Landscape organizes everything within sight.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thunderbolts for Tom DeLay

This week, Republican Washington should be a nervous city. The Right-wing citidel of corruption is in the process of crumbling. Lobbyists are naming names to get themselves out of jail time. Millions of dollars of American Indian money spent on lavish entertainments for public officials. Money designated for athletics equipment of poor youth spent on Congressmen's golf trips to Scotland. An entire political culture that runs on greed and corporate kickbacks instead of representational democracy is being unmasked before our eyes.

Democrats don't do prophetic damnation well. Nancy Pelosi as Isaiah is out of character. What Dobson and Robertson pull off with aplomb, Democrats pull off weakly. Democrats hug trees; Republicans call down thunderbolts. Democrats build playgrounds in slums; Republicans call on the mighty to repent. Democrats have built a thirty-year reputation on the basis of reckoning with social forces, arguing from detailed economic and intellectual positions. Calling down fire and brimstone just isn't in their job description.

So when faced with blatant, fierce, wretched human evil, Democrats aren't necessarily the folks to take advantage of the moment. As Heritage Institute scholar Joseph Loconte pointed out in a New York Times editorial this weekend, recent attempts by Democrats to call down the wrath of God have struck many as laughable, forced, and dangerous.

Loconte points to a recent Berkeley conference for spiritual progressives and a seminar entitled "I Don't Believe in God, but I Know America Needs a Spiritual Left." Loconte hits the nail on the head when he goes after Wallis. Wallis damned the GOP budget with charges of immorality quoted from Leviticus. But Americans know that Leftists don't cite Leviticus, and that if you cite Leviticus, you instantly open yourself up the cherry-picking charge. Leviticus has some unsavory things to say of gays and women.

Jim Wallis's style of Biblically-based preaching makes perfect sense within his own background as an Evangelical preacher. But Americans also instantly recognize that most liberals aren't evangelicals.

Many religious Liberals have more complicated relationships with their Bibles. And this is known widely by America, the Heritage Institute, and the Media. Some religious liberals believe the Bible to be an inspired and powerful text with a direct connection to God, but only correctly understood from the perspective of theological and historical study. Some spiritual liberals are suspicious of organized religion altogether. Most of these groups don't call thunderbolts. They pray for the wicked to repent. They pray for God to teach and instruct them. They pray for the poor, the immigrant, and the evacuee, and they supplement their prayers with political activism and social work with hammers in their hands.

Only a fairly small percentage of religious liberals are actual Bible-based evangelicals from a tradition similar to Wallis's, where Biblical truth can be used to call thunderbolts down on the wicked. When Episcopalian and Methodist clergy stand arm-in-arm with Wallis, and Wallis calls down thunderbolts on the GOP's budget, the Episcopalian and Methodist clergy come off as fakes. Everybody knows that Wallis's friends have advanced graduate degrees in postmodern philosophy. Everybody sees that Wallis is the only one in the picket line who believes in the power of the thunderbolt. Everyone else is just pissed off.

Wallis, God-bless-him, is merely the most articulate of the Progressive Christians. But he can't speak, like Thomas Merton, to the full weight of historical orthodoxy and tradition as understood by the 1/3 of American Christians who are Catholics. Nor can he, like William Sloan Coffin, reason with the political vision of reasonable, well-read Protestants studying together for the common good, that informs the tradition of the 1/3 of American Christians who are mainline Protestants.

Theology and history have their own thunderbolts. To call the corrupt regime of GOP senators a "betrayal of the American tradition of participatory democracy" or even "a betrayal of the values of the church to serve all people" is to damn the monster for what it is.

Democrats are rightly proud of Wallis and the progressive evangelicals; they rightly value his thunderbolts. But Protestant and Catholic liberals need to learn to speak with their own voice and their own idioms. Else, the thunderbolts go askew, the Religious Left becomes as irresponsible and phony as the Religious Right, and Democrats will still come off as fakes incapable of speaking to public opinion.

2 Comments:

Blogger DLW said...

well written.

My disagreement would be that I don't think we can shut out the freedom of $peech in our politics and that if we are honest, the influence of moneyed interests on legislation is a key attribute of Capitalism that provides for stability in whose interests are protected by the gov't that allows for longterm investment and what-not.

I think the system needs to be more transparent and would like very much for all political contributions to be taxed progressively, with foreign contributors paying the highest tax rate. But, I can't say that the purchase of increased influence through the democracy of the dollar is inherently evil. I think it lets parties signal the importance of issues for themselves. I think that when there is great wealth-inequality as there is, it definitely causes serious problems and needs to be checked. And so the issue becomes for me, how do we best check its influence, not getting caught up in moral uproar over the public revelation that it is endemic in our system.

dlw

9:51 AM  
Blogger sexy said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,按摩棒,跳蛋,充氣娃娃,情境坊歡愉用品,情趣用品,情人節禮物,情惑用品性易購,A片,視訊聊天室,視訊,視訊聊天,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,聊天室,UT聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,免費視訊聊天室

免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,A片,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛

A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,av dvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,SEX,成人圖片區

情趣用品,A片,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,色情網站,免費AV,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,成人影片,情色網


情趣用品,A片,免費A片,日本A片,A片下載,線上A片,成人電影,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,微風成人區,成人文章,成人影城,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,臺灣情色網,色情,情色電影,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,麗的色遊戲,情色論壇,色情網站,一葉情貼圖片區,做愛,性愛,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,美女交友,做愛影片

av,情趣用品,a片,成人電影,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,aio,av女優,AV,免費A片,日本a片,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,聊天室,美女交友,成人光碟

情趣用品.A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,色情遊戲,色情網站,聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,免費A片,日本a片,a片下載,線上a片,av女優,av,成人電影,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,成人網站,自拍,尋夢園聊天室

6:52 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home