Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute takes Jim Wallis to task for claiming a hike in cigarette taxes is the "moral thing to do." Father Sirico makes several good moral and economic arguments against "sin" taxes, including citing Thomas Aquinas' warnings against making all immoral behavior illegal. However, Father Sirico's arguments are unlikely to convince a post-millennialist like Wallis, who believes the state has a scared duty to improve our behavior to create heaven on earth. Wallis' post-millennial crusade to create an earthly paradise also explains his support for US military action in the name of "human rights."
Post-millennialism does not just exist on the Christan left. One can detect traces of it among certain segments of the Christian right. For instance, there is definitely a post-millennial ring to some of the rhetoric used by the leaders of "Jesus Camp." I have mixed feelings about the people and activities presented in the movie. On the one hand, many of the children are remarkably well-spoken and seem genuinely devoted to spreading the word of Christ. As I pro-life libertarian, I also share their goal of ending abortion, which is the political issue emphasized in the film. I was also favorably disposed to think well of the subjects of the film because I saw the movie in DC with a liberal crowd who snorted with derision or gasped in shock whenever the children, their parents, or the camp leaders, expressed opposition to abortion, or skepticism about global warming or evolution.
However, I was disturbed, to put it mildly, by the mixture of religion and nationalism. Christian libertarians will be put off by the constant waving of the American flag, and the "blessing"" of George Bush for putting "holy men" in charge of the US state.
I wonder what the owners and operators of Jesus Camp make of the revelation that the godly men George Bush brought to Washington think that many conservative Christians are "nuts." Hopefully, both the Jesus Campers and the followers of Jim Wallis will learn from David Kuo's bad example of the dangers of Christians become caught up in politics:
"In some ways White House power is like [J.R.R.] Tolkienís ring of power. When you put it on, it feels good and itís dazzling. But after a while it begins to consume you in ways you donít realize. Thatís the nature of White House power. I have no doubt that Christian political leaders have gotten involved for all the right reasons. I just think over time it becomes harder and harder to stand up against that ring of power and the White House, to say no and walk away.
The Christian political leaders have been seduced. If you look at their comments that they know what theyíre doing, Iím not quite sure how to read thatóis it wonderful or a little troubling? Thatís one of the reasons I call for this fast from politics."