I agree with the spirit behind the new campaign
by Jim Wallis and others to question the morality of the proposed House budget cuts, but this blog article at Commentary and my own reflection makes me uneasy with the inherently flippant use of Jesus’ name in any campaign like this.
In other words, I share the urge to “shout from the rooftops” that Christianity should not be associated with the draconian nature of the budget cuts, but I fear that it cheapens and weakens the Christian language to use what we Christians consider a name of God in an advertising campaign. It just seems like there could have been a much better headline to use to make the same point. It may not have been “better” in a Madison Avenue way, but I think it would have been better to our humility and “poverty in spirit” to not have implied that we know the Final Answer to a question like this.
Simplistic, market-driven use of religious language is wrong no matter where it comes from, and I regret that in an earlier blog that referred to this campaign I did not make this point. Probably appropriate that a magazine like Commentary with its Jewish roots should be challenging us on glibly using names for God given the rich tradition in Judaism against that.
Question the budget cuts, challenge them, use religious arguments to shape your thinking—but don’t use slogans that you would find simplistic or potentially faith degrading if used against your positions.