Romanticizing the spiritual foundations

I’m reading Sikivu Hutchinson’s wonderful new book Moral Combat. There’s an apposite passage about Jim Wallis in the first chapter:

Wallis argues that America is suffering from a crisis of values. Progressive religious belief is the antidote to this crisis because “history is most changed by social movements with a spiritual foundation.” [Wallis, God’s Politics, p 24] This view fails to consider the extent to which American social movements – from the white supremacist imperialist spiritual foundations of the Revolutionary War to the patriarchal and heterosexist spiritual foundations of the modern civil rights movement – have been hindered by their “spiritual” foundations. By romanticizing the spiritual foundations of social movements, Wallis demonstrates that he is unwilling to interrogate how Judeo-Christian dogma undermines women’s rights and gay rights. Hence Wallis’ prophetic politics is based on cherry picking scripture to articulate a social justice agenda fundamentally incompatible with the patriarchal, imperialist, sexist, homophobic, inhumane thrust of the Bible. [pp 15-6]

Italics mine. And just so: as we saw just a couple of weeks ago when Sojourners rejected that mild “let’s welcome everyone” ad because um er ah well it was about welcoming a lesbian couple and their little boy omigod.

23 Responses to “Romanticizing the spiritual foundations”