The Corner

Should Evangelicals Pull Back from Politics?

Patheos is hosting a discussion on whether faith leaders should “pull back” from engaging in politics. Pull back? That would imply that Evangelicals are strongly engaged in politics. We’re not.

In my submission I note that the church is far, far more engaged in (for example) anti-poverty programs than it is in political or social activism, and so long as our nation not only sanctions but helps fund the yearly slaughter of almost one million unborn children, we need to recalibrate our engagement to more appropriately reflect the scale of the injustice.

But our activism shouldn’t be contained to abortion:

What about economic issues? Aren’t they less black and white than abortion? Certainly they are less black and white, but they’re still critically important. For generations we’ve forsaken free-market solutions to poverty, embraced a multi-trillion dollar investment in welfare, and we’ve watched the American family fly apart for the poor and lower-middle class. As a result, our poverty problem has increasingly become a marriage problem, with married couples enjoying low poverty rates while single-mother households are swallowed up by economic insecurity. So should Christians merely accept the liberal elite’s welfare state and supplement it with soup kitchens of their own? Or can we also present a biblical witness about the importance of marriage and the value of working for one’s sustenance?

Spend much time in Evangelical circles, and you’ll find an almost-desperate desire for cultural acceptance and relevance (I know that’s not how we’re stereotyped, but the liberal elite know nothing about us). Part of that is the product of terrible theology — the well-meaning but misguided belief that the Gospel message won’t be accepted without repairing our “brand” — and part of it is just simple selfishness. After all, who doesn’t want to be loved by, well, everyone?

I’d invite you to read the whole thing. And, as always, your feedback is welcome.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More