“The church I attend is Christian and evangelical” Karlgaard recently wrote on his blog and in the magazine. “The mood of the congregation is moving left. The music is tilting toward a folk-rock sound of the 1960s and 1970’s…The younger clerics don’t identify themselves as ‘Christians’ but as ‘Jesus followers.’ I would guess that many of them are Barack Obama supporters, but I don’t ask…The mainstream secular media, as usual, ignores this story.”
It is not my goal to “Christian bash,” and I certainly don’t think Karlgaard intends this either. Likewise, I’m not suggesting that one editorial in “Christianity Today” suggests a trend.
Yet the expression of environmental concerns in the theologically conservative “Christianity Today” suggests a shift in sensibilities among the broader Evangelical community in America; Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton being welcomed into the pulpit of Evangelical mega church of Pastor Rick Warren to talk about combating A.I.D.S. provides similar evidence of this shift. And the presidential endorsement of the tax-hiking, school choice opposing Governor Mike Huckabee by prominent Evangelical activist Dr. James Dobson signals a clear abandonment of the limited government, free market economic sensibilities of Ronald Reagan (just how “pro family” is it to deny educational choices to children, anyway?).
While the upheaval continues in the pews, some might be inclined to ask “how do we make sure these folks vote Republican?” But that’s not the right question to be asking - - at least not yet.
The question for today is “how do we connect these worthy objectives to sound economic principles?”
Think about it. If the goal is better care of the environment, we must consider if private citizens, corporations and organizations can change people’s environmental behavior (the “recycling movement” is the best example of such a behavioral change, most of which has emerged without governmental mandates); or if we must have our government enact more environmental laws and spend more of our money enforcing them.
If social care is one’s goal, then the question is pretty straightforward: can a church or private sector charity organization care for human souls better than a governmental bureaucracy?
Presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have grand visions of a more environmentally friendly and more socially “just” society, and the only means they offer of achieving these visions is to expand the government’s level of control over our money, and our very lives.
Lets hope that American Christians begin trusting again in themselves, their faith communities, the transformative power of their own values, and sound economic principles - - and stop relying on governmental power to solve our societal problems.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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