The Pedestal-izing of Sojourners
Wallis has a rap that sounds highly moral, just high enough to sound good to the gullible amorals looking for a way to communicate a DNC message to an increasingly evangelical nation. And as such, he's getting big promotion for his new book with high-profile profiles in Dem mouthpieces like the LATimes, which published a major, glowing profile this morning. The LAT hails him as "a possible bridge between left and right," exactly what Wallis sees himself as ... someone must have leaked the LAT his talking points.
Do a Google search on Wallis and Sojourners, and you'll find NPR, liberal church and liberal media hits galore. Say what you will, Wallis is successfully filling a vacuum. The trouble with Wallis, though, is that he mischaracterizes evangelicals and offers no solutions, which may be why he's so appealing to the Dems. Just look at what he preaches:
- On abortion, Wallace opposes criminalization, but supports "financial and emotional safety nets for pregnant women," and parental notification. Great, but how can you be anti-abortion and not be anti-abortionist? It plays with the Dems, but not with conservative Christians.
- He says it is always better to err on the side of life, but won't speak out on the Terri Schiavo case because he doesn't know enough about the case to discuss it. Mouthpiecing for the MSM, he criticizes conservatives for politicizing the case, but doesn't criticize the "right to die" people who have funding Michael Schiavo for doing the same. It plays with the Dems, but not with conservative Christians.
- On marriage, he says he's for traditional marriage, but he opposes a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages, and supports civil unions for gay couples. He may be for traditional marriage, but he's not willing to fight for it. It plays with the Dems, but not with conservative Christians.
- According to the LAT, "Wallis cites the prophet Isaiah's vision of a good life — enough housing, food and work for all — to argue for more government spending for the needy," and therefore criticizes Bush's "tax cuts as skewing toward the wealthy." Anyone who's reading anything besides Dem talking points -- and apparently Wallis isn't -- knows that the Bush tax cuts benefitted just about everyone, and that the "skew" towards the wealthy is more accurately termed a "slight correction of a massive over-skew the other way." He's talking politics, not theology, and it plays with the Dems, but not with conservative Christians.
- He is an opponent of the war in Iraq, but also of war, selectively quoting Scripture ("beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks"), and ignoring the many, many verses when God called on the Hebrews to rise up against those who oppose his Word and his people. Wallis thinks we should have removed Saddam Hussein through international legal processes, an opinion that, given the history of the UN and Iraq, is laughably naive, as is his thinking that economic development and humanitarian aid will change politics in the Near East. Aid is good, but after decades and billions, it has merely helped people; it has not change politics. It plays with the Dems, but not with conservative Christians.
Still, having a Rev. Wallis around isn't a bad thing. Christian conservatives need to remember that Christ is Christ and the GOP is the GOP, and they are not the same. While it's unlikely we'll curry much to Wallis, we must acknowledge that we learn more through criticism than through praise.
The danger of a Wallis is that the DNC will use him and others to try to craft a "moral" language to cover their amorality and Socialism, and they will succeed in duping many fence-sitting voters with that language. If and when that occurs, Rev. Wallis will have on his back the deaths of more aborted children, the poor appropriation of funds away from the Bush Doctrine and into the black hole of feel-good foreign aid, and the continuing growth of moral ambiguity in our nation.