Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jan Linn on Faith Based Politics

The Christian Century has published an essay by Jan Linn, author of What's Wrong with the Christian Right, about "On Faith Based Politics: An Exchange" subtitled "On not mimicking the religious right."

Linn rightly suggests that Jim Wallis and other social justice liberals are mimicking the religious right. Here's a quote:

The issue is not whether Christians or members of any other religious group have the right to vote for candidates who share their faith and values. The question is whether the way Christians on the right and left are involved in politics undermines both our democracy and the faith communities they represent. With good reason many of us have believed that the Christian right has done so. I would suggest that any group that focuses on the faith of candidates as a qualification for public office will negatively affect government and religion, even if its agenda is one of social justice.
For those interested in hearing more from Jan Linn, here's a link to a podcast of an interview I did with him on the Religious Talk radio program on 9-19-04.

1 comment:

Asinus Gravis said...

When I heard Jim Wallis in Dallas last week he addressed this serious misconception.

Rather than imitating the Religious Right, he is following in the footsteps of Great Awakening that helped to usher in the abolition of slavery, and the Civil Rights movement that appealed to the religious consciousness of a nation to end segregation and a denial of the civil rights of blacks. Those were religious movements that paved the way for political change in the country that are consistent with the gospel and prophetic mandates.

He spoke of the need for a genuine revival in this country that would make it possible for our political leaders--whoever they are--to address problems of poverty, homelessness, inadequate health care for tens of millions, global HIV/AIDS, abuse of immigrants, etc.

He specifically made the point, emphatically, that electing specific candidates, of either party, will not bring about any such change. An entire social movement driven by religious faith is essential to seriously address issues of social and economic justice in our country.

He made a convincing case.