I have been in Hawai’i (yes I know there’s an apostrophe, that’s how they do it over there!) the last week and it seems like I have a ton of stuff to catch up on. Today’s topic is once again politics.
I have recently finished reading Jim Wallis’ book, God’s Politics. I felt that since we are in an election year, I thought I check it out and see what he has to say. There is a dirty little secret in evangelical land. We are not all Republicans. Some of us are Independents, Greens, Democrats, and some don’t even vote. For a lot of us, there is not a lot of satisfaction with the way we see politicians, even those who profess a faith, integrate their faith and politics. I believe Jim Wallis is one such guy. I have heard him often on the radio and visit his Sojourners site to keep up with what is on his mind.
I want to share a little from his book and see what you think. It comes from Chapter 6, Prophetic Politics…A New Option.
The first political option in America today is conservative on everything – from cultural, moral, and family concerns to economic, environmental, and foreign policy issues.
The second political option in America is liberal on everything – both family/sexual/cultural questions and economic, environmental and foreign policy matters.
The third option in American politics is libertarian, meaning liberal on cultural/moral issues and conservative on fiscal/economic and foreign policy. The “just leave me alone and don’t spend my money” option is growing quickly in American life.
I [Wallis] believe there is a “fourth option” for American politics which follows from the prophetic religious tradition we have described. (Earlier in the book.) It is traditional or conservative on issues of family values, sexual integrity and personal responsibility, while being very progressive, populist, or even radical on issues like poverty and racial justice. It affirms good stewardship of the earth, supports gender equality, and is more internationally minded than the nationalist – looking first to peacemaking and conflict resolution when it comes to foreign policy questions. The people it appeals to (many religious, but others not) are very strong on issues like marriage, raising kids, and individual ethics, but without being right-wing, reactionary, mean spirited or scapegoating against any group of people, such as homosexuals. They can be pro-life, pro-family, and pro-feminist, all at the same time. They think issues of “moral character” are very important, both in a politician’s personal life and in his or her policy choices. Yet they are decidedly pro-poor, for racial reconciliation, critical of purely military solutions, and defenders of the environment.
At the heart of the fourth option is the integral link between personal ethics and social justice. And it appeals to people who refuse to make the choice between the two.
technorati tags: God's Politics, Elections, Democrat, Republican, Sojourners
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