Is it good news that Jim Wallis of Sojourners is trying to recapture the flag of “religious faith and values” for non-Republicans? (Video of Sojourners’ Obama-Clinton-Edwards forum here, comments from “faith bloggers” here.) Sam Smith doesn’t think so:

“Whether religion is a good place to look for faith and values seems to vary over time. For example, in the 1960s, ministers were among the most valuable voices of change because they found the best parts of the Bible and acted on it. Now, even in the milder sects, clergy is so busy keeping their budget up and vestry happy that you hardly see a white collar at a demonstration any more. When America finally decides to ditch the disastrous faith and values of the neo-colonial, neo-corporate, neo-corrupt Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years, I suspect that the preachers will return to help lead America’s revival, but at present religion collectively is a predominantly evil force in the world and until a lot more religionists become embarrassed about this, it will stay that way.”

Two thoughts:

Smith, as a Green Party member, has no trouble seeing the many similarities between W and his predecessors that I for one tend to forget.

Isn’t Wallis pushing in the same general direction as Smith would like to see — in this case, highlighting biblical injunctions to help the poor? So why the venom?