Views on politics and current events

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Response To An Article By Jim Wallis

I have read an article by Jim Wallis with the title 'The Religious Right's Era Is Over'. My comments:

Well, I don't see much to celebrate so far. I've read Jim Wallis' book God's Politics after many people recommended it. There are good things in it, but the thing that really stands out in all of this is that Jim Wallis and other progressive evangelicals oppose not only the religious right.

When he says that the Left is starting to get it, does that mean that he isn't 'left', and that the 'left' is just as much a problem as the 'right'? In his book he comes across as having a lot of answers, and a definite vision of the way things ought to be. I for one don't see where a religious left would be any better than a religious right if they were in power. Either one, in the long run, would discount those that do not fall under the umbrella term of 'believer'.

What is being done here, to my eyes, is increasing the size of the tent and allowing more people to stand under it. But there is still a requirement. This tent is a tent of believers of an historical, traditional God. Islam, Christianity, Judiasm, and what he calls the 'spriritual but not religious'. Is there also to be room for Wiccans, Agnostics, Athiests, Pagans, and the myriad other 'religions', or not?

Whenever I read something by the self-proclaimed progressive christian evangelicals, I get the feeling that, in their own way, they would be just as controlling, just as intolerant, as the fundamentalists they oppose.

Perhaps it is my distrust of organized religious institutions, my agnosticism, my cynicism, coming into play. One of the basic dogmas of christianity, that says Jesus died for our sins, is still strong. I do not believe in redemptive violence that most christianity believes. I believe that the redemptive violence taught by the church contains the seeds of redemptive violence for all of humankind towards one another. It glorifies the horrible death of a fellow human that was brought about because of politrical reasons, and turns it into a condemnation against all humankind. For if Jesus died for our sins, we are to blame.

Does not the bible also teach that Jesus was a champion of the under dog, that the powers that be of the Temple were the ones that oppressed the poor and down-trodden? That all humans are of equal value, and that the religion of his day had become corrupt, and actually caused much of the afflictions of the poor and down-trodden? So then why, with the death of this man that believed in the equality of all, were things spun into a blanket condemnation of human life itself as being sinful?

So is the religious right's era over? No. Perhaps it's influence will be lessened, but it will come back sooner or later as strong as ever. Conservative thought tends to glorify the past, and eventually the longing of return to a 'better time' that never was, will happen. So will the religious left's era be better? Not better, only different. Jim Wallis and the progressive evangelicals are changing the outlook of religion, make no mistake. But it's still organized religion. It still has its dogma that dictates what is 'proper' and what is 'improper' to believe. That perhaps is the problem, and as long as it is, doesn't matter which side is in charge. The results will be the same.

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