The Common Good

This Isn't About Wallis vs. Beck--It's About Biblical Social Justice

This post was written in response to the Washington Post On Faith question of the week which they titled: "Wallis vs. Beck: The politics of social justice," Asking, "How does the pursuit of justice fit into your faith? Is 'social justice' an ideology or a theology?"

I'm glad for the discussion, but "Wallis vs. Beck" really isn't the point. Over several weeks, Glenn Beck has attacked the term and concept of "social justice"; likened it to Marxism, Communism, and Nazism; told people to leave their churches if the words even appeared on congregational Web sites; and instructed Christians to "turn in" their pastors and priests to church authorities if they preached or taught "social justice." That's what he said, and is still saying. I felt it necessary to respond when I heard that a Fox News personality had attacked the heart of the mission statement of Sojourners: "to articulate the biblical call to social justice." He only attacked me when I challenged his misrepresentations and distortions of a central Christian teaching that is integral to biblical faith.

If Beck had merely attacked "big government" again, as he does each night, or just expressed his strong libertarian philosophy that government bears no responsibility for issues like poverty, or re-stated his preference of personal responsibility over social responsibility for solving societal problems, nobody would have even responded

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