God’s Convenient Politics
Lucky for Democrats, Jim Wallis is able to explain God’s politics, which are a curiously good fit to the current Democratic identity crisis: God’s “an economic progressive and family-values conservative,” just like the black, Latino, Catholic and working-class voters Dems miss. The Nation’s Katha Pollitt dismantles Wallis’ God’s Politics as an ahistorical and convenientinterpretation of Christian politics (“If it’s wrong, it isn’t truly evangelical, therefore evangelicalism is purely good.”) that boils down to majority rule. Pollitt writes: “The more insistently people bring Christianity into politics, the more political argument becomes a matter of Christian hermeneutics. Does God say gays should be executed or married? ‘Spare the rod’ or ‘suffer the little children’? I don’t see how we benefit as a society from translating politics into theology. We are left with the same debates, and a diminished range of ways in which to think about them. And, of course, a diminished number of voices — because if you’re not a believer, you’re out of the discussion.”
The A-Team
What kind of name for a band of supervillians, or even heroes, is “The Arlington Group“? More dowdy than terrifying. But then, we didn’t get their calmly-worded letter of disappointment. Bush did. The coalition of Christian conservatives, which includes James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, the Family Reseach Council, the American Family Association and the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote a confidential letter to Karl Rove last week, expressing their disappointment that the administration was pushing Social Security and other economic issues ahead of a same-sex marriage ban, and threatening outrage on behalf of black, Latino and Catholic voters who had broken with tradition to vote for Bush over gay marriage. Not so long ago, the letter warned, many of these supporters were working or middle class, and felt more loyalty towards Democrats and their support of Social Security programs. Something for Dems to get excited about? Probably not, but it’s always fun to see a number put to a person’s discontent: On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the point of disowning one’s son) the Family Research Council gave the White House an “8.”
Ashland U. Makes Rainbow Bracelet of Historical Ties
Ohio’s Ashland University, which announced last fall that it would restrict new faculty hires to Jews and Christians, has abandoned the policy in favor of requiring faculty members to support the university’s mission statement, which includes a commitment to Judeo-Christian values. Ashland music professor Donald Sloan explained that “there are excellent faculty members who are not expressly Jewish or Christian, but who nonetheless embody the kind of values the university wants to encourage.” We’re not sure which word is supposed to get the emphasis: “nonetheless,” implying “My God, there’s good people outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” or “expressly,” as in “they’ll come around.”
UCC Evangelizes SpongeBob
Jesus wouldn’t turn away SpongeBob Squarepants, and neither does the UCC. Rev. John H. Thomas, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, gave warm welcome to SpongeBob yesterday — as well to as Barney, Big Bird, Clifford, the long-banished Tinky-Winky, and anyone else who had “experienced the Christian message as a harsh word of judgment rather than Jesus’ offering of grace.” For real. Just before the world teeters fatally towards the absurd, Thomas delivers the moral: because James Dobson, who launched the attack on SpongeBob, regularly gets headlines for his “outrageous” accusations, it’s crucial for the UCC to “‘speak the Gospel in an accent not often heard in our culture, because far too many experience the cross only as judgment, never as embrace.’”
Survival of the Fittest

How come capitalist Americans, with their love of social Darwinism, and faith in “‘survival of the fittest’ free-market ideology,” don’t accept evolution as well? Stephen Peplow, on Peace, Earth and Justice News considers this underappreciated irony.