If You Are The Only One Saying Something, Chances Are You’re Wrong
This week I am finishing my delve into the quadrilateral of Liberal Christian authors. Having previously read Ron Sider, Shane Claiborne, and Tony Campolo, the only one of the big four left off the list was Jim Wallis. His recent work, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith and Politics in a Post-Religious Right America, is interesting in that he spends much of his time arguing that both Conservatives and Liberals have missed the boat. This is pretty much typical Wallis, as I’m sure you remember his previous best-seller (God’s Politics) which lauded the fact that the Right is wrong and the Left is off-course. And who can forget the catchy slogan that Sojourners (the organization Wallis founded) popularized, “God is not a Republican…or a Democrat.” The thing that is interesting about all of this is, for all the time Wallis spends saying he is not a conservative or a liberal, everyone else but him seems to understand that he is no centrist, he is the patriarch of the modern Religious Left!
Which leads me to the main point of this diatribe: if you are the only one saying something, chances are you’re wrong. In this case Wallis is the only one saying that he is not a Liberal, while the media, Evangelical culture, the publishing world, and even the President clearly understand that he is a Leftist. We all understand the wink-and-nod when Sojourners says that “God is not a Democrat,” they clearly believe that, while God isn’t a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party, He would probably vote for someone with a “D” next to their name were He given the chance. I recognize that Liberalism is a very justifiable political philosphy to adhere to, but if you are a liberal at least have the courage to call yourself that. The political center encompasses many different positions, I’m just not sure you could place Wallis there.