that when we do that for those in need we have done it to Him. And if we fail to do it to them–whatever else we have done or failed to have done–we can have no part in his kingdom.
Now what part of Matthew 25:31-46 is it that is unclear to you? It is certainly not politically “conservative” or religiously “conservative.” Neither is it politically “liberal” or religiously “liberal.” It is simply the heart of the Gospel. Obviously, a number of you have rejected it, and are striking out in anger at an outstanding evangelical that frequently reminds all of us of that Gospel.
Jesus had his run-ins with the leaders and spokesmen of the religious and political status quo in his day too. Some of them are still rejecting his message.



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Anonymous

posted July 31, 2007 at 5:28 pm


I’m starting to believe that some individuals read this blog just to knock Rev. Wallis.
I believe that if he said the sky was blue, there would be criticism for that.
God’s Politics made a profound impact in my life, and if you read it- you will know that God is not a liberal OR a conservative.
It saddens me that people have nothing better to do than slam Wallis.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 31, 2007 at 5:36 pm


I wish Wallis and Co. would realize that they could be part of a great work or awakening rather than ‘the’ awakening.
The “awakening” is going to take different paths depending on the specific context. So I think his statements are legitimate.
I do not see them being a part of it as they take a lot of print space blasting the very organizations that could be working with them in several areas.
BTW, Sojourners has been around a lot longer than virtually all of the ideologically “conservative” groups which still reject those who don’t agree with them. Put another way, they would already have been working together if that’s what the conservatives want, but they don’t. They want to set the agenda, which often has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God.



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Glen Asbury

posted July 31, 2007 at 5:45 pm


I was in the audience when Jim Wallis spoke at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana about 5 weeks ago. Although I am a right-leaning Republican, it was easy to sense Jim’s passion for people, for God and for justice.
HOWEVER…(you probably sensed that coming), I am quite troubled by this association with TFN. As others have stated, had I simply read Jim’s post, I wouldn’t have seen anything that would have worried me, but after investigating the issues that TFN sees fit to sponsor, I felt differently.
I am especially bothered by TFN’s opposition to Teen Challenge and their efforts. I understand that no organization functions perfectly, but Teen Challenge has a decades-long history of truly life-changing ministry. I suppose, realistically, that this is where my kneejerk conservatism shows its head: I cannot see how government intervention and forced adherence to regulations necessarily improve on an already proven track record.
I know I may be accused of oversimplifying the issue, but that’s how I see it.



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jesse

posted July 31, 2007 at 5:54 pm


I’ve also seen about 20 versions of these self-congratulatory articles written by Wallis. It’s kind of getting old.
–I apologize for the tone of this remark. I was genuinely annoyed by this article, but should have expressed my annoyance less rudely.
With that said, I still very much oppose Wallis’ work here, especially in a church setting, as it only works to politicize the gospel and create disunity in the body of Christ.
Asinus,
I love Matthew 25:31-46 but I simply disagree with you and Wallis about how these teachings should be applied in the political realm (and whether Jesus meant them to be applied in the political realm). Jesus’ words are infallible. Our politics and political positions are not.



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bren

posted July 31, 2007 at 6:32 pm


It would be really helpful to our having a true exchange of opinions if people would describe what they mean when they use the phrase ‘social justice’ if indeed that’s an important concept for them. It is often difficult to see that certain individuals even care about social justice, or at least care about it more than they care about slamming Jim Wallis.
For me, ‘social justice’ is bigger than helping a neighbour in my community who is in need. Helping that neighbour is indeed important. But what sort of help is required? a meal, a friendly shoulder, a drive to the doctor?
If that neighbour needs help because 1,000 people in that town lost their jobs because a local business has outsourced, then two kinds of help are required: immediate personal help, and social justice activities that deal with the bigger (beyond one person or one town) issue of outsourcing.
I am particularly troubled by posters who dismiss someone entirely because there is one thing they disagree on. Does TFN’s opposition to Teen Challenge, and in your view, Wallis’ bad taste in working with TFN as well as lots of others on social justice issues, complete destroy Wallis’ prophetic wisdom on social justice? I have lots of friends and colleagues with whom I disagree about some (often important) issues. It’s possible we disagree because they know more than I do, or I know more than they, or that we’re both wrong, or that there is a little bit that is right in both our positions. Don’t let the differences divide us: God calls us to remember that we have one very strong and abiding thing in common–the knowledge that God loves us.



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jesse

posted July 31, 2007 at 7:00 pm


Bren,
I agree that the definition of “social justice” needs clarification. People who use the term usually take it to mean “supporting liberal policies”, which is why I avoid the term.
I also disagree with the idea that every social problem (e.g., poverty) is necessarily “unjust”. Some people are poor because of bad circumstances (e.g., bad parents). Some are poor because of laziness. But neither of these scenarios involve oppression or any violation of rights. “Social justice”, then, seems to be a term that is flawed and even unbiblical, IMO.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 31, 2007 at 7:34 pm


I also disagree with the idea that every social problem (e.g., poverty) is necessarily “unjust”. Some people are poor because of bad circumstances (e.g., bad parents). Some are poor because of laziness. But neither of these scenarios involve oppression or any violation of rights. “Social justice”, then, seems to be a term that is flawed and even unbiblical, IMO.
Jesse — Have you ever read any of the Old Testament prophets, especially Isaiah? Social justice is a primary theme. Many people are poor, BTW, because opportunity to better themselves is literally hidden from them — I see this in my church regularly.



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Wolverine

posted July 31, 2007 at 7:56 pm


Rick,
“Social justice” may be a recurring theme, but I’m not sure that they mean the same thing that you do. Part of it is the problem of applying scriptures from 2400 years or more to current social problems. But I don’t know of any scriptures that are inconsistent with a conservative interpretation.
My take on the OT prophets is that their main beef is the failure of wealthy Hebrews to practice personal generosity, and the failure of political rulers to apply laws fairly. I’m not aware of any scriptures that explicitly call for activist government.
That’s not to say that government programs are heretical, but at a minimum I think we need to use our own discretion.
Wolverine



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rebecca putna

posted July 31, 2007 at 7:58 pm


`Jesse,
Please read Isaiah 58 and 61 for starters to see that justice is biblical. Is. 58:5 says, “IS this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to cholthe him…? God lays it out for his in the bible. I’m not sure why we who believe in his word question the need for justice. Social justice isn’t some liberal agenda. It’s a command from God to right the wrongs of the world and to care for others and to spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry. We Christians take action because God calls us to not because we are democrats or republicans or liberal or conservative.
Peace to you,
Rebecca



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Glen Asbury

posted July 31, 2007 at 8:05 pm


Bren:
You raise very pertinent questions, and I assume they were addressed to me since I referenced Teen Challenge.
I don’t discount what Jim Wallis is doing or its importance, even though I know I don’t share his political biases. He is a crucial voice of compassion in our time, and I’m glad he’s out there leading Sojourners.
I think, though, that those from the Religious Left, some of whom I admire, (i.e., McLaren, Campolo and Wallis himself) play into the hands of their critics when they align themselves so unquestioningly with organizations that project a hostile demeanor toward many of the values that a lot of us hold dear.
A good point, though, that you make (indirectly) is that dialogue must continue within the Body of Christ, even if we disagree on style and somewhat on substance. We never know where disagreements may originate and dialogue assists the process of understanding and reconciliation. (For instance, I loved the anecdote about Wallis’ relationship with Bill Bright that he shares towards the end of “God’s Politics”.



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jesse

posted July 31, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Rebecca,
That verse speaks of helping the poor but it says nothing about doing so through the government by way of coercion. Saying that every verse ties directly to a government policy is simply bad exegesis. For example, if Jesus’ command to “turn the other cheek” were made law this would lead to all sorts of chaos, as crime would never be punished.
An aside…if this passage was fully applied to the government, this would of course completely do away with the concept of charity, properly defined.
Rick, I concur with Wolverine’s statement re: the OT prophets. The poor were generally oppressed in those days, and the prophets were teaching that they should be treated fairly. I think laws should be applied fairly to everyone today, too, but that is not the same as “social justice” as the term is commonly used. Again, it may be sad and tragic that someone is poor, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are oppressed, nor does it mean that this situation is “unjust”. No one’s rights are being violated.



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Anonymous

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:07 pm


Bren said
If that neighbour needs help because 1,000 people in that town lost their jobs because a local business has outsourced, then two kinds of help are required:
You are making an important point , and excuse me if this is knit picking . But in Washington we almost lost Boeing , we already have have lost many Boeing jobs , but this was going to be drastic , some to another state and some over seas . The Governor here did some behind the scenes stuff and made them a deal they couldn’t refuse .
My point is all those jobs going were going to people who really needed them too , both over seas and to the other state . Corporate welfare kept them here , this is a very liberal state so it was called negotiations by our democratic Governor . I believe Wallis gets so much heat is he puts his social justice above anothers version , with I am on the side of God arrogance . He seems to have a problem with the religious right doing it , but he does the same thing . I do believe the important thing is for us to what we believe in our hearts is just , and you pointed out that could be different because of our perspectives and experiences .



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Anonymous

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:31 pm


My take on the OT prophets is that their main beef is the failure of wealthy Hebrews to practice personal generosity, and the failure of political rulers to apply laws fairly. I’m not aware of any scriptures that explicitly call for activist government.
Unfortunately, applying laws fairly has been called just that — activist government.
From Isaiah 10 (NIV):
1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 31, 2007 at 11:40 pm


An aside…if this passage was fully applied to the government, this would of course completely do away with the concept of charity, properly defined.
Which I won’t complain about — because I’m not a big believer in charity anyway. I don’t believe in merely giving people fish or in teaching them to fish; I believe in giving them access to the riverbank so that they can truly support themselves.
Again, it may be sad and tragic that someone is poor, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are oppressed, nor does it mean that this situation is “unjust”. No one’s rights are being violated.
It goes much deeper than that. In the neighborhood where I attend church, people don’t have a lot of opportunities to change their lives, and part of that frankly is political — denying that reality is part of the injustice.



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kevin s.

posted August 1, 2007 at 12:08 am


“Obviously, a number of you have rejected (Matthew 25:31-46), and are striking out in anger at an outstanding evangelical that frequently reminds all of us of that Gospel.”
Oh, that’s clear to you, eh? And what makes that clear? That I support school vouchers? That I disagree with you on political issues? Are the goats in this passage simply everyone with whom you disagree? How convenient for you.
“God’s Politics made a profound impact in my life, and if you read it- you will know that God is not a liberal OR a conservative. ”
I read it. It is abysmal. It’s pretty clear that Jim thinks that God is a liberal, or at least that God agrees with the Democratic party platform on virtually all things. Jim attacks Christian conservatives in his book. I did not attack him. TFN attacks religious conservatives. I did not attack them. Shall we simply concede the arguements that they are making?
“Does TFN’s opposition to Teen Challenge, and in your view, Wallis’ bad taste in working with TFN as well as lots of others on social justice issues, complete destroy Wallis’ prophetic wisdom on social justice?”
TFN opposes Teen Challenge? Wow, it seems they do. That is completely and utterly insane. Yes, that bad taste does quite a bit to destroy Jim Wallis’ credibility as a prophet. My pastor doesn’t associate with organization that advocate stupid things just so he can find an audience for his political viewpoints. You are not a prophet when you advocate things that are wrong.
“Please read Isaiah 58 and 61 for starters to see that justice is biblical.”
Yes, Jesse. Read this, as it will serve as a stern rebuke to your statement that justice is unbiblical. Also, your statement that women deserve to be beaten like gongs is way out of line.
“1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,”
And woe to those who distribute God’s word to the poor and the downtrodden on the taxpayer’s dime. Right? Wasn’t that specifically called out? I’m sure Isaiah said that somewhere.
Seriously, people, call a spade a spade. This organization is precisely the sort of leftist, anti-Religious crap the Wallis claims he despises. Either Wallis should change his tune, or embrace the values of this organization and just call himself what he is, a Christian Democrat in the mold of Jesse Jackson and the rest…



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 1, 2007 at 9:01 am


And woe to those who distribute God’s word to the poor and the downtrodden on the taxpayer’s dime. Right? Wasn’t that specifically called out? I’m sure Isaiah said that somewhere.
Kevin — The propogation of the Gospel should be funded fully by the Church, not at all by government, becausse when the world (including the government) gets mixed up the message gets diluted. Heck, you wouldn’t like it if Islam got government sanction. Besides, if you want people to get saved only primarily so that they get their lives cleaned up and you don’t have to bother with them anymore, that’s a wrong motivation.



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Wolverine

posted August 1, 2007 at 10:12 am


Dear Jim,
Jim Wallis’ relationship with Texas Freedom Network (TFN) and TFN’s explicit opposition to Teen Challenge presents some serious problems.
It’s important that we consider just what has gone wrong here. As I understand it Teen Challenge is a fairly apolitical group. This is not the Christian Right, this is a basic ministry that all genuine Christians should be able to support.
If TFN had targeted an overtly political organization, even a Christian one, that would be understandable, because what we would have is conflict over political issues.
But TFN has taken an explicit stance against a non-political Christian group, meaning that they are not opposed to political conservatism but against a Christian ministry.
Now, it is true that Jesus dined with sinners. It is also true that he challenged them to turn away from their sins. What I would like to know, Jim, is this:
Did you call on TFN to cease their campaign against Teen challenge?
Will you do so in the future?
And if TFN refuses, will you cease cooperation with TFN?
I recognize the reality of political conflicts, and I understand the need for political allies. But we are also our brother’s keepers. Because you profess an evangelical faith, the volunteers and staff at Teen Challenge are your brothers. You may be in a position to provide some aid to them and similar Christian groups by standing up for them and their apolitical ministry among your political allies. Are you willing to do so?
Wolverine



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Anonymous

posted August 1, 2007 at 10:31 am


ok….here’s my question…if you guys don’t like Wallis…aren’t there other Blogs you can read? I’m sure Pat Robertson has one that you may find more to your liking…



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Wolverine

posted August 1, 2007 at 10:55 am


Just because I disagree with the vast majority of the articles that appear at Sojo doesn’t mean I don’t derive some good from reading it. Is it not good to hear different points of view? Does that not apply to Sojo as well?
At any rate, if you look closely you’ll find that this section of the website is called “Comment”. Comments can be positive or negative. If Jim Wallis only wants to hear from folks who agree with him, he should at least have the honesty to label this “Compliments”.
Finally, there’s a case to be made that by cooperating with TFN Jim Wallis has crossed the line from opposing Christian Conservatism and aligned himself and Sojourners with an organization that is effectively anti-Christian. If that’s the case he needs to be confronted on it.
Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 1, 2007 at 11:43 am


But we are also our brother’s keepers. Because you profess an evangelical faith, the volunteers and staff at Teen Challenge are your brothers. You may be in a position to provide some aid to them and similar Christian groups by standing up for them and their apolitical ministry among your political allies. Are you willing to do so?
I read what the Texas Freedom Network actually wrote about Teen Challenge, and it clearly doesn’t oppose the group’s raison d’etre. However, it objects to the idea of tax dollars going to an organization basically to preach the Gospel, a view I share. The Gospel exists not to “clean people up” but give new life, and the idea that the government should be involved in getting people “saved” just doesn’t fly with me. (FWIW, I have a similar problem with judges sending people to AA or NA meetings.)



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Moderatelad

posted August 1, 2007 at 11:49 am


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 31, 2007 5:36 PM
Put another way, they would already have been working together if that’s what the conservatives want, but they don’t. They want to set the agenda, which often has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God.
And Wallis doesn’t want to set the agenda – Hmmm?
There are many religious evangelical groups that do work together on any number of issues. Sojo / Wallis are the ones that have gone on record and spend too much time blasting these groups because Sojo’s focus is a little different. They co be so-baligerants on several topics put Sojo seems to have a very narrow view of what is acceptable and if you don’t fit into that area – you are not welcomed.
Wallis writes like what he is experiencing is a new revelation or ‘whatever’. I maintain that God’s work has been going on in any number of areas by people moved to action by the Holy Spirit over the past centuries.
Blessings –
.



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Moderatelad

posted August 1, 2007 at 11:55 am


Posted by: | August 1, 2007 10:31 AM
ok….here’s my question…if you guys don’t like Wallis…aren’t there other Blogs you can read? I’m sure Pat Robertson has one that you may find more to your liking…
So – just because we are not in the Wallis Inner Circle on all the issues that he brings forward – you think we should go away so that Sojo can a ture Mutual Admiration Soceity? Maybe because we are a little more ‘conservative’ on issues does not mean that we are ‘Robertson Groupies’ either.
You failed to identify yourself – is that because you forgot or do not want to be held accountable for you convictions?
You did vaildate one of my ideas that Robertson is to the conservatives what Wallis is to the liberals – thank you.
Do have a great day – whoever you are –
.



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marialynn

posted August 1, 2007 at 12:01 pm


“Moderatelad”
-I was in a hurry and on a different laptop so I humbly apologize for not putting my name in…
I am a proud Catholic from VA, and I have drawn great inspiration from Wallis.
I just see the SAME people here week after week criticizing him and I think its sad. Obviously most of the desenters will never agree with him, so why bother reading the blog.
I live close to Robertson, disagree strongly with him, but I don’t waste my time leaving snarky comments on his blog.
Pax Christ…
Maria



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Daniel

posted August 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm


I don’t particularly have a problem with Wallis cooperating with TFN. What I do have a problem with is Wallis’ half-assed social justice agenda. If he wants real social justice he should tell politicians to make less laws and start repealing the ones already on the books.
Social justice is hardly achieved through government intervention. In fact, where the government has been active in many areas of injustice, or poverty-stricken areas, you see the cycle of injustice perpetuated in that area, and the rest of the citizenry punished for it.
I can’t believe how many people who read this blog appear to think that Christian appeals to government, whether from the right or from the left or from the middle, will make a difference in the terrible situations we face daily (and they are terrible). What government program, whether it’s welfare or the Iraq war, has made a difference in their respective fields of aid and war on terror? Do you really want the same people who have made these terrible decisions, who are still in power, to start making more?
I think the best thing would be for the government to get rid of the income tax and allow us to fund our own programs with our own finances. We shouldn’t force people to support programs they dislike (stealing by a majority vote), but we’re forgetting that this is government. It is called to righteous judgement, preferring neither the poor or the rich (Lev. 19:15). The Church is what will transform society, and that the people of God will change the world independent of government provisions or restrictions is quite clear. And in spite of ridiculous taxes, people are still finding ways to make local differences through churches.



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kevin s.

posted August 1, 2007 at 12:08 pm


“ok….here’s my question…if you guys don’t like Wallis…aren’t there other Blogs you can read? I’m sure Pat Robertson has one that you may find more to your liking…”
I don’t like Pat Robertson at all, on the same grounds that I find Wallis (who is essentially the Robertson of the left with better message discipline) problematic.
I was drawn to Wallis’ book by the promise of a different take on Christian politics. Whay I found was a disingenuous liberal screed that obliquely attacked what I believe whilst pretending to be above the political fray. I suspect a lot of people have similar sentiments.
I disagree with a lot (though not all) of what is written here, but I paid my $20 for the book, took the time to read it, and have every right to participate in a discussion that is ostensibly non-partisan.
If you don’t like dissent, there are plenty of left wing sites (Dailykos, DU, the News Blog) that prohibit dissent.
“Kevin — The propogation of the Gospel should be funded fully by the Church, not at all by government, becausse when the world (including the government) gets mixed up the message gets diluted.”
There is absolutely no reason why an organization like teen challenge should not be able to address the problem of drug addiction by using taxpayer money to infuse their treatment with real truth. There is no mandate that government dilute the message, except for the one supported by groups like TFN.
“Besides, if you want people to get saved only primarily so that they get their lives cleaned up and you don’t have to bother with them anymore, that’s a wrong motivation.”
That is not Teen Challenge’s motivation at all. The program is effective. It is effective because it addresses the larger issue inherent in the life of an addict. If our tax dollars should be forbidden from being used on any organization that dispenses real truth, than this is the most compelling argument I can think of for (extremely) small government.



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marialynn

posted August 1, 2007 at 12:18 pm


Kevin-
I think dissent is important…however, disrespect is rude and unethical. Public discourse makes for a stronger society and I fully embrace that.
As for me,I am a Catholic Christian who happens to fully embrace the concept that Christ died for our sins and we (in the partisan sense) are doing him a great disservice by trying to politicize his message.
Pax Chisti
Maria



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Adam Omelianchuk

posted August 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm


Hey folks–a Teen Challenge employee here. First, I think it is important that we don’t completely blackball Jim because he is associated with a group that a opposes us. It really doesn’t tell us anything about what he thinks about Teen Challenge other than he is guilty of associating with those who do not like us. That is unfortunate, but it doesn’t give us much in the way of knowledge about Jim’s personal beliefs. Perhaps those beliefs fall more into line with general ideology they share rather than particular institutions they oppose? I certainly hope so, because Teen Challenge does a lot of what Jim cares about: reaching out to people in need (poor, least of these, ect), is supported by bi-partisan politicians (Mike Hatch and Tim Pawlenty both have spoken at our fundraisers), puts Christ at the center above all earthy powers, and broadly relates with secular society.
With that said, if Jim finds TC objectionable, I would have to say that whatever he believes in is utterly discredited and should stop invoking God and his so-called “politics” as a rally point for policy making for the Democratic Party.



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Anonymous

posted August 1, 2007 at 2:06 pm


Posted by: marialynn | August 1, 2007 12:01 PM
Hey – proud Catholic from VA…
I am not in agreement with Robertson on several issues but do not see him as the enemy as so many authors of Sojo and the posters do here. I look at it as we are on parralle tracks for the most part and our tracks will merge from time to time on several issues.
As for going to another site – I have thought abou it. But I have never been one to surround myself with people that think like me – I need the challenge so that I know why I hold the convictions I have. Believe it or not – I have had my thinking altered by some on this site. (but not enough for others – tee hee) I also look at it as you what to shop the other store so that you know what is hot and what is not – etc.
My son met Wallis once at a gathering at his school – found him very articulate but at times ‘snarkie’ in his assessment of other leaders of organizations like his. I am glad you find great inspiration from Wallis – I can not say the same and that is OK. But as ‘iron sharpens iron’ – I find reading him reinforces my resolve on several issues. I have learned that you have to read between the lines with Wallis as his glittering generalities at times fall way short of the facts. (yes it happens on both sides and I am critical when it happens with people on my side of the fence)
Blessings on you my VA friend – have a great day!
.



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Moderatelad

posted August 1, 2007 at 2:19 pm


Posted by: Adam Omelianchuk | August 1, 2007 12:42 PM
As one who has supported TC over the past 15+ years. (not sure that admitting that has helped you with most on this site) From what I have seen, TC has a success rate second to none with those who fight with addiction. From what I heard the last time TC was at our church. (a congregation with both conservative and liberal believers) The funds that TC gets from the state for people that are placed there does not cover the entire cost of that person. TC still needs to raise funds to compleat the cost of their recovery. So look at it as the State convers some of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the persons stay at TC and the faithful cover the rest and we can put the ‘Christian’ part of their recovery under the faithfuls financial support.
Hope this might help – I love hearing the TC stories!
.



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Payshun

posted August 1, 2007 at 4:25 pm


Regarding the old testament prophets and the call for social justice. It’s there. Look at the call Daniel issued to crazy Nebs
Daniel 4:27
27’Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’
I realize context is important so let’s paint the picture. Daniel had just warned the king of his impending curse of becoming animal like. Yet the thing that would stave off the curse was righteousness and social justice. Interesting, if that could happen to a pagan king is that verse any less true for rulers today. More soon.
p



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kevin s.

posted August 1, 2007 at 4:50 pm


Nebuchadnezzar ordered people to be burned if they wouldn’t worship his idol. Nobody is opposed to governmental perpetuation of social justice. Justice for the unborn happens to be a passion of mine. But the term has been used as a euphemism for liberal policy, which creates a de facto error of category, as those who oppose a certain brand of social justice are deemed to oppose justice.



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bren

posted August 1, 2007 at 6:49 pm


If I spoke only to people who believe as I do, none of us would grow in our understanding or faith. If the poster who write that they read this blog precisely because it challenges them (what I call ‘provocative in the very best sense of the word’), why is it that it’s so hard for some people to allow Jim Wallis the same choice–perhaps to find out that those with whom he shared beliefs, don’t, or that those I thought were completely different, I actually share common understandings.
I guess the thing I find most difficult on this blog is the assumption that some people make that ‘social justice’ automatically means ‘government’. I don’t think it means that at all! When I distinguished between local caring and, say, caring for lots of people who are affected by a decision to, say, outsource, I was distinguishing between the small and the big picture. Period. There is nothing inherently governmental about any of it although from time to time, we might find that it is government that is committing injustice, or can help us overcome injustice.



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James

posted August 1, 2007 at 8:13 pm


Hey,
If you’ll allow a comment from outside the intricacies of the ‘big government/small government’ debate (i’m from the UK), I’ve found it really interesting reading all the comments on here so far.
I think one point I would make is that we have to be realistic about the prospects of achieving social justice through government action, but also appreciative of the fact that much more can be achieved through corporative action than individual charity. THe reason for this is that we are part of a fallen humanity, that is (outside of Christ) sinful, and thus cannot be relied on to act justly to the standard that we, as Christians, are called to act. Thus, I believe the primary work is to call people to the Kingdom of God (ie come into right relationship with God) before we can go about expecting to see the ideal of a just society realised. As not all will accept Christ, there will always be people who perpetuate injustice and thus ‘the poor will always be with us’. (Note, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing all we can to fight this injustice wherever we can.)
So we shouldn’t be overly optimistic about the prospects of government’s ushering in a new era of ‘social justice’, that shouldn’t stop us from calling on the political powers-that-be to make fighting poverty a high priority on their agenda.
(Also, I haven’t read all of Wallis’ stuff so far, just ‘Soul of Politics’, hoping to read ‘God’s Politics v soon) I found reading ‘The Soul of Politics’ very challenging tho, altho I don’t agree with everything (such as a lack of recognition of the problem of sin, ie its role at the root of injustice, maybe i just didn’t read closely enough) in it. It was certainly a breath of fresh air in hearing a Christian articulate such views and making some real sense. I would perhaps like to see Wallis be more critical of the Left (altho again, i’ve not read ‘GP’).
On the TFN, they don’t seem to be overtly ‘Christian’ from their site, preferring to talk more about ‘faith’ and ‘religious leaders’, is this because they are trying to ‘cast a wide net’ or just be deliberately vague? Seems to be fairly run-of-the-mill opposition from left to right. Haven’t read it all thoroughly enough to critique it properly, but I do take a bit of an issue with dubbing the Religious right as ‘far-right’, which has overtones of fascism that seem just a little bit over-the-top. (I’m a politics student, so inaccuracies like that bug me!) Still if someone wants to make a case for the Christian right as far-right, then I’d be glad to read it!
Anyway, sorry for rambling/going off topic :-)
Blessings from across the pond…
James



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 1, 2007 at 10:55 pm


There is absolutely no reason why an organization like Teen Challenge should not be able to address the problem of drug addiction by using taxpayer money to infuse their treatment with real truth. There is no mandate that government dilute the message, except for the one supported by groups like TFN.
Au contraire — that was the entire problem with “compassionate conservatism” in 2000. And the issue is not its Christianity but the idea that government can force God down people’s throats. As I said, I don’t believe that people should be forced to attend even 12-step recovery meetings; I attend them myself (though I don’t have a substance abuse problem) and I’ve heard folks say that certain folks attend AA or NA not out of a sincere desire to get well.
“Heck, you wouldn’t like it if Islam got government sanction.”
That’s because Islam is a lie.
I agree, but that’s beside the point. Enough people in this country believe that Christianity is a lie that they would rebel if conservative Christians decided to take over; they did in New England in the 18th Century.
The program is effective. It is effective because it addresses the larger issue inherent in the life of an addict. If our tax dollars should be forbidden from being used on any organization that dispenses real truth, than this is the most compelling argument I can think of for (extremely) small government.
See my comments above about 12-Step groups. They tell you they work by attraction, not promotion. The Steps come directly from Christianity, and that should tell you something.



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Ms. Cynthia

posted August 2, 2007 at 6:44 am


Yes . . .Well. .
If you think the TFN is an undesirable croud to associate with you should read about the unsavory crowd that Christ hung out with.
Not exactly the ideal models of social uprightness. Not even a social worker or a lowly teacher among them.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 2, 2007 at 8:18 am


I took another good look at the Texas Freedom Network’s website and some of its positions, and frankly I saw nothing particularly threatening. Contrary to what other posters have written, it has no quarrel with “faith-based” groups as such, only that common sense be used. That said, I do not think that “faith-based” groups such as Teen Challenge are superior just because they are faith-based and that the government should be involved in trying to convert people to a particular faith to solve social problems. “But it works!” some might say — that’s irrelevant. I’m a Christian because I believe that Jesus established Himself as Ultimate Truth, not simply because He works, and besides, He doesn’t always work (at least in ways I would like Him to).



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kevin s.

posted August 2, 2007 at 1:18 pm


“”But it works!” some might say — that’s irrelevant. ”
The Democratic party in a nutshell. :p
The point is not that TFN is evil or that their motives are untenable. It’s just that there is nothing spritually awakened about it.
“If you think the TFN is an undesirable croud to associate with you should read about the unsavory crowd that Christ hung out with.”
Right, but he challenged them, as opposed to praising them.



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jc

posted August 2, 2007 at 4:05 pm


The lead paragraphs of this piece were so offensive and displayed so much prejuidice that the rest of Mr. W. observations didn’t seem to have any validity. Why exactly would anyone be surprised to find this group gathered and interested in social justice? Because they are Texans? Because they are Baptists? Because this church is near President Bush’s home church? Believe it or not, there are people of faith in the “red” states. Surprise, surprise, even in Texas. And their views as to what defines a person of faith or social justice may be a whole lot broader and more inclusive than Mr. W’s.



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Jason

posted August 2, 2007 at 4:58 pm


I agree wholeheartedly that Christianity isn’t merely about the “two hot-button issues” of abortion and gay marriage. I can always trust the religiously zealous rightwing extremist neocons to smear the message of God’s love and makes all conservatives, particularly those that happen to be Christians, look like lunatic fascists. I don’t care if they are liberal, they are taking a stand against the hypocrisy that has made me ashamed of registering as a Republican.
To understand where I stand on seperation of church and state, look at Jesus Christ’s opposition to the theocratic Pharisees. “Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees” he says. I don’t agree with the liberal agenda of banning any display of faith in public, but I hardly agree with the neocon’s agenda of forcing narrow-minded Fundamentalist doctrine-based agenda through legislature.
Just my $00.02…



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Anonymous

posted August 2, 2007 at 7:27 pm


“”But it works!” some might say — that’s irrelevant. “
The Democratic party in a nutshell.
The Gospel doesn’t work that way. The Bible is not a textbook that says “Do this and things will be better.” Rather, Jesus offers totally new life, the kind that no government can handle. In fact, I know from personal experience that it can divide families.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:14 am


Jason,
May I ask why you are a registered Republican? Issues like education reform and bioethics factor heavily into my decision, and this group clearly has interests that represent the political left on these issues and many others.



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Payshun

posted August 3, 2007 at 11:48 am


K said:
Nebuchadnezzar ordered people to be burned if they wouldn’t worship his idol. Nobody is opposed to governmental perpetuation of social justice. Justice for the unborn happens to be a passion of mine. But the term has been used as a euphemism for liberal policy, which creates a de facto error of category, as those who oppose a certain brand of social justice are deemed to oppose justice.
Me:
No one ever said Nebuchadnezzar was sane. he was bi polar nut job that God appointed to rule. My point was that he was called to look out for the poor and institute that call into state policy.
That’s the thing Kevin. I am opposed to abortion as well. But my passions for life and living are not limited to when they are in womb. Justice should be holistic. That’s something I don’t see your side championing at all. If anything you prefer making sure inequality is the accepted way people should live. I want to see more experience access and healthcare.
p



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Jason

posted August 3, 2007 at 11:59 am


Kevin S,
I registered republican because I’m a conservative and even though I don’t agree with everything the GOP does, I butt heads on almost all Democrat values. BTW, I don’t support Leftist groups like the one talked about above. I do agree that reform needs to take place, but they should look at themselves as well instead of always pointing fingers at the right. Come to think about it, I’m NOT ashamed of registering Republican, thinking about how much worse the dems are than even neocons. I spoke before thinking and rationalizing on the last comment.
To clear things up:
On Republicans, I’m a libertarian and I think the current neocon politicians and religous leaders are focusing on all the wrong things. I disagree with making politics the focal point of Christianity. I may disagree with abortion, but I also disagree with outlawing abortion outright as not everyone in this country shares our beliefs on that issue. I disagree with the war on Iraq (however, I strongly agree with the war against Al-quaeda; I’m not a liberal Bush-basher, but I think he could have handled the war on terror better). I disagree with gay marriage, but I think it’s silly to make that a focal point of national politics. It (legalizing gay marriage) won’t succeed or if it does, it’s only for a short time. In short, there are more important issues at hand than abortion and gay marriage. All complaints against neocon Republicans aside, though, at least they’re not Democrats…
I don’t agree with the democratic policies of watering down our national defense so that we are helpless against another 9-11. I don’t agree with democrats taking seperation of church and state to mean that other faiths get priority over Christians. Stem-cell research looks promising, but cloning takes things too far. I don’t agree with Big Brother policies and catering to media corporations and Entertainment Industries demands that stuff that we buy still doesn’t belong to us (look up DMCA, which was passed by MPAA lobbying to the Clinton administration). I don’t agree with federal regulation of peoples lives. I do not under any circumstance support censorship of free-speach. I strongly disagree with the dem’s position on the Right to Bear Arms. Welfare has become a joke in which people can easily scam our tax dollars and never do anything to better themselves. Honest citizens often get pushed aside in favor of illegal immigrants that can be milked for cheap labor by greedy corporations. Special interest-serving politics are a blow to the fundamental principles of our country.
I hope this makes things clearer. The list for choosing Republicans over Democrats can go on for a long time. And as much corruption is in the Republican party (*cough* neocons), that can be reformed. To reform the democrats, you would have to completely switch most of their platforms. I am a Libertarian Republican and I will stand by my beliefs no matter what the adversity.



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jerry

posted August 5, 2007 at 9:48 am


it’s all about jim. what a blowhard. his speaking, his book signing, his accolades about hisself. com’on jim, get some perspective. your world is feeding on people who suck up to you. the real world includes you and a lot more of not you’s.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 5, 2007 at 10:11 am


it’s all about jim. what a blowhard. his speaking, his book signing, his accolades about hisself.
Do I detect a hint of envy here? ;-)



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jerry

posted August 5, 2007 at 4:48 pm


don’t think so. >))):>



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jerry

posted August 5, 2007 at 5:14 pm


payshun; Jesus came to set us free. not to bind us with misguided politically correct rules that
purport to make things more equal. your ideas of justice are your ideas. which just don’t seem to be catching on. conservative thinking has a very strong freedom basis. liberal thinking has a very strong binding basis. the secular politicians that run this country do not care about your controlling ideas of justice. so, the rules lean more to a freer society that puts emphasis on free will and personal responsibility. a riskier society perhaps, with less social control. would you want to be anywhere else? do you like to be able to think and do pretty much as you please? instead of killing babies why not let them be born so they can have a chance to realize their potential. what is experience access?



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 5, 2007 at 10:24 pm


Jerry — I disagree. I think you are indeed envious of Jim because he’s a voice with authority that doesn’t answer to your kind.
Contrary what you believe, modern “conservative” thinking actually has actually harmed the poor in ways you will not address, and Wallis understands this. In practice it gives more power to the powerful and justifies taking from the powerless to do it. And also contrary to what you believe, conservatism is on the wane; the last general election should have given a clue but the conservatives are still in complete denial.
As for allowing babies to live — perhaps you should work for a better society so that they will have a chance. Abortion cannot be addressed outside of an umbrella of social justice, and that from a “liberal” perspective.
I’m all for “personal responsibility” but there comes a time when society needs to step up an give some help, and I think we should encourage that.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 6, 2007 at 11:58 am


you see, if we are to do what you want we need a powerful government to ensure that all the justice is enforced. i think that if people bucked up to their responsibilities such as helping others, we would realize the society you dream about.
You conveniently forget a couple of things: 1) Sin and 2) the effects of such. These are why we have government in the first place.



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jerry

posted August 6, 2007 at 6:15 pm


oh really? then you don’t have a problem with laws against adultry, homosexuality, and abortion, sounds pretty conservative to me.
so we have government to govern sin???



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 6, 2007 at 11:17 pm


oh really? then you don’t have a problem with laws against adultery, homosexuality, and abortion, sounds pretty conservative to me.
so we have government to govern sin???

Adultery and homosexuality, I do (due to lack of proof). Abortion, I do not. But that misses the point, because no one is truly “free” — in fact, God established His law to distinguish His people from the rest of the world, and the only way it works is if we “get in each other’s business.” God’s law calls for a system of cultural accountability that Westerners, especially Americans, generally won’t tolerate.



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Payshun

posted August 8, 2007 at 1:33 am


Jerry,
what are you talking about?
I am pro gay marriage.
Adultery is a moral issue that should be solved by the people involved. I am not in their bedroom or affected by it so I want to leave that alone.
Abortion, I want rare. there will always be some but I want it to be used rarely.
p



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posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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