Thursday, March 08, 2007
Jim Wallis throws down the gauntlet
In response to the recent letter written by Dr. James Dobson and other conservative evangelical leaders to the National Association of Evangelicals attempting to get Richard Cizik fired for believing that global warming is an important moral issue, Jim Wallis has formally challenged Dobson to a debate. In a recent blog post he says:

Is the fact that 30,000 children will die globally today, and everyday, from needless hunger and disease a great moral issue for evangelical Christians? How about the reality of 3 billion of God’s children living on less than $2 per day? And isn’t the still-widespread and needless poverty in our own country, the richest nation in the world, a moral scandal? What about pandemics like HIV/AIDS that wipe out whole generations and countries, or the sex trafficking of massive numbers of women and children? Should genocide in Darfur be a moral issue for Christians? And what about disastrous wars like Iraq? And then there is, of course, the issue that got Dobson and his allies so agitated. If the scientific consensus is right - climate change is real, is caused substantially by human activity, and could result in hundreds of thousands of deaths - then isn’t that also a great moral issue? Could global warming actually be alarming evidence of human tinkering with God’s creation?

Or, are the only really “great moral issues” those concerning abortion, gay marriage, and the teaching of sexual abstinence? I happen to believe that the sanctity of life, the health of marriages, and teaching sexual morality to our children are, indeed, among the great moral issues of our time. But I believe they are not the only great moral issues, and Dobson says they are.

So Jim, let’s have that debate - the big debate. What are the great moral issues of our time for evangelical Christians? You’re right, a new generation is embracing a wider and deeper agenda than you want them to. I think that is a very good thing. You think it is a bad thing, and want to get people fired for raising broader issues than those connected to sexual morality. So, today, I am inviting you to have that debate about what the great moral issues of our time really are. Again, let’s ask a leading evangelical university to invite us both and host a public debate, and perhaps ask a major evangelical publication to co-sponsor it. Let’s have that debate, Jim, and see what America’s evangelicals think the great moral issues of our time really are. How about it?

Man that would be great! But I'm not going to hold my breath on Dobson actually accepting.


posted by Mike Clawson at 12:41 AM | Permalink |


At 3/12/2007 07:56:00 AM, Blogger Marcia

Hi Mike-- I actually came poking around your site looking for an email address so that I could apologize if my comments on Jesus Creed came across wrong.

I'm a direct person, and to me that was a lively discussion. It's hard to get someone's intent out of typewritten words, so if I sounded judgmental, I'm sorry.

Anyway. I like your blog, and thanks for sharing this. I wrote about something similar here.

Stop by if you have nothing better to do.


At 3/12/2007 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Hi Marcia,

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy a lively discussion as well, so no hard feelings. And thanks for the link to your blog. I like it. :)



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