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Joel Belz, publisher of World magazine, has published in that magazine's latest issue a blistering attack on our November editorial on dominant-issue politics. In speaking with Belz this morning, he clarified that it was intended as a broad shot at a larger point of view shared by many people, but he made it clear that our editorial remains in the center of his complaint.

Even with clarifying comments from Belz, as well as a gracious demeanor throughout the conversation, we at Christianity Today remain troubled by the column.

We are charged with "condescending arrogance" because we "assert … that abortion, homosexuality, and marriage are not just not the black-and-white issues some of us would like to suggest they are." It's difficult to find that "assertion" in our November editorial or in any other. The reason: We do see them as black-and-white (or better yet, right-and-wrong) issues.

Belz's column says our editorial is based on "the assumption that those of us who harp on abortion, homosexuality, and marriage have never given thought to issues like poverty and economic justice, to racism and minority rights, to war and international fairness, to healthcare and environmental issues."

Baloney. The only thing one can logically construe from our editorial is that the Christian public policy agenda is comprehensive. Nothing more, nothing less.

Finally, Belz decries our caution about single-issue politics, and then repeatedly lists three issues (abortion, homosexuality, and traditional marriage) of ultimate concern. It's clear that all three arise out one main issue: the sexual revolution begun in the 1960s, but it's hard to see how these three issues are today one issue politically. And it's worth noting that many politicians ...

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November 2004

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