A Thought About Christian Politics And The Rule Of Law

Source: http://tinyurl.com/63eb9yt

A thought occurred to me. This can be dangerous sometimes, but hear me out.

I am wondering about intra-Christian debates on what is the best economic policy for the state in terms of what will help the poor the most. More specifically, I am wondering if, in many ways, they are a distraction.

I don’t mean this in the way that many do: that is, I don’t mean that we should give up on what our culture calls “politics” and form alternative communities. (I am okay with the idea of living in a community that intends to be an example to the wider society, but not instead of┬ábeing engaged in politics as our culture defines it.)

What I mean is different. As I’ve been listening to the positions and representatives of the progressives, conservatives, and libertarians, it occurs to me that they can all agree on certain social justice matters. They can agree on the rule of law in a true sense: where the law does not favour anyone due their financial status. And this principle has many applications. I believe all three positions can agree that crony capitalism, or welfare for the rich, is not just. Conservatives and libertarians (in our context) are both supposed to be free-market, which opposes welfare as a general rule, and progressives oppose welfare for the rich in specific; why then, cannot all three wings of the church agree to co-operate in opposing this?

I really wonder, too, if focusing on just bringing our political order into accord with this one principle, in all its many applications, would not drastically improve the plight of the poor, more than any other political principle. This is something that could be challenged, but I have a feeling that it might be the single most important issue in terms of helping the poor, considered in its widest significance.

But if I am right about this, a lot of the time we spend debating (and worse) about this is perhaps unnecessary. I don’t mean to say the discussion is not worth having. I think it is. But I am seriously wondering if an issue that (I think) all three ideologies have in common might not be something worthy of more emphasis and practical engagement than it has been having so far.