Stateside

The Christian right and global poverty

This may be a sign of better (or at least less-bad) things to come from the Christian right in the US:

Concerned that the nation’s incendiary culture wars have taken a toll on their image, Christian conservatives are joining liberals in calling for more government spending to combat global poverty and are urging fellow evangelicals to remember that their primary calling is personal ministry, not politics.

The National Association of Evangelicals — a conservative group mostly known for its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage — joined other religious leaders meeting in London last week to urge those attending the upcoming Group of Eight summit in Scotland to dramatically increase aid and trade benefits to impoverished nations.
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Last fall, the association produced a document it described as ”historic,” urging members to pursue a ”biblically balanced agenda” of civic engagement. ”Justice for the poor” was included alongside sanctity of life and marriage, with the note that ”God measures societies by how they treat people at the bottom.”

Does this mean they’ll also be making the Christian case for a higher minimum wage, universal health insurance and fairer labor laws? Probably not any time soon. But I think liberals and leftists– while standing firm on gay rights, abortion rights and teaching of evolution– should probably spend less time sneering at conservative Christians and more time looking for points of agreement with them.

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