By Tobin Grant
Beck perhaps is reacting to clergy such as Jeremiah Wright and, to a lesser extent, Jim Wallis, who are reliably “progressive” in their theology, asserting that concern for the poor requires a big state, high taxes, redistribution of wealth, and so on. Those who point to the “red letters” of Jesus to support a liberal political program misuse religion.
But to say that a church’s concern for social justice is wrong goes way over the line. Social justice means, at a minimum, fairness, or a level playing field, for all, something even a conservative like Beck could support.
Of course, if social justice blots out every other point of doctrine for a church, then it is probably unbalanced, and Beck’s advice to run as fast as you can from it may make more sense than critics like Wallis are ready to admit.