Whence the Christian left?

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Christian right? It's neither, say many Christians and others who believe it unlikely that Christ would have advocated slashing taxes for the wealthy and assistance for the poor. Yet those organizing outrage into a Christian left counterattack are finding the effort slow going.

The Christian left is hard-pressed to match the monied, efficient Christian right networks, and the budding left lobby simply lacks the ears to bend. Sojourners editor Jim Wallis, who's barnstorming the country with the Christian left Cry for Renewal movement, says they'd love to ape avoter guide like the one the Christian Coalition distributed 40 million copies of before the 1994 election. But 'there aren't enough politicians we could support,' he told Washington Monthly's Amy Waldman.

Waldman cites other reasons for a faltering Christian left, including a liberal tendency to downplay religious convictions and a leftish bent for 'radical chic over radical change' (going on a peace delegation to Nicaragua is more alluring than sit-ins to save an inner-city soup kitchen). But Waldman also lauds the growing success of the Renewal movement (see ongoing coverage in Sojourners magazine) and other groups such as Progressive Evangelical Network and the Jewish/Christian Interfaith Alliance.