Wednesday, June 01, 2011

If You Dislike Being Called Sanctimonious, Don't Act Sanctimoniously

The SWNIDish contempt for Jim Wallis is well known. His stentorian voice notwithstanding, Wallis is the epitome of the sixties relic who, as far as we can tell, has never questioned that the agenda of the political left is God's agenda. Feeding on the disillusionment and alienation of those who find the Religious Right repugnant (and who doesn't, really: those Philistines have no fashion sense whatsoever), Wallis asserts rather than argues, seduces rather than convinces. His persuasive appeal is moral superiority: we of the Christian Left really take the message of the Bible seriously, especially the canon within the canon that is Jesus and the Hebrew Prophets (which, by the way, would be a decent name for a rock band), as read by us in an anachronistic way that employs all the hermeneutical tricks that we decry when used by the Religious Right.

And he does all this sanctimoniously, we might add.

Recently our attention was drawn to the Rev. Wallis's collaborative blog. Its title is "God's Politics."

That's enough for us. Without a hint of irony, without the slightest note that the political implications of Christian faith have been a topic of lively debate for about two millennia, without the least acknowledgement that one might be earnestly mistaken, without self-depreciating humor, Wallis poses as a prophet.

It's been a generation since sixties radicals became self-parodies. Why isn't Wallis in on the joke yet?

Let bloggers everywhere imitate the lightly enlightened example of this blog: in the brashly narcissistic act of sharing your random thoughts with the world's billions, make self-depreciating fun of your pretensions via your blog title and other cute little acts of sarcasm. Don't admit directly that you're an arrogant idiot, or you'll seem sorry for yourself, in the dreadful manner of the passive-aggressive. Make your egotistical predicament the first joke, so that you get it out of the way early, clearing the ground for whatever provocation to thought that you can provide.

Maybe just add a question mark to the title of that blog, Rev. Wallis. It would imply something like, "We Report: You Decide."


Anthony Jones said...

Wouldn't those guys try to argue that they don't only support things on the leftist agenda? I know one guy that writes for them that would say they are not only for left ideas.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We'd like to see just one example of something that isn't on the left's agenda from these guys. Just one. We've never seen it. And when you support even the most obviously coalition-politics-driven aspects of the agenda (e.g., opposing charter schools or insisting on collective bargaining for public employees), it's hard to deny that you're a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Alternately, just acknowledge once that some people on the right have taken their positions precisely because they've concluded that they're the best policies for the long-term benefit of the poor and vulnerable. Just once. We've never seen it.

Anthony Jones said...

I certainly have never seen anything on there that is conservative politically, but I have seen stuff on there that is politically neutral. For example, recently Wallis wrote one calling out men in power like Arnold Schwarzneggar (can't spell it) and Donald Trump for their approach to women and urging other political leaders to condemn that sort of behavior. That'd be just one example....But I agree with everything else you say.And they certainly never communicate a person can be both a thoughtful Christian AND a politically conservative person at the same time.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Yes, it's really courageously nonpartisan to call out RINOs like Ahnold and The Donald, omitting, say, John Edwards. More of the same.

What's really galling about this to SWNID is the Wallis is a survivor of the 1970s, so he lived through the bad stuff and ought to know better by now. He's not like these kids who think that the left is a new thing that breaks the evil stranglehold of the Religious Right.