The Religious Left’s Photo-Op Martyrdom

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


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Adding to the religious class warfare rhetoric was former NCC President Michael Livingston, who declared: “Our elected officials are protecting corporations and wealthy individuals while shredding the safety net for millions of the most vulnerable people in our nation and abroad.” Ignoring scriptural warnings against covetousness, the Religious Left likes to rant against unnamed “corporations and wealthy individuals.” These prelates do not typically acknowledge that many poor people would like the understandable opportunity to earn wealth themselves, and possibly create their own corporations, rather than remain appendages of the Welfare State. But free markets that allow new wealth creation and independence from Big Government frighten the Religious Left. After all, its “Kingdom of God” is centered on a coercively centralized redistributionist state that rewards political homage and correct opinions rather than merit and entrepreneurship.

Livingston further claimed: “Today, we ‘offer our bodies as a living sacrifice’ to say to congress ‘Raise revenue, protect the vulnerable and those living in poverty.’” In fact, these lobbyists and activists were not “offering their bodies” towards any personal sacrifice but to news photographers and reporters as a photo op. One liberal church demonstrator failed to cite to a reporter any specific budget limits that were upsetting, instead exclaiming: “All of them concern us.” In other words, no limits on government social spending are ever acceptable.

Naturally, there were the inevitable claimed parallels to the Civil Rights Movement.  But civil rights demonstrators often paid a real price and were demanding equal legal rights for all. In their contrived “prayer” and pursuit of arrest in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, these modern Religious Leftists linked their faith to an uncontrolled and suffocating entitlement state in which government benefits equal salvation. The needy for whom they claimed to speak deserve better. And the overseas Christians who risk far more dangerous and permanent arrest for much nobler causes are vastly more deserving of media attention and reverence.

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  • elihew

    "professing" christians…

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Is the United Methodist Church a leftist organization now? They're beginning to sound like Unitarian Universalists plus Jesus. I seem to remember reading somewhere that their membership is in a tailspin. Any info on this from readers?

    • Questions

      UMC has been like this since the 1970s and maybe earlier. Donations to it might as well be donations to ACORN.

  • Steve

    Maybe we should get the churches to pay their "fair share"?

  • Brian

    Notice you never see these leftists protesting against big city mayors with 50% unemployment and illiteracy rates thru the roof. The bible says we are to "strengthen the arm of the poor" these leftists only strengthen the arm of big government.

  • StephenD

    I've known clergy that have put their money where their mouth is and have gone without to share with those less fortunate. With these folks in mind, I curb my tongue. But…these "spectacles" should know, we see you for what you really are. You are nothing more; and no less than the scourge of Communism. You may say you're for "charity" but charity is voluntary. Remember, God LOVES a cheerful giver and not one of compulsion. You taking from me to give to…well, stop right there. You taking from me is STEALING! You're not supposed to do that…or have you forgotten?

  • guest

    I found the comment of "offering their bodies as sacrifice" highly offensive. They are comparing themselves to Jesus who offered up his body. There is no comparison. They miss the parts of the New Testament that speak of the church taking care of their own people by taking up collections, the part about if a man refuses to work, he should not get a share of the food, love (not demonize) one another, render unto Caesar what is Caesar render up to God what is God's (while looking at a coin). Nowhere does it say that the STATE provide for the people.

  • RicS

    Who would Jesus indebt? (probably not our grandchildren)