Jesus' alternative to the Religious Right

As a follow-up to the points on religion and politics which I made towards the end of my previous post, I present this interesting article.

I found it quoted in full on the RSS feed of a blog I regularly follow, from a Christian blogger who has expressed strong anti-Obama opinions in the last few weeks. I was pleased to see that he had apparently had a change of heart in endorsing these sentiments. But he seems to have deleted this post from his blog. Perhaps he understood how inconsistent these thoughts are with his anti-Obama views. Or possibly he realised, or was reminded, that by reproducing the full article he was breaching copyright. (Since there is no longer a mention of this on the blog, I will not identify the blogger.)

The article is in the Jewish World Review, written by Cal Thomas (who I initially assumed to be a Jew, but I am now told is an evangelical Christian). The title is Religious Right, R.I.P., and indeed the initial thrust of the article is to proclaim that after 30 years this movement is at an end. But it is encouraging to see the alternative put forward to a primarily Jewish audience (and using the Jewish convention of writing “G-d” for “God”):

If results are what conservative Evangelicals want, they already have a model. It is contained in the life and commands of Jesus of Nazareth. Suppose millions of conservative Evangelicals engaged in an old and proven type of radical behavior. Suppose they followed the admonition of Jesus to “love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison and care for widows and orphans,” not as ends, as so many liberals do by using government, but as a means of demonstrating G-d’s love for the whole person in order that people might seek Him?

Such a strategy could be more “transformational” than electing a new president, even the first president of color. …

Evangelicals are at a junction. They can take the path that will lead them to more futility and ineffective attempts to reform culture through government, or they can embrace the far more powerful methods outlined by the One they claim to follow. By following His example, they will decrease, but He will increase. They will get no credit, but they will see results. If conservative Evangelicals choose obscurity and seek to glorify G-d, they will get much of what they hope for, but can never achieve, in and through politics.


UPDATE: Thanks to Tim and Barry for clarifying that Cal Thomas is not in fact a Jew. In fact I found the same article, but with “God” instead of “G-d”, on his own website. So it seems that this article was in fact not written specifically for a Jewish audience. But I am astonished that the presumably Jewish editors of the Jewish World Review chose to publish it, unedited except for “G-d” and an excellent change from “Scripture teaches” to “G-d teaches in His Word”.

0 thoughts on “Jesus' alternative to the Religious Right

  1. Peter, I don’t think Cal Thomas is Jewish. He is a conservative political columnist who was Vice-President of Moral Majority (Jerry Falwell’s organisation) in the USA in the late 1980s. I had always assumed that he was Christian, due to his close association with Falwell.

  2. Peter: Cal Thomas is an evangelical Christian, very publicly so. The Jewish World Review publishes a lot of conservative political commentary, from many sources, including from evangelicals.

    Thomas’ words are still good stuff to think about though.

  3. Pingback: The end of a movement? - He is Sufficient

  4. I agree that the article is superb, but don’t understand why you would feel ‘astonished’ that a Jewish paper would pubkish it.Seems a little short sighted at the minimum

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