The Common Good

The Moderate Voice blog

The Moderate Voice blog Press Items
Given that predation has been a fixture throughout human history, it’s not surprising that when one form of predation has ceased to work, we’ve devised alternative, subtler forms to accomplish the same thing. Although slavery itself is no longer defended, poverty functions in much the same way—by institutionalizing the domination and exploitation of the poorer by the richer. As Reverend Jim Wallis says, “Poverty is the new slavery.”
Often though, I think some of my Christian sisters and brothers, whether on the left or the right, put entirely too much confidence in the capacity of government to change people’s lives and attitudes. Both James Dobson and his fellow travelers and Jim Wallis and the people into his philosophies, representing the Christian right and the Christian left, overestimate the impact of government decisions on people’s daily lives. Yeah, government can increase or decrease our taxes, provide us with Social Security or health care, defend us from terrorists, ensure the health and safety of our food and drugs, and much more. All of those functions are terribly important.
Could an ordained minister be a vice presidential candidate? The answer, according to Richard Land who heads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is pretty simple. Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister and, Land says, “polls show that 15 to 20 percent” of the electorate don’t think a minister should be president. There’s that, and the fact that economic conservatives are not fans of Huckabee, says Jim Wallis of Sojourners. So Huckabee, in the end, had a trifecta working against him: his ordination, his support of a scheme to replace federal income taxes with a national retail tax, and, ultimately, his gender.
You see, except in the rarest of circumstances, it’s impossible to extrapolate a single political position from the Bible. Jesus is neither a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal, which leaves me equally repelled by James Dobson and Jim Wallis. As a pastor, I don’t want to create the impression that in expressing my personal political preferences, I’m claiming the endorsement of God.
If I had a time machine and could wind back the clock to the point when I was compiling today’s [Center of Attention] installment, I’d add just one more post to the list, for our readers’ collective consideration, namely, this one by Jim Wallis, “Dinner with the Antichrist.” An obviously great title (if your goal is to hook readers) … plus an extremely encouraging prediction:
A round up of recent posts by various bloggers who either attempt to strike a balanced note on heated debates and controversial issues, or improve our ability to find our own sense of balance by exposing us to new information and different points-of-view...... On the debate over the SCHIP legislation, Jim Wallis reminds President Bush that members of his own party are as “irresponsible” as the Democrats.