Last week I weighed in on all of the “Circle of Protection” mumbo-jumbo being tossed around at the White House, arguing that Jim Wallis and his progressive brethren are once again warping the “least of these” into political tools and confusing bureaucratic blubber with genuine compassion.
Although the budget talks are finally coming to a close — for better or for worse — there have been a flurry of other Christian responses to Wallis & Friends that are well worth reviewing. Given the evident persistency of the social (gospel) engineers and the relatively mild implications of last night’s news, such a discussion will certainly not fall off our radars any time soon.
Thus, here’s a quick look at what others have been saying about the Christian’s role in approaching an unsustainable economic future.
- Friend of the blog Eric Teetsel has joined several other Christian leaders in writing a letter to the president in hopes of realigning the discussion away from Wallis’ perversions. The question: “Whom would Jesus indebt?” (Add your signature here.)
- At National Review Online, Rev. Robert Sirico argues that “in the moral calculus of Jim Wallis and his Circle of Protection supporters, there’s no problem with prostrating yourself, your Church, and your aid organization before Caesar.” Also, catch Rev. Sirico’s interview with NRO on the same subject.
- Although he doesn’t focus on Wallis directly, Douglas Wilson does a marvelous job illuminating precisely why such talks inevitably result in such bizarre and petty squabbles over this program or that. The reason? We lack honesty, integrity, and above all, a sense of reality. “Paper promises, like paper money, require honest men to execute them,” says Wilson. “And that, as it turns out, is where our real shortage is.”
- At the Institute on Religion & Democracy, Mark Tooley concludes that Wallis did not go to the White House to represent the poor, but to represent “the secular permanent governing class.” “For its denizens,” Tooley says, “Big Government is apparently the only deity that merits such blind faith.” Ouch.
- Jeff Wright of Pursuing Truth provides several insightful posts on the topic, pointing first to the hypocrisy behind the media’s harsh reaction to Rick Perry’s prayers compared to those of Obama. Following this, Wright argues that the new Religious Left touts the same faulty principles of the old, followed by a reminder that their (not-so-)clever “God is Watching” slogan also applies to those with a spending addiction (now who could that be!?).
- At the Acton Institute’s PowerBlog, Ray Nothstine writes one of the snarkier responses to Wallis & Friends (me likey!), describing how “the religious left, on cue, descended to the temple of irresponsible spending to circle the sacred debt wagons.” Similar to my own arguments (here and here), Nothstine notes that “some clerics in Washington are using the poor as pawns or calves in their temple sacrifice to protect their ideological god.” Also at the PowerBlog, Kenneth Spence provides a clever takedown of Wallis’ ad campaign and reemphasizes the ways in which the Circle of Protection “subordinates religion to politics.”
- To wrap things up, Jordan Ballor provides a splendid overview at Think Christian, pondering how Christians might reevaluate their values amid such goings on by focusing on five main areas: the individual, familial, ecclesial, economic and political. “We need to temper our expectations for what political solutions can offer us,” says Ballor, “and come to grips with what the legitimate limits of governmental action are.”
Did I miss any goodies out there? Do you feel like something has been lost in this debate? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.