Thoughts from my readings of Jim Wallis' book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.
Introduction: Why Can't We Talk About Religion and Politics?
<>Wallis is frequently correct about how most people don't want to talk about religion, or politics, or both- being at AU, a politically active place where there is a lot of religious diversity and so at least some conversation, I forget sometimes how those subjects turn people off. I remember how much it always annoyed me in high school that the only place we ever talked at all about politics was in Civics class my senior year. People looked at me like I had two heads if I talked about it outside there, and ended the conversation rather quickly.
<>I wish people would take more time to ask whether they are on God's side rather than proclaiming confidently that God is on their side. It ticks me off to no end when people claim God for their political party--not because God is indifferent but because I think He is bigger than any one political affiliation. Like Wallis says, "God is not a Republican. Or a Democrat."
<>"Faith must be free to challenge both right and left from a consistent moral ground." I agree strongly, especially with the consistency part. So few people are consistent on what they believe. For instance, people will be pro-life on abortion but support the death penalty. It bugs me.
<>Poverty is a religious issue. The environment is a religious issue. War is a religious issue. A "consistent ethic of life" is a religious issue.
<>"Personal and social responsibility are both at the heart of religion."AND "God is personal, but never private." Both very true--and something people should keep in mind.
<>It's not a good idea to polarize politics and religion- the two are not mutually exclusive. If you try to isolate them, that leaves "a spirituality without social consequences and a politics with no soul."