Thursday, March 05, 2009

Real Prophetability

Keith Pavlischek questions how courageous it really was for Ronald Sider, Jim Wallis, and David Gushee to endorse President Obama's nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services in a post At First Things called The Self-Proclaimed Prophethood of Evangelical Believers:

But if you are going to get into the rough and tumble of everyday politics and if you are going to take the side of President Obama, the most powerful man in the world, against evangelicals and Catholics leaders in the pro-life movement on a cabinet appointment, could we at least be spared all the self-righteous drivel about being "prophetic," and "speaking the truth to power." You can be a flak for the Obama administration on things like cabinet appointments. Or, you can claim to be a "prophet" and "speak the truth to power." But you can't be both. It seems obvious what the Wallis, Sider and Gushee crowd have chosen.

If my fellow evangelicals want an example of how to be prophetic with regard to Gov. Sebelius' stance on abortion, they might take a clue from Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City , Kansas. Last May, Archbishop Naumann reacting to Sebelius' veto of state Senate Bill 389 and the subsequent House version, titled the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act, declared that Sebelius' stance on abortion had "grave spiritual and moral consequences." He asked that Sebelius no longer receive Communion until she repudiated her stance and made a "worthy sacramental confession."

To this evangelical, that sounds a tad more "prophetic," than the hack politics of Wallis, Sider, Gushee. In any case, it will be something to keep in mind next time this crowd gets on its high horse and denounces the religious right for compromising its prophetic voice in pursuit of political power.

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