The Common Good

Progressive evangelical attacks safety net

Date: February 27, 2013

When DC’s Religion Industrial Complex sings its hosannas about evangelicals moving toward progressive social positions I always try to be hopeful, even as I turn a gimlet eye to what’s really happening beneath the headlines.

In recent years the Red Letter Christian who gets the most ink, and the most praise from Jim Wallis and other leftish evangelical confreres, has been Ron Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action. I don’t know Sider personally, and most of what I have been able to read about his spiritual and ethical evolution is positive. Which is why I was kind of stunned to read his Huffington Post declaration on so-called inter-generational injustice. I thought, “Wow, this guy buys right into the deficit scold mentality without really doing his homework: another leader who should know better is taking his cues straight from the GOP playbook.”

In the piece, Sider announces that he is tearing up his AARP card because the AARP isn’t willing to face the deficit music and join in calls to cut Social Security and Medicare. He employs familiar Greedy Geezer rhetoric: how deplorable that seniors are treated so lavishly when our young have it so rough, etc.