Wesley Blog highlights a column by Katha Pollitt. In it she criticizes Jim Wallis and his role of trying to get the democrats to not be shy about relating politics and religious faith. Admittedly Pollitt is not sympathetic when she covers religion. But I do think that labeling her and the magazine she writes for, The Nation as folks who "hate Jesus and Christians" is over the top. A number of religious authors, including Harvey Cox contribute to the magazine and some smart thinking about religion has come from it's pages.
And it obscures a point which Pollitt raises which is important to think about. How does one engage in the language of religious faith which takes it seriously without excluding a whole swath of Americans? I believe Martin Luther King was able to do this, sensitive to the insights of a number of religions, working with secular as well as religious groups, in painting a vision for justice. But it's not an easy thing and we need to be cognizant of this.
How does one relate to religion in a way which preserves neutrality of the government to specific religions? Clearly this is not a concern of the Bush administration, but a religious left should not simply copy the tactics, becoming the mirror of the religious right. This is not to say that Wallis is not concerned about either issue and in that I think Pollitt is not fair in her criticism. But these two issues are ones that need consideration.
And here's some ecumenical cooperation which suggests that the divisions this and other countries face is not one of doctrine as much as values. A piece in a UK paper talks about the common ground muslims and evangelicals have discovered in opposing gay rights and other social issues. And in the US atheist and humanist groups have begun to recognize the potential cooperation which can be had with mainline protestant groups.