Ralph Reed & Straw men

Jim Wallis and Ralph Reed are talking . . .

Ralph Reed to Jim Wallis: Rejecting the Liberal “Straw Man”

Now we’re into debate . . . when people say “straw man” and “begs the question” we’re debating! Wahoo!

Reed is articulate to point out that conservative Republicans agree that gay marriage and abortion are not the only moral issues, that Republicans have championed other moral issues such as home ownership for those in poverty. This is needed justice for the poor, but Reed “begs the question” by naming one current example of a Republican moral issue (other than prayer in schools, gay marriage, abortion) then moving on to talk history and philosophical and media issues.

That the Right has so focused on 2-3 issues to the neglect of others, is pointed out by several who comment and by Wallis in his lastest post. Reed, like many political activitists, doesn’t acknowledge that some Republicans have co-opted a few “moral issues” for political gain. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen on the Democratic side. It in fact does. And yes, I don’t get why Democrats can’t bring themselves to acknowledge and address the 92 percent of the country that believes in God and talk about faith more.

Read the dialogue between the Reed and Wallis. I found it useful and interesting.

Followers of Christ, are you willing to acknowledge that our allegiance is not to party, and it’s not even to country when either party or country advances agendas, policies, or philosophies that run counter to the moral teaching of Christ?

*Note: Lots of bloggers or commenters misuse phrases like “begs the question,” thinking it means something like, “it really leads me to this vital question” when it’s a rhetorical term meaning when someone takes as a premise something that’s supposed to be proved then concluded by that evidence. See grammar note.

5 comments on “Ralph Reed & Straw men

  1. I’m compelled to add this more positive and helpful comment than my post! This from Will on the God’s Politics Blog:

    Will says–

    My church is showing “An Inconvenient Truth”, a film about Global Warming in a few weeks — we’re a moderate congregation in the suburbs and have Republican and Democratic members who care deeply about the environment. Are other folks churches speaking up about stewardship of the earth, care for creation?

    I know a lot of evangelicals my age who are passionate about ending the genocide in the Sudan, ending the war in Iraq and seeing that working people are a paid living wage. Why not have a “values agenda” that people on both sides can support — that call us all to a higher ground for the common good. Surely torturing people, dividing communities with ballot measures and scapegoating minorities is not a way to live out the way of Jesus. As the Psalmist says “seek peace and pursue it”, as Micah says “do justice, love kindness, walk humbly” as Jesus says “what you do for the least of these you do for me”.



  2. HA! What if Jesus visited America and perhaps visited your town or Washington D.C.? Who would try to defeat him, and who would co-opt his cause for political gain or power (like some disciples wanted to do), and who would follow him?


  3. This is an idea that I’ve long thought would make an interesting (and convicting) story… how will our society react to Jesus upon his return? Will we (I) have we learned anything from history? Our track record is not incredibly promising.


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