Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: The poor you shall always have ... to use for political gain
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The poor you shall always have ... to use for political gain

I thought that mixing Christianity and politics was an unmitigated evil. Or so the secular media has always claimed. Apparently if your politics are acceptable to secular progressives, then mix away.

Jim Wallis believes that the trillions the US has already spent on so-called anti-poverty programs has not been enough. He is demanding more, as if the colossal failure of the modern welfare state never happened.

Like any other US citizen, Wallis is free to petition the government to enact policies he supports, although in the past he has shown undisguised hostility towards those whose politics disagrees with his. But he is not entitled to his own facts. For decades Wallis and other progressives have exploited the poor for political gain. When will they be held accountable for putting their greed over the needs of their brothers and sisters? When will they be required to explain why so much money only made the problem of poverty worse while poisoning the political debate in the process?

Wallis' attitude, I am sad to say, is a major sickness in Christianity today. The ELCA and other politically-minded denominations are quite willing to regard the poor as a kind of political cash cow to be invoked and used at will. On the issue of poverty these denominations take a harsh, uncompromising stance that allows no debate and tolerates no criticism. They also mix politics and religion to a degree they would immediately condemn if the so-called Religious Right tried it.

The irony is that if Wallis and other progressives stopped pushing failed government programs that only make poverty worse, if they merely sat on the sidelines and did absolutely nothing, it would be a far greater contribution to fighting poverty than they are presently making.

No comments: