Language That Unites

After last fall'

After last fall’s election many of us walked around in a fog wondering how the Right had such an easy slide into so many voting booths. What is it about the Right’s message that makes it so compelling to so many people, and what is it about other perspectives that leave them so unheard?

As the election evidenced, many Americans respond best to claims of a sure thing. If those with other views are going to have influence, they need to address biblical social issues with confidence and certainty.

In addition to understanding our conservative brothers and sisters, we also need to rethink the way we speak to them, and we need to intentionally tailor our words in a way that will be respected and heard. Using what some refer to as "God talk" rather than social activist talk, we can identify how uplifting the poor is also a biblical truth.

We need to acknowledge the Religious Right’s morality staples and link these with biblical peace and justice concerns, remembering to constantly point back to scripture. Obedience and righteousness are motivators behind the Right’s dedication to the unborn and sexual integrity. Using this same language, we can make the case that peace and social justice are also obedience and righteousness issues. We need to make clear that Christ not only died on the cross for sins, he also left us an image and a life to follow. Christ exemplified how to live in this life with each other, how to respond to "the least of these."

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Sojourners Magazine April 2005
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