I’m working on transforming myself from a left-wing Christian into a… no-wing Christian. (We shouldn’t need wings to fly, ha-ha.)
There’s been this tension I’ve been experiencing recently. It’s been around politics, really. I am so far from having it worked out. I’ll probably continue to slip into old patterns when I don’t mean to. But I’m going to shoot for being a no-wing Christian.
Conversations (both online and real-world) with many of you, and books like Shane Clairborne’s excellent Jesus for President have been some of the external factors that have shaped and driven some of the internal considerations that bring me to this place.
I’m probably going to be mining this territory in my brain/mind/heart/soul for some time, but today I’m going to start with some realizations that maybe laid the groundwork for where I’m at now.
These realizations are the hypocrisy of the right… and the left.
(If hypocrisy is too strong a word, at the bare minimum let’s call these inconsistencies.)
The right says that the government shouldn’t police anything material, physical. They say down with the EPA, down the FDA, down with consumer protections, because the market will keep us all safe… and then the right goes on to affirm that the government should police everything moral.
The left says that we need tons of government regulation of material things. But this regulation stops with anything we can put our fingers on. Many folks on the left want the government to be a-moral, which seems to me do be a virtual impossibility.
The right claims that a free market capitalist system is so powerful because greed is such a profound and universal characteristic. Yet the claim seems to be that if we weren’t taxed so heavily the extra wealth that we’d all have would be used for so many charitable causes that we wouldn’t need government welfare programs. This leads to the question: which is it, are people basically good or are people basically selfish?
Many people on the left assert that convicted killers have a right to live, yet won’t accord that same basic right to children who haven’t left the womb.
Many people on the right claim that we don’t have the right to terminate a pregnancy which will eventually lead to a human child… Yet they think that we do have the right to extinguish a fully developed human in the case of the death penalty.
I’m sure that there are more than just these. And I’m sure that there are ways that some of these tensions and inconsistencies might be resolved. But they all lead me to the conclusion that there aren’t any real political solutions.