Thursday, June 02, 2005


A Liberal-Evangelical Alliance?

David Brooks published an interesting column last week in The New York Times in which he wrote:

...we can have a culture war in this country, or we can have a war on poverty, but we can't have both. That is to say, liberals and conservatives can go on bashing each other for being godless hedonists and primitive theocrats, or they can set those differences off to one side and work together to help the needy.

The natural alliance for antipoverty measures at home and abroad is between liberals and evangelical Christians. These are the only two groups that are really hyped up about these problems and willing to devote time and money to ameliorating them. If liberals and evangelicals don't get together on antipoverty measures, then there will be no majority for them and they won't get done. ...

And when I look at the evangelical community, I see a community in the midst of a transformation - branching out beyond the traditional issues of abortion and gay marriage, and getting more involved in programs to help the needy. ... I see evangelicals who are more and more influenced by Catholic social teaching, with its emphasis on good works. I see the historical rift healing between those who emphasized personal and social morality.

If that's all true -- and there's growing evidence that it is -- it's good news indeed.

One footnote: In the same column, Brooks stole a joke from Ed Spivey Jr., the humor columnist for Sojourners magazine, when he wrote, "...maybe I could write a book for rich Republicans called, "The Chauffeur Driven Life," which I think would do quite well." Spivey's version, published in December 04: "This book has sold so many copies the author is already working on a sequel: The Chauffeur-Driven Life."

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