As I’ve aged, I’ve found myself transformed from scientist to engineer, from artist to performer, from philosopher to pragmatist. It’s a pretty typical pattern. Be it accident or serendipity, this journey has coincided with a sudden interest in politics. My middle aged pragmatism has paid off, personally, in this new hobby. I’ve definitely discovered that, at least in the political realm, experience is, for me, the best teacher I can find.
I am not positive at all toward Jim Wallis’s left-leaning positions on government intervention in the economy and social issues. Nonetheless, he is completely correct in his criticism of John McCain and Vietnam/Iraq:
Let me state some clear convictions from many of us in faith community. The war in Vietnam was morally wrong. The war in Iraq was morally wrong. And John McCain has been morally wrong on both of them. Christian judgments of war should always run a narrow spectrum — from the peacemaking ethic of Jesus which rejects war to the just war theology of Augustine and Aquinas. But even in the just war tradition, conflicts have to pass a number of moral tests and be the option of “last resort.” The burden of proof is always on those who support war to justify the taking of life.
Well said, Mr. Wallis. However, I find it odd that while Wallis has repeatedly gone out of his way to criticize wars initiated by Republicans, he has been nearly silent on the five or six lower-profile wars his friend and confidante President Barack Obama has initiated.
Wallis is walking a very fine line at the edges of political power, and I would encourage anyone who reads Sojourners to consider what a principled stance against state-sponsored violence really entails.