14 November 2011
78. God's Politics
"Since when did believing in God and having moral values make you pro-war, pro-rich, and solely pro-Republican? And since when did promoting and pursuing a progressive social agenda with a concern for economic security, health care, and educational opportunity mean you had to put faith in God aside?
God's Politics offers a clari... more »on call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition -- that is, make them pro-justice, pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-equality, and pro-family (without making scapegoats of single mothers or gays). Our biblical faith and religious traditions simply do not allow us as a nation to continue to ignore the poor and marginalized, deny racial justice, tolerate the ravages of war, or turn away from the human rights of those made in the image of God. These are the values of love and justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many of us believe, Christian or not. Jim Wallis inspires us to hold our political leaders and policies accountable by integrating our deepest moral convictions into our nation's public life."
The author of this book is self-proclaimed as a "progressive" and "prophetic". He discusses many subjects in this book that make total sense. He also falls into many stereotypical fallacies that perpetuate the rhetoric that makes the left-right divide deeper with every passing election.
This book was written after the 2004 Presidential election. Bush just defeated John Kerry. Needless to say, the author was definitely not a Bush fan. This book is a Bush basher from the very start. It bashes him for wars, for neglecting the poor, for trying to kill women, etc etc. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Bush fan. I voted for Kerry in the 2004 election. I just think that the piling on from all leftist fronts was ridiculous, just as the righties did to Clinton in the 90s.
So, despite my agreeing with some of Mr Wallis' suggestions and on how to find bipartisan common ground, I think this book is just a tool. I think Mr. Wallis is a tool. I think both fall into the "useful idiot" category.
Why do I think that? In a 2004 context I would be able to buy into his arguments. In a 2011 context we have seen much more from the "progressives". 2008 was a game changer. The 111th Congress and the Obama administration could have pursed any course of action they wished. They could have checked all the boxes on the progressive wish list. They could have been the progressive fairy godmother. But, they chose not to even address many of the issues discussed by Mr. Wallis in this book. Poverty, racism, and a long list of those holy grail leftist issues could have been addressed...but they were ignored. They were not truly the goals of progressives despite all the smoke blowing rhetoric they love to spew about being so caring. It was and continues to be lies...just like the right is lying.
Next thing...if Mr. Wallis is looking to include faith into the political conversation coming from the left...as he says numerous times (prophetic politics)...then why is the left making efforts at every possible opportunity to eliminate all references to religion, faith, or God from anything public? This contradiction is blatant. Don't tell me. Show me! The progressives do show me, despite what this book is touting as truth.
The next issue...Mr. Wallis likes to say things like the right-GOP-conservatives (whatever) do not care about the poor. I hear this kind of BS a lot. It is stupid. The reason they say this is because the right does not support government programs to care for every aspect of people's lives. That does not mean they want to starve everyones grandmothers. Government is not the solution to everything. Especially when this book is trying to say that Jesus himself would want us to make government programs that care for everyone...and we should do that by following a party of progressives that are openly hostile toward Jesus? Do what Jesus would do, but don't do it BECAUSE Jesus would do it? Do it because it is right, but don't give God the glory...or even a mention. That makes no sense and is nothing more than manipulation.
So, for those reasons, despite my agreement with some of the writer's goals, I think this book SUCKED. It is just more political pandering and manipulation from a different angle. I would not have known that in 2005. Today it is glaringly obvious. Have a nice day.