For those of you who thought that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was taking the unions on to put his state on a fiscally solvent path--you're wrong! He's actually causing all of this trouble because he's a bad Christian. Or so says Diana Butler Bass, pictured below.
Bass is the liberal Christian author of "A Marxist's People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story." She writes:
Unlike the Roman Catholics and traditional Protestants who have spoken on behalf of the laborers, Walker has no spiritual "check" on him, no authority other than the ones he hears in his own head, and no moral culpability in this situation. He's the good Christian soldier, just following God's lead.
And this is why Scott Walker's religion is actually dangerous in the public square. Because it lacks the ability to compromise, it is profoundly anti-democratic. Many faith traditions actually possess deep spiritual resources that allow them to participate in pluralistic, democratic, and creative political change. But those sort of traditions tend emphasize the love of God and neighbor over strict obedience to an unyielding Father God. Despite anything Scott Walker might say, the confident dictum of the old hymn, "Trust and Obey" is not the best way to govern a state.
She continues, "Other than David Koch (fake or otherwise), Walker is listening to One Person and One Person only: Jesus speaking directly to him. God, evidently, has directed him on his current path." Evidently? What evidence? Maybe if God is taking the form of excel spreadsheets that spell out billions of dollars of deficits in the state, then Bass is on to something. But to paint Gov. Walker as a religious fundamentalist is otherwise absurd.
Mark D. Tooley, writing yesterday at Front Page Magazine, delivers a thorough rebuttal of Bass' screed in one sentence:
Governor Walker has cited fiscal reality, not religion, for his stance with Wisconsin’s government unions.
Tooley points out that many other Christian leaders in Wisconsin are asking the governor to reconsider his cost-cutting legislation in the name of "compassion." But there's another side to this story too. Over the past several days, I've heard Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Eric Cantor, and Rep. Paul Ryan, and Senator Marco Rubio deliver talks about the very issues that Scott Walker is facing in Wisconsin--namely, the unfunded entitlements that will bankrupt our states, if not our country. These politicians were uniform in their belief that if we do not make minor reforms to these entitlements, as Scott Walker is proposing in Wisconsin, that they will not exist period in a few short years. Reforming them now means that retirees will continue to receive their pension checks, rather than the grim alternative. How's that for compassion?
(hat tip Front Page).