As Reported in the Foreign Press

The Guardian, as usual, does a better job reporting on America than most American newspapers.

Apparently Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics: Why the American Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It, is in England promoting his book. He gives the interviewer from the Guardian a couple of great quotes:

"Where would we be if Martin Luther King or Desmond Tutu had kept their faith to themselves? Clearly, there are examples of bad religion - American television evangelists and Muslim suicide bombers - but the answer is not no religion, but better religion."


"Clearly, God is not a Republican or a Democrat ... the privatising of faith has weakened its impact on critical public issues and opened the door for a rightwing Christian politics which both narrows and distorts a biblical agenda."

And the best...

"I don't doubt the president's sincerity, but his theology is alarming," he said. "It is a theology of empire ... In his heart, he cares about poor people - but it does not matter to him because that's an issue to be left to charity. His constituency base is the wealthy, and tax cuts are at the heart of his policy. Only in America could you have the prosperity gospel - that the rich are rich because they have God's favour."

I haven't read Mr. Wallis' book. If anybody out there has, let me know if it's worth going out and buying. From what I understand of his premise, I agree with him. The Religous Right isn't really emulating what Jesus would do, no matter how many bumper stickers and bracelets say otherwise. The bible contains literally thousands of refrences to helping the poor, downtrodden, and disadvantaged. Only two or three (at most) about homosexuality. Then, of course, there's the "thou shalt not kill" and "Surely I tell you, it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven." Squaring those with the War in Iraq and tax cuts for corporations and millionairs requires some theological slight of hand...

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