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Wallis (The Soul of Politics, 1994) believes that many Americans genuinely want to see politics renewed by a sense of personal values and responsibility but do not want to give up the equally biblical imperative for social justice. Although he criticizes the Democrats for a lack of moral imagination, much of his book is an attack on Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition. He traces the way in which the religious right has successfully promoted itself as the voice of Christianity in this country, in spite of the fact that its leaders do not talk much about the teachings of Jesus and the Hebrew prophets. Wallis reminds us that the Bible consistently rebukes the rich and powerful for their neglect of the poor, and that evangelical Christians in the last century were leaders in the abolitionist movement and advocates for the poor. Although he speaks as a Protestant, Wallis admires the coherence of Catholic social teaching, in which opposition to abortion goes hand in hand with insistence on society's duty to care for the disenfranchised. Wallis's own political vision includes compassion for the poor, a renewed sense of community, and a new civility in public discourse. Although he is hard-hitting in his denunciations, he is not always as clear or specific in his proposals. On abortion, Wallis favors legal restrictions, not recriminalization, and the creation of a climate in which abortion would become "less thinkable." He supports legislation to strengthen the family and also to protect the rights of homosexuals. He concludes with a policy statement that has been endorsed by over 80 Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox church leaders.
Cogent and well written, Wallis's call for action deserves to be heard.
Posted September 13, 2002
The book, "Who talks for God" I started reading assuming it was a book for Christians to come together on some of the issues... and it didn't seem to be that book. Since a very good friend had recommended it - I figured the problem must be my expectation of what the book was about. - So I tried to read it again assuming it was to liberal Christians to reconcile some of the politics of the left with their faith and that didn't work either. Then I thought maybe it's addressed to agnostics/atheists on the far left to explain how Christians could be on the same side on social issues. (Wallis doesn't appear to even know any conservatives). Then I tried searching for what other people had found in it on the web - thinking that could bring some clarity to the what it is, what it means. I found that a lot of other people thought highly of it - It's won some awards! But except for the promo blurbs, there doesn't seem to be anything written about it - If someone has found any gold here, please write a reply! On my part, my wife's two oldest daughters are screwed up Addicts. And my wife and I are always trying to walk the line between helping and enabling... Professions of faith on their part are usually faked 'jail-house conversions.' Declarations that they have decided to change are faked. My wife and I are down to never giving them any money (and we've given them thousands) but just food and diapers for the baby; because until they change, the money is just used for drugs - Possessions are just hocked for drugs - Apartments are sublet to others in exchange for drugs - They use every asset to destroy themselves and those near them. From my experience in dealing with them, and what I believe about bureaucracies, I do not support government aid to anyone - I'm libertarian. I think sucking in government funds into the church to aid the poor will have the same effect on the church as the church-state bond does in Europe - which I see as a disaster for the church - and more importantly a disaster for the faith. I could be wrong. Heck, I'd like to be wrong; and have some lever I could pull in this situation to actually aid them. But except for Prayer, my advice is to stand clear. Stupidity is like plutonium, you don't want to get any on you. Sorry for the rant... This probably betrays my spiritual weakness - because the bible says calling your brother a 'blockhead' puts you in danger of hellfire - and It's part of my faith I have a problem resolving.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.