Monday, March 01, 2010

The Tyranny of False Choices

Joseph C. Phillips latest article starts out ok, despite it's aggressive title, "Saving the Soul of the Religious Left." He takes liberals to task for suggesting any failure on the part of the Religious Right is evidence of hypocrisy; fair enough. Sometimes it clearly is, but sometimes it is just human weakness.

The bulk of his article argues however, that Liberal Christians believe in the state more than they believe in God. He ends with this challenge.
And here ultimately is the greatest question the religious left must be prepared to answer. Do we walk by faith in the administrative state? Or do we believe in mans capacity to change his life through the grace and mercy of God?
It's a false choice (as referenced by the title of this post). One can both serve God and believe in the spiritual improvement of ones fellow man while also working to make a society that works. Some might feel a calling more in one direction or the other, but there is no conflict between the two. Consider, for a moment, the abolition movement. There were plenty of religious abolitionists who looked at America in the first half of the 19th century and worked to improve it (by fighting slavery). They didn't see a conflict between their religious devotion and their desire to create a more just America. And I don't either.

1 comment:

Dan Coyle said...

Phillips strikes me as a man with a working bullshit detector; I don't doubt his conservative beliefs, but I do wonder if he really buys into the Jonah Goldberg/Townhall talking points.