liberal evangelicals (mainly Jim Wallis and his followers, and I could add here,
liberal Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, for there are some liberals in each of
these "camps") advocate government intervention to provide more programs
helping the poor, government health insurance, and helping victims of AIDS and
education programs to prevent it. Conservative Christians, on the other side,
generally emphasize government's role in preserving life (especially the lives
of the unborn) and preserving the family by discouraging social movements that
undermine family values through such forms of sexual deviance as gay marriage,
prostitution, legalized sodomy, polygamy, andgetting more newsprint it seems
Often evangelical and serious
Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox "liberals" agree that family values
are important but that other considerations, like "personal choice"
in the case of abortion, must also be accommodated. This was, famously, the position
of Jimmy Carter when he ran for President, though since winning the Nobel Peace
Prize he seems to have abandoned his former claims to being evangelical. Whereas
he used to welcome opportunities to invoke faith and discuss his relationship
with Christ, in the interviews I've seen in recent years he seems uncomfortable
with the topics and now advocates civil rights for gays (as though a "minority"
can be defined by its sexual proclivities) and last year claimed, in the face
of all reality, that there is no "abortion on demand" in the United
States (of course, there is, virtually everywhere in this country).
irony I find in the "Christian left's" advocacy of welfare state policies
as the sine qua non of Christian action in political or social life is
that 1. there is virtually no biblical support for such a role for government,
and, 2. welfare states generally move toward more and more centralization which
ends up usurping the place of God in their people's lives. As the main "provider"
to the public, such governments generally usurp the role of "Providence."
In other words, they play God. They expect more and more loyalty from those they
provide for, and find ever more intrusive ways to micromanage the lives of their
subjects. They provide food, medical care, education, and eventually a substitute
object of worship for the masses. Welfare states invarably move toward totalitarianism.
And totalitarianism is invariably anti-Christian, anti-Christ. Even if it doesn't
start out with an atheistic worldview like Hitler's or Stalin's, it is anti-Christian
because God in Christ is the original claimant on the totality of the being of
those who love and follow Him. At this point there's always a necessary choice:
Total devotion to the Giver of Life, or totalitarian obeisance to the provider
of goodies in the form of the welfare state.
complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005