God's Politics

Partly prompted by a disembowelling of this earlier in the year in another blog, I have been re-reading this book by Jim Wallis throughout the latter stages of the Presidential Election and over the period when the world economy has tanked.

It was written against the background of W's election for a second term, but it will be interesting to see whether the new White House incumbent follows policies that are any closer to this manifesto than the current occupant of the same residence.

My only problems with the book are that

1) It buys in unquestioningly to the idea that democracy is uniquely approved by God and that the United States of America is the finest flowering of that particular political ideology. He seems to have watered this down a little in the British version, but it still comes through loud and clear.

2) It is a tad self-beatifying and although I respect Wallis and his perspectives, I wish he wouldn't keep quoting himself!

In our wee country politics have, for too long been dictated by constitutional and sectarian issues... and sadly the church's response has generally been to either uncritically chaplain their own "side", or to get offside and say "a pox on both your houses."

Now, things are beginning to normalise and politics are starting to mirror the rest of western Europe with a centre-right divide (with the left having been largely discarded). The re-assertion of the link between the conservatives and Ulster Unionists is one sign of that... Though it does beg the question as to where a person of left-leaning, Unionist perspectives might vote, if they are reluctant to espouse the PUP until the UVF have disappeared? Alliance... don't make me laugh!

But if we swap a centre-right polarity for a green-orange one in the politics of this province, how should people of faith vote?

Certainly the three main issues on Wallis' manifesto should shape our thinking:

1) Peace/War/Justice/Security

2) Poverty/Wealth/Economy/Debt

3) Morality (within the context of a consistent ethic of life) and Human Rights

Let's see if we can judge, not only the new President of the USA but also the newly resurrected Assembly Executive on these criteria...


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