“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites be as loudly self-righteous as possible, for they disfigure their faces that their so that your fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward you will receive accolades from the Huffington Post. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others advertise the fact as much as possible to get favorable media coverage and thus get attention but by your Father who is in secret from elected officials, the media and most importantly your donors who read your blog. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you supporters and donors will reward you via Paypal. (Matthew 6:16-18, Social Justice Re-Mix)I am not sure how I missed this but as always reading the religion pages of the Huffington Post has provided rich fodder of foolishness (and I haven't even read Al Shaprton's essay on Passover and Easter yet!) So apparently Jim Wallis, Ambassador Tony Hall and others have engaged in a fast that has "gone viral" to protest the Federal budget cuts that have no chance of actually passing. There were mutliple links to articles about Wallis and his left wing religious publicity stunt. I call it that because what else can you call it? It is interesting that the Gospels record that Jesus spoke of fasting in secret so as not to seek the approval of men and that His disciples were questioned because they didn't fast (at least not openly)and yet here we have a follower of Christ going out of his way to point out that he is fasting.
To get an idea of how blinded by his idealogy Jim Wallis is, you only need read this quote:
Wallis rejected the idea the U.S. is strapped for cash, and accused lawmakers of simply spending money in the wrong areas.
That is the same line of baloney you get from the New York Times. There is no debt, if there was a debt it isn't a big deal and anyway the only way to reduce the debt is to go into more debt. I will agree with what Wallis said in part. While we certainly are strapped for cash via a $14,000,000,000,000 deficit that we are told must be increased to avoid calamity, calamity I tell ya!, a crushing debt that will destroy economic opportunity for future generations of Americans, rich and poor alike, I would agree that we are spending money in all the wrong area. Namely almost every area of spending the Federal government engages in!
I appreciate the zeal of Jim Wallis and others for the poor, I just would desire that they would stop placing their faith in the worst possible vehicle for alleviating poverty (i.e. the confiscation of property from one class of people and transfering that property to another class of people by a secular state via coercion and under threat of imprisonment). The Federal government can never tax enough, spend enough, borrow enough to end poverty and in fact all of the spending/taxing/borrowing for the last four decades has actually made poverty worse and indebted the nation. I have no confidence that eliminating poverty is even a feasible goal but I also am sure that God's people can and must do far more to love our neighbor than we do presently. I think Jim Wallis, Sojourners, etc. would have far more impact by calling on the church to do more to help the poor rather than calling on the church to call their Congressman. As it stands their message is easily dismissed as political liberalism dressed up in religious language.
The call to proclaim the Gospel and care for the poor, the hungry, the widow and the orphan deserves more than cheap political grandstanding,