Anyone who reads this blog knows that we’re particularly interested in the relationship between economic freedom and social justice and the role of the Great Society in creating a permanent underclass. For too long evangelicals have let religious leftists dominate the debate, offering “solutions” that depend on discredited economic theories and require pouring money we don’t have into programs that don’t work.
Led by Jim Wallis and his “Circle of Protection,” the religious Left has asked President Obama “What would Jesus cut?” It was past time for Christians to rise to this challenge and remind our political leaders that good intentions cannot substitute for sound policies, and there are profound moral problems with coercive redistribution of wealth and ever-higher government spending.
Here’s Jordan Sekulow writing in the Washington Post:
While we believe that it is imperative that we show compassion for “the least of these,” that commandment is best fulfilled through Christian charity and spiritual counseling, not government programs. “To suggest that Matthew 25 – or any commandment concerning Christian charity – can be met through wealth redistribution is to obscure these truths. . . . Just as we should not balance the budget ‘on the backs of the poor,’ so we should not balance the budget on the backs of our children and grandchildren.”
The religious left has monopolized the language of morality and justice when it comes to matters of government spending. If we should ask, “What would Jesus cut?”, then we should also ask “Whom would Jesus indebt?” and “Whom would Jesus make dependent on government?” Since the poor are the first ones hurt by a damaged economy and low unemployment, there is a deeply moral case to be made for serving “the least of these” through policies that promote a flourishing economy and culture.
Don’t forget Marvin Olasky in World Magazine:
Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times Sunday column praised John Stott, who died last week. That was good. Kristof also used the death to attack his usual suspects, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and to praise liberal evangelicals Rich Cizik and Jim Wallis.
Stott, of course, was all about the gospel. He rightly didn’t put politics first, and I’m tired of evangelicals who get more excited about politics than the gospel. I’m also tired of Wallis’s Sojourners, which claims biblical warrant for welfare spending that helps posturing politicians but not the poor.
Last, but not least, is yours truly in National Review:
The letter represents just one step in a long battle to educate Americans — of all faiths — that the poor are not best served by welfare and that hundreds of billions of dollars of Great Society entitlements have not eradicated poverty but have instead created a permanent underclass and stifled the social mobility that is one of the cornerstones of the American dream.
Read the letter, sign it, and join an effort to turn the heart of Christian America back to true charity and away from the soul-killing failures of socialism and welfare.