Some more on the Jim Wallis/Glenn Beck debate:
Jim Wallis has made a hobby recently of denying that he believes ‘forced redistribution’ is part of ‘social justice.’ But he really should keep his message consistent, at least within one article on the topic.
For example, in a long blog on this matter Wallis cites the Pope:
‘Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.’
Wallis then comments:
[This] quote is from Pope Benedict XVI (Caritas in Veritate), one of the most conservative of recent popes and a fierce opponent of Communism. Glenn, he thinks social justice has something to do with “redistribution,” just like you quoted me as saying. But neither of us have ever called for the “forced re-distribution” that you keep adding on to our words or say we “really mean.”
If the Pope advocates “political action” action as a means of redistribution, then clearly the Pope believes in forced redistribution. Political action can only mean getting the government to do something, and anything the government does it does by force.
So both the Pope and Jim Wallis advocate ‘political action’ – and thus government - as a way to achieve redistribution. That doesn’t make Jim Wallis right, it just makes the Pope wrong.
Wallis then goes on to tell us what he really thinks:
Listen to what we teach: you start by practicing social justice in your own life, then you act for social justice in your family, your congregation, your community, in the most local way possible. . . And you only work to change government when you can’t accomplish things on a smaller scale. . . but churches can’t build levees. And Glenn, voluntary church action can’t provide health care for millions who don’t have it, or fix broken urban school systems, or provide jobs at fair wages . . . All that requires commitments to holding governments accountable to social justice, and advocating for better public policies.
Does Jim Wallis think that those of us who don’t share his ideological commitment to ‘social justice’ just won’t pay attention to what he is saying? Jim, we are listening very carefully to what you are teaching here. You are clearly saying that there are things you believe governments must do for people, things that will cost a great deal of money. Since governments only get money by taking it from those who have it, you are necessarily advocating forced redistribution of wealth.
Jim Wallis should be honest enough to state clearly just what he is in fact advocating. Jim, don’t add the sin of manipulative deception to your sin of statism. You’re in enough trouble already!