The Culture Wars and Ending Poverty

David Brooks writes that we can have culture
wars or a war on poverty, but we can’t have both.

we can have
a culture war
in this country,
or we can
have a war
on poverty,
but we can’t
have both
–David Brooks

David Brooks writes that many moderate evangelicals are not satisfied with the public figures identified as their leaders and they are more interested in a war on poverty than the culture wars. He says they could find common ground with other Christians and create an alliance to end poverty.

Mike McCurry, Robert Edgar and Jim Wallace have said the same. With the growing concern that the culture wars are leading us nowhere and doing more harm than good, maybe the time is coming when we can, in fact, start to work seriously at ending poverty and overcoming division. Poverty is a concern for many Christians. Some have consistently sought to bring it to an end for years. But as the country moved the right, other issues took center stage.

Ending poverty is a traditional value that cuts across all Christian theological streams. It’s rooted in Jesus’ commitment to the poor. Few would dispute it. It’s biblical and all who take the biblical record seriously must take seriously the responsibility to ease the suffering of the poor.
While it’s a way to overcome divisions, it’s also a way to express meaningful Christian community and witness to the healing concern of Christian faith. My hope is that this idea takes hold and mobilizes people of faith. And further, I hope it gains public attention and generates public discourse about hope and healing.

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