Since when did believing in God and having moral values make you pro-war, pro-rich, and solely pro-Republican? And since when did promoting and pursuing a progressive social agenda with a concern for economic security, health care, and educational opportunity mean you had to put faith in God aside?
God's Politics offers a clarion call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition -- that is, make them pro-justice, pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-equality, and pro-family (without making scapegoats of single mothers or gays). Our biblical faith and religious traditions simply do not allow us as a nation to continue to ignore the poor and marginalized, deny racial justice, tolerate the ravages of war, or turn away from the human rights of those made in the image of God. These are the values of love and justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many of us believe, Christian or not. Jim Wallis inspires us to hold our political leaders and policies accountable by integrating our deepest moral convictions into our nation's public life.
Read by Sam Freed
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Secular liberals and religious conservatives will find things to both comfort and alarm them in Jim Wallis's God's Politics. That combination is actually reason enough to recommend the book in a time when the national political and theological discourse is dominated by blanket descriptions and shortsightedness. But Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, offers more than just a book that's hard to categorize. What Wallis sees as the true mission of Christianity--righting social ills, working for peace--is in tune with the values of liberals who so often run screaming from the idea of religion. Meanwhile, in his estimation, religious vocabulary is co-opted by conservatives who use it to polarize. Wallis proposes a new sort of politics, the name of which serves as the title of the book, wherein these disparities are reconciled and progressive causes are paired with spiritual guidance for the betterment of society. Wallis is at his most compelling when he puts this theory into action himself, letting his own beliefs guide him through stinging criticisms of the war in Iraq. In his view, George W. Bush's flaw lies in the assumption that the United States was an unprecedented force of goodness in a fight against enemies characterized as "evil." Indeed, although both the right and left are criticized here, the idea is that the liberals, if they would get religion, are the more redeemable lot. Wallis's line between religion and public policy may be drawn a little differently than most liberals might feel comfortable with, and while he pays some lip service to other faiths most of his prescription for America seems to come from the Bible. Still, for a party having just lost a presidential election where "moral issues" are said to have factored heavily, God's Politics is a sermon worth listening to. --John MoeFrom the Back Cover:
Jim Wallis finds the current conservative, liberal, and libertarian options out-of-step with the desires of most Americans untenable. Wallis offers a fourth option, “The Common Good,” that would represent those who are traditional on issues of moral character, personal responsibility, sexual integrity, and family values (without scape-goating any group like single parents or homosexuals), while being very progressive on issues like poverty and racial justice. This option affirms good stewardship of the earth and its resources, supports gender equality, and looks first to peacemaking and conflict-resolution when it comes to foreign policy questions. At the spiritual heart of this option is linking one’s personal ethics to social justice.
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