Wednesday, August 11, 2004

More from Jim Wallis

Here are a couple of quotes from a commentary from Jim Wallis published in the Boston Globe. One of the things that worries Wallis is the "loss of religion's prophetic vocation." In my opinion, as long as Wallis is around, it's not completely gone.

The best public contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable nor a loyal partisan. To raise the moral issues of human rights, for example, will challenge both left- and right-wing governments who put power above principles. And religious action is rooted in a much deeper place than "rights" - that being the image of God in every human being.
It is precisely because religion takes the problem of evil so seriously that it must always be suspicious of concentrated power - politically and economically - either in totalitarian regimes or in huge multinational corporations, which now have more wealth and power than many governments. It is indeed our theology of evil that makes us strong proponents of both political and economic democracy - not because people are so good, but because they often are not and need clear safeguards and strong systems of checks and balances to avoid the dangerous accumulations of power and wealth.
In an election year, the particular religiosity of a candidate, or even how devout they might be, is less important than how their religious and/or moral commitments and values shape their political vision and their policy commitments. Understanding the moral compass they bring to their public lives and how their convictions shape their political priorities is the true litmus test.




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