You are hereMy Personal 'Faith Priorities' for this Election

My Personal 'Faith Priorities' for this Election

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By Virgil - Posted on 25 October 2008

by Jim Wallis

In 2004, several conservative Catholic Bishops and a few megachurch pastors like Rick Warren issued their list of "non-negotiables," which were intended to be a voter guide for their followers. All of them were relatively the same list of issues: abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc. None of them even included the word "poverty," only one example of the missing issues which are found quite clearly in the Bible. All of them were also relatively the same as official Republican Party Web sites of "non-negotiables." The political connections and commitments of the religious non-negotiable writers were quite clear.I want to suggest a different approach this year and share my personal list of "faith priorities" that will guide me in making the imperfect choices that always confront us in any election year -- and suggest that each of you come up with your own list of "faith" or "moral" priorities for this election year and take them into the polling place with you.

After the last election, I wrote a book titled God's Politics. I was criticized by some for presuming to speak for God, but that wasn't the point. I was trying to explore what issues might be closest to the heart of God and how they may be quite different from what many strident religious voices were then saying. I was also saying that "God's Politics" will often turn our partisan politics upside down, transcend our ideological categories of Left and Right, and challenge the core values and priorities of our political culture. I was also trying to say that there is certainly no easy jump from God's politics to either the Republicans or Democrats. God is neither. In any election, we face imperfect choices, but our choices should reflect the things we believe God cares about if we are people of faith, and our own moral sensibilities if we are not people of faith. Therefore, people of faith, and all of us, should be "values voters" but vote all our values, not just a few that can be easily manipulated for the benefit of one party or another.

In 2008, the kingdom of God is not on the ballot in any of the 50 states as far as I can see. So we can't vote for that this year. But there are important choices in this year's election -- very important choices -- which will dramatically impact what many in the religious community and outside of it call "the common good," and the outcome could be very important, perhaps even more so than in many recent electoral contests.

I am in no position to tell anyone what is "non-negotiable," and neither is any Bishop or megachurch pastor, but let me tell you the "faith priorities" and values I will be voting on this year:

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Islamaphobe's picture

When I read articles by people like Jim Wallis, I suspect that my blood pressure rises considerably. I do agree that out society is too oriented toward the pursuit of material things and that dealing with the problem of poverty merits the attention of policymakers. But people like Wallis lament the evils of capitalism while remaining blissfully ignorant, and I mean IGNORANT, about what it takes for societies to rise out of poverty. IMO the current world financial and economic crisis is directly traceable to the failures of the big government that he seems to prefer.

John S. Evans

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