Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hillary (and other Dems) quoting Scripture

Any exegetical problems here?
Hillary Clinton, the lifelong Methodist, seems to take her denominational commitment more seriously. Jim Wallis enthusiastically introduced her as "someone who quotes Matthew 25 often, and she quotes it right!" By this reference, of course, Mr. Wallis meant that Ms. Clinton rightly understands Christ's supposed commands about enlarging federal welfare programs.

"I missed the Sunday school lesson about how we help the poor by giving tax cuts to the rich," Ms. Clinton observed sarcastically. "The budget is a moral document!" Ms. Clinton insisted, repeating an old religious left refrain. "Behind those numbers are decisions. How are we going to give a boost up the economic ladder when too many tools have been removed to make that happen."

Like others at the Mr. Wallis event, Ms. Clinton warned against the seductive allure of the religious right. "Don't let people get away with nice words," she implored. "Don't let them quote scripture to you."

4 Comments:

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

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At 8:14 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

Wow... the author saved the worst commentary for the end. That lady who recieved the "Amos Award"... goodnight! I wouldn't no where to begin to debate her.

On the other hand, these democrat hopefuls do have some valid points and concerns. We've seen how govt. programs can actually cripple the poor and enslave their imagination from the true fruit of freedom... but the Gospel does place a mandate before Christians everywhere to care for and love the poor. Shouldn't that find at least some expression in government? If not in govt. (that's to be debated) Christians should at least care and give more than they do... perhaps not money but what about time and relationships? Shane Claiborne said, "The tragedy in the Chruch is not that Christians do not care about the poor but that Christians do not know the poor."

Maybe these principles don't need to be expounded on by politicans on the campaign trail at all... maybe they need to be preached by pastors in the pulpits of the church.

 
At 7:43 AM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...

Doug:

Some valid points? Like God cares about the poor, perhaps? OK - but if the valid point ends there then that is hardly sufficient grounds for Hillary, Obama and Dean to base their noble speeches on. Government assistance has been a long-term disaster that has actually created poverty, certainly behavioral poverty. Look at the crime stats alone since the Great Society started in.

If these folks want to speak with integrity then show us the weekly poor you invest your life in. Legislation doesn't seem to be what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 25:31-46.

Matt

BTW - great new blog. Really great.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

As I re-read the article you link ed to it dawned on me that when 'liberal' christians, mainliners, social activists, whoever... look to the govt. for the solution to poverty, social welfare, etc... They really aren't any different from the 'conservative' *read republican* evangelical camp that looks to govt. for the solution to all the moral dilemnas in our culture.

You are right, Jesus' words in Matt 25 were not spoken to Caesar, they were spoken to Jewish peasants... the people of God.

That's not to say our govt. has no role to play in caring for orphans and widows or prohibiting stem cell research and banning cloning (pick your favorite issues) but 'moral good' is first the responsibility of the church.

But that was my point before, when I said, "these principles don't need to be expounded on by politicans on the campaign trail at all... maybe they need to be preached by pastors in the pulpits of the church."

In the end, if we *read christians* were doing our 'job' better there might not be a need for govt. programs like those these politicans appeal to. Then again, those programs are the easy way... the gospel extends a helping hand, but it also calls for life change.

I thought it was wonderful reading and hearing first hand accounts of how churches all across America responded to Katrina *and I don't want to take anything away from that* but you know, that was mostly middle class America helping middle class America. It involved construction, clothing and food... but it didn't call for life-long relationships. If we really want to help the poor, it might mean something like what my seminary friend Mark Musser did years ago in Mississippi. He was paid minimum wage to spend every afternoon giving his life to teenage boys in the African American community. He could have been making good money else where, after all he had a B.S. from the University of PA. He could have made more money and given half of it to charity. But you inspired him, Matt, to give his life away relationally. That may be a higher price to pay than coughing up a weekend and some cash, Again, not to take anything away from Katrina relief, maybe it was the first step in the right direction? If folks get a taste for altruistic service maybe they'll find more ways to do it.

 

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