Jim Wallis Hides His Own Shortcomings Again

Jim Wallis is CEO of "Sojourners", a lefty religious organization. A few months back, I quoted him:

I have never really trusted those who are intolerant and condemning of other people's shortcomings. It makes me suspect they are likely hiding their own.
Which makes his latest screed, "How Christian is Tea Party Libertarianism?" a display only interesting its hypocrisy. It's a very weak attempt to mash up libertarianism with the Tea Party movement, and accuse that imaginary agglomeration of being "un-Christian".

This won't be a point-by-point rebuttal of Wallis. Not worth it; he's largely ignorant of both libertarianism and the Tea Party, and it shows. Are they really as synonymous as Wallis implies? No, but making a careful distinction between the two would complicate his argument, flawed as it is.

Wallis capitalizes "Libertarian" consistently, apparently also unaware of the distinction between big-L Libertarian and small-l libertarian; he probably wouldn't have made the same mistake with Democratic/democratic or Republican/republican.

And Wallis's "Libertarianism" is unsullied by any reference to actual libertarian thought: no damning quotes from Reason magazine, or the Cato Institute. Wallis would rather confront the "un-Christian" enemies he constructs out of his own fantasies.

Wallis gets so deep into battling his libertarian strawmen, he can pretty much divorce himself from reality at points. For example, he accuses libertarians of belief "in the myth of the sinless market". —without, of course, bothering to find even one supporting quote. And he's quick to jump on the implications of that nonsense:

But such theorizing ignores the practical issues that the public sector has to solve. Should big oil companies like BP simply be allowed to spew oil into the ocean?
Gosh, I'm sure glad the "public sector" has successfully disallowed companies like BP from spewing oil into the ocean.

Oh, wait a minute…

All us Bible school dropouts will recognize Wallis as the kind of guy Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7:

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

I'm a poor Christian, but I'm happy to use Jesus's standard of judging others by their own measure. So I'm pretty comfortable deeming Wallis (once again) a hypocritical idiot whose dishonest moral preening should set any decent person's teeth on edge.

Last Modified 2010-05-31 10:45 AM EST