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Jim Wallis Debunked

One of the most insufferable characters on the political scene today is Sojourners magazine editor Jim Wallis, author of the best-selling book God's Politics.

Wallis attempts to re-invigorate the modern welfare state by recasting it in moral terms, supposedly consistent with scripture and "good theology." His book is a gameplan on how to frame doctrinaire Democratic policies in supposedly moral terms, and an exhortation to Democrats to "moderate" their position on abortion. Not, it doesn't seem, because abortion is a grave moral evil and a devastating genocide, but rather because it prevents Democrats from getting elected to push the welfare state, the real answer to all our problems. This is the strategy of so-called pro-life progressives, who claim a commitment to ending abortion, but whose real aim is to increase the welfare state, resulting in the end of abortion (or at least a drop in total abortions). Many, if not most pro-life progressives, do not favor traditional legal and political means of ending abortion. It seems that would necessarily make them political allies with the only game in town as far as the abortion wars are concerned (the GOP), and that is an intolerable result as everyone knows folks on the right are coarse, indifferent, uncaring, and mean, not the compassionate, authentic, and loving types that ascribe to "God's Politics."

What really ticks me off is that Wallis often lectures Catholics on their theological responsibilities and what Catholic Social Teaching supposedly says. Frankly, Wallis doesn't know a lick about it, besides mouthing some platitudes. If he wants to spin his own interpretation of scripture on his evangelical Protestant brethren, that's his issue -- and frankly he has a good point with those folks in that there are far more biblical texts about povery than same-sex marriage or abortion for that matter (although I'm not sure why concern for the poor means expansion of the welfare state). However, for this man to start acting like some authority on CST is appalling. Ironically, however, it is traditional Catholic Democrats who are his most receptive audience. But it seems that if they are falling for Wallis's schtick, they aren't getting behind the rhetoric. This isn't "beyond left and right," and it certainly isn't an agenda to end, or even curtail abortion. This is rhetorical strategy for Democrats using popular religious and moralistic language to play to a Christian pro-life audience, without offering any real practical solutions, because at the end of the day, there won't be any. I could write all day about this, but I'll let the following review of Wallis's book do the talking.

In this review of the book, fellow Twin Cities Chestertonian Chuck Chalberg does what may go down as the definitive Jim Wallis debunking. He has done everyone a great service by unmasking this hack, and his review should be widely disseminated. Thanks, Chuck.

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» Democracy Project asks, "Jim Wallis: The Left's o from Holy Fool
From The Seventh Age comes this revelation that emperor Wallis is naked. Apparently, Jim Wallis has discovered God's politics. It's the establishment of a Welfare State that "moderates" abortion--without ever saying what that means. In other words... [Read More]

» Politics and the Problems of Our World from JOLLYBLOGGER
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Comments (2)

"What really ticks me off is that Wallis often lectures Catholics on their theological responsibilities and what Catholic Social Teaching supposedly says."

I know what you mean. It annoys me to no end when Non-Catholics believe they can tell Catholics exactly what they're supposed to believe, as though they're an authority on catholicism just from reading some citation somewhere.

Jason A.:

Hey, thanks for linking to us on your excellent blog. Glad to hear you and your wife found Amy Welborn's book profitable. I sent it to a law school friend of mine who grew up in the denomination known as "suburban Catholicism" as she had only recently been to confession for the first time since her first one 15 years ago. Amy has a real gift.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 4, 2005 11:45 PM.

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