Saturday, October 25, 2008

Voter' Guide for People of Faith

Sojourners magazine includes an "issues guide" for Christian voters in the November issue.

"Principles and Policies for Christian Voters" (Voting All Your Values) can be downloaded here.

I think you'll find it surprisingly comprehensive.

As always, I'd love your reactions.



Chris said...

If anyone doesn't know, Sojourners is a very anti-American organization. Of course it's sprinkled with religious words to lure people into thinking it's something else.

It's founder, Jim Wallis, has called for redistribution of wealth and a government managed economy. His anti-capitalist worldview is expressed in religious terms as a quest for "social justice."

In 1979, the journal "Mission Tracks" published an interview with Wallis. He told the reporter it was his hope that "more christians would come to view the world through Marxists eyes."

After the fall of Vietnam, Wallis actually criticized the refugees fleeing from that nation. He claimed they were leaving Vietnam "to support their consumer habit in other nations."

Wallis supported the Sandinista Communist when they sought to take over Nicaragua in the 1980's.

In 1983, Joan Harris, with accuracy in media, published a book on the far left policies of Sojourners and Jim Wallis.

Harris took 53 positions of Sojourners on such issues as the right of Israel to exist, human rights, terrorism, socialism and capitalism, etc. and compared these positions to the official positions of the Soviet Union. Harris observed, "Sojourners never criticizes the Marxist states. The USA and the West are the only violators of human rights to Sojourners because they are the capitalists. Marxists, by Sojourners defination, cannot violate human rights."

As far as this article goes, it's plain to see that the opinions come from a far-left prospective. Why am I not surprised?

Anonymous said...

chris, sorry. I read your comments. Then, I read the voters issues guide. While I may not agree with everything there in terms of scripture interpretation, I must say I see an organization that is eager to follow the Word of God in relationship to matters of public policy. I also remember that Jim Wallis has appeared on most major networks, as well as CNN and Larry King Live over the past 4-5 years. He is no radical. He just sees his role as being a loyal critic of injustice in his homeland. Take your blinders off. You might be surprised what you discover. It is interesting that you offer nothing to counter what is in the voter's guide, just more diatribe that serves the radical right.

Anonymous said...

chris, is it your assumption and opinion that the USA has been in the right about every war it ever fought and every regime outside the USA that it ever supported? Your comments about Mr. Wallis and his opinions relative to Central America in the late 1970s and early 1980s seem to imply such a conviction. Your conviction betrays your complete ignorance of the facts of the USA's alliances against peasants who were demanding land reform. You may have come down on the side of our nation, but your values don't square with those of the OT prophets, the LAW of Moses. These sources inform Mr.Wallis, not some blind nationalism that wears very, very thin against the facts.

Chris said...

I found most of the guides laughable actually. It's like saying, "Sin must end."

For example, suppose I am a responsible worker at McDonalds, flipping burgers. According to these guides I should have transportation, health care, child care, education and housing. Who pays for it?

Children must not be poor--a worthy concept, no doubt, but one that would really redistribute income. What incentive would there be for being responsible parents?

Extreme global poverty must end- So who will pay for it?

Eliminate nuclear weapons-Tell Iran

Strengthen the U.N.-It could certainly use it, it does precious little. The U.S. pays more now than the rest of the world. Maybe they should chip in more.

End genocide-How? Pass a resolution?

Reverse global climate change-Humans didn't cause global warming it so we can't end it. Actually the earth has cooled in the past decade.

Strengthen marriage-I didn't hear for a reversal of same-sex marriage. Oh, but that would be too "right-wing."

From a strictly christian point of view, there are issues with both men. They both are for abortion, embryonic research, and gay marriage.

Anonymous said...

Chris - thanks for the input. You are 100% accurate in your assesment of Sojourners

c hand said...

I can actually have a small measure of respect for Jerimiah Wright who just openly says GD America. He squares up and tells you what he thinks of the USA. While Wallis hides his America hatred in an insufferable self-righteousness. Opposing the US is his holy mission.

The Sojourners voter guide tries to appear milquetoast, but it's very hard left. We've been here before.

Anonymous said...
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Larry James said...

I hope we can remain civil here. I've removed a comment that I just discovered. While I could not possibly disagree more strongly with chris and others like her, I don't want insults and offensive language here.

chand, you are very quick to judge. Jim Wallis is a friend. If you sat down and talked to him, you would see what I mean. It would be preferable here if we could disagree with personal attack.

For many people on this blog who come from the right, and I'd assume the religious right, we are seeing evidence of two widely differing worldviews that are informed by faith and an understanding of the message of scripture. We obviously are reaching different conclusions.

Anonymous said...

chris, so, you have given up the idealism provided by the standards of the Bible, have you? Jim Wallis has not. When you get down to actually dealing with what Wallis and his team put out there, all you can do is surrender to impossibility or retreat to your own extreme right-wing agenda.

Just a couple of examples will suffice because I have to go to church:

1) To provide the services and opportunites listed for a responsible worker at McDonalds cannot be seen as "welfare" but as an investment in the improvement of the nation longterm. The work ethic that does not produce enough wages for survival must be supplemented for the sake of the next generation and for the improvement of the workers of this generation. I pay for it if I am able, as do you. And it is a great buy for America!

2) The incentive for parents would be that they must keep working at McDonalds or wherever to receive the investment. As parents do better, the benefits scale back. It is not rocket science.

3) Global poverty could be significantly altered if the US and other nations worked smarter and mroe aggressively on the diplomatic front and if we assured that our support went to the right leaders on the ground rather than being channeled with conditions that have nothing to do with ending global poverty. We've made progress and we can make more. The US should lead the way as a % of GDP.

Thank goodness, your worldview is not our only option!

Peter J.

rogueminister said...

I like this, but I always wonder why many Christians cant even fathom not voting as a real option to bear witness to Jesus' supremacy over the powers.

Charles said...

Chris and chand,

If a non-capitalist system was proven to actually end the suffering currently associated with poverty, would you be interested? I don't know of any that has proven that, so I'm not offering an option, but I'm trying to tell if you care about people or have made an abstract philosophy into an idol. Because many of your posts sound "very anti-American ... sprinkled with religious words to lure people into thinking it's something else."

c hand said...

I almost posted this answer before you asked the question. I wish the people of Europe and around the world the best of luck with the social systems they have chosen. Socialism is very appealing on paper and for that reason among others will never be fully discredited. After it fails it will return again with a few promised adjustments.
I think we about to give it another try in this country. I hope for the best.

George Will's column had an Obama quote today:" The market is the best mechanism ever invented for efficiently allocating resources to maximize production" and "there is a connection between the freedom of the marketplace and freedom more generally."

I hope he remembers this.

Chris said...

Only if it were as good as the late Soviet Union and Cuba:)

Sounds like Obama has read Milton Friedman who advocated minimizing the role of government in a free market as a means of creating political and social freedom.

Anonymous said...

Sojourners has been an invaluable resource to me.

On the matter of voting all your values: I'm faced with a pitiful ballot for U.S. Representative in a district that votes heavily Republican. The Republican incumbent running for re-election is a pro-war yes-man to George W. Bush. There's a libertarian on the ballot whose politics I find anti-social.

The kicker is the token Democratic nominee: he's a loan shark!

So, as a Christian who wants to vote for the good of my neighbor, I can vote alongside the vast majority who will send a bad man back to Washington, or I can cast a protest vote for either of two people who have been very bad neighbors.

So, in this race, I can't vote all my values. As Rogueminister encourages, I won't vote. My only option is to keep working for justice in tiny ways in a few individual lives.

Jeff W

c hand said...

Is he a "bad man" because he is a republican?

Larry James said...

chand, I'll take that one. The answer is NO!

Anonymous said...

"Eliminate nuclear weapons-Tell Iran"

But the U.S. also has nuclear weapons. Why shouldn't other countries have a means to fight back when the U.S. invades another country, unprovoked? What makes us the ones to decide right and wrong?

As for socialism/communism vs. captialization, this is a very narrow bridge. The Bible says "The love of money is the root of all evil." Sure sounds like capitalism to me.

c hand said...

Moral relativism is the highest virtue in the church of liberalism.

Anonymous said...

chand / chris:

While reading a history of the temperance movement, I was shocked that one staunch Christian supporter, in response to a query about the fact that Jesus turned water into wine, declared that she would deny Jesus if anyone could prove to her that his lips had ever touched wine. She was so into her political movement (which she believed was justified by her Christianity) that she would chuck her faith if it contradicted her politics (banning alcohol).

The two of you sometimes remind me of that story. I sometimes get the feeling that, if convinced Jesus was not a capitalist, you would just walk away. You try to fit Jesus into a 20th Century box (capitalism vs. communism) that didn't even exist in his day, and value your political ideology over what he might have to say in judgment of any or all political ideologies.