With congressional Democrats and Republicans dickering over whether a fraction of one percent of the federal budget should be cut this year, some professing Christians are asking, “What Would Jesus Cut?” Many believers answer this rhetorical question in nonsensical ways, taking a few Bible verses out of context to baptize their political ideology.
For many years, Doug Bandow has been a thoughtful commentator on questions like this one. His 1988 book Beyond Good Intentions, written for Crossway’s Turning Point Christian Worldview series, is quite good, and in the years since he has continually pointed out problems with allegedly Christian policies advocated by both Republicans and Democrats.
Yesterday Bandow published a good piece on Forbes.com, calling attention to some of the erroneous assumptions believers often bring to their political activism: that God is partisan, that one can exercise compassion in an absence of suffering, that rent seekers don’t usually end up controlling government programs created with good intentions, etc. He praises those on the evangelical Left for refusing “to worship at the Pentagon altar,” but chides them for their lack of skepticism towards “schemes to seize power in order to promote social justice.” It’s a good read; check it out.
Also see Shawn Ritenour’s recent post on this same topic.