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Change the Wind

I listened to Jim Wallis speak tonight about faith and public policy. There was more faith talk than public policy, unfortunately. Don't misunderstand, the speech wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either. I appreciated his avoidance of partisan bashing--instead he bashed both parties and said we need to move beyond right and left and go deeper, avoiding simplistic and shallow dichotomies. I also appreciated his echoing of MLK when he said the Church's purpose is not to be handmaiden nor master to the state, but it's conscience. The most annoying thing. . . ? His incessant name-dropping. He's friends with so-and-so and was mentored by HIM and was present for That Guy's inauguration. OK, OK, you travel in wide circles. I don't care. Give some direction on straightening a bent world.

I couldn't help but think of Jacques Ellul's Anarchy and Christianity. Wallis talked about changing the wind so the politicians will follow that. And that's good, we should endeavor to change the wind, but as Ellul cautioned, how long before that wind becomes stale air? Well, Ellul didn't use that metaphor, but his point was that institutions, even good ones, become subject to sin and corrupt--sometimes into money-sucking bureaucracy and sometimes into a worse beast than the one it killed.

How do we throw the moneychangers out without picking up their change and putting it in our pockets?

Lastly, too many Americans waste the standing O on so-so work. It wasn't that inspiring, people!

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