Sunday, March 02, 2008

Red Letter Christians

The full name of Tony Campolo's new book is Red Letter Christians: A Citizen's Guide to Faith and Politics. This is not merely a list of candidates' voting records with suggestions for helping the Republican party retain the White House. Far from it! But it is also not a call to build a Religious Left to counter the Religious Right as he explains in this BeliefNet article.

With a call similar to that of Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Tony expresses the need to support values and issues, not partisan politics with a complete allegiance to a given party.

Tony explains, "Believing that Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, we want to unite Christians who are concerned about what is happening in America. We are evangelicals who are troubled by what is happening to poor people in America; who are disturbed over environmental policies that are contributing to global warming; who are dismayed over the increasing arrogance of power shown in our country’s militarism; who are outraged because government funding is being reduced for schools where students, often from impoverished and dysfunctional homes, are testing poorly; who are upset with the fact that of the 22 industrialized nations America is next to last in the proportion of its national budget (less than two-tenths of 1 percent) that is designated to help the poor of third-world countries; and who are broken-hearted over discrimination against women, people of color, and those who suffer because of their sexual orientation" (BeliefNet, accessed 2 Mar 2008).

While I have only read sections of this book while standing in the bookstore, I can say that I really appreciate the parts I did read. Chapters are devoted to topics such as government waste, crime, the environment, The war, AIDS, gay rights, immigration, minimum wage and SO much more.

If you read this and want more, start a Jim Wallis library with these:

And if you feel like a revolutionary or just an "ordinary radical," check out Shane Claiborne's new work of art, Jesus for President (2008). I just started reading this one. Good stuff. Hardcore.

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