Religious Left (Behind)

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Nathan and David.jpegSarah Posner, who writes the FundamentaList column for the American Prospect, has a useful piece up on Religion Dispatches anatomizing what sometimes passes for the religious left inside the Beltway. Posner’s grumpy point is that the likes of Jim Wallis and Mara Vanderslice and Katie Paris and Burns Strider are not the real left, but rather the house liberals of the Democratic Party–actually it’s important for Wallis to pretend that he’s not–who are more priestly than prophetic in their witness for peace and justice. This is not the first time such a lament has been heard in the land. A new book, Dispatches from the Religious Left, rounds up a bunch of outside-the-Beltway lefties to make the case for themselves. I don’t have a problem with their case, and I understand their annoyance, but that doesn’t seem to me sufficient grounds for scorning those toiling in the spiritual vineyards of Democratic Party politics. There’s a role for priests as well as prophets in this world.
Update: Pastor Dan doesn’t disagree with me on the possible virtues of insiderhood. It’s a nice question, though, whether by prophetic standards Kossack Nation is insider or outsider.