Friday, July 3, 2009

The Emerging Christian Left

In a Wall Street Journal article there was mention that the "Christian left" is emerging as a potent force to worry about global warming. The idea is that we have to be good stewards of God's creation. The Christian right doesn't like it because they say global warming is hype and that to counter it we will end up crippling the economy and, thus, the poor.

This discussion reminds me of a saying by the Simpson's own Comic Book Guy: "I'll take a hundred cheeseburgers. Ooh, loneliness and cheeseburgers are a deadly mix."

This whole idea of having a distinctly "Christian" view of political issues disturbs me. There are clearly some obvious things such as abortion, gay marriage, etc. that are immoral and anti-Biblical. Beyond that it is never easy to state that tax cuts or tax increases are bibilical or anti-biblical. Usually poverty is thrown out by liberal Christians as the thing Jesus talks most about. Therefore, we apparently need to have big government welfare programs to help the poor. While that's not what Jesus advocated, it's what we moderns should do if we Christians care for the poor. On the other end, I once heard James Dobson argue that the marriage tax penalty was awful and that Christians should be against it. I found this to be bizarre reasoning because the marriage tax penalty only hits if you have two spouses working. If you have only one and the other stays at home to care for the kids, the tax code actually offers a marriage tax benefit since filing as a household has lower marginal tax rates than filing as a non-married person. Did he think this through? Is Focus on the Family all for having two working spouses with the kids in daycare?

Anyway, I am Christian. I take my faith seriously. My faith informs my opinions but I like to think that the reasons I give for my opinions stand on their own merits and not because as a Christian I am supposed to think in a certain way. I wish Christians of all stripes would just think through issues, state their opinions, and not hide behind the banner of group think where they blithely assert that their opinion is essentially what any good Christian should think.

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