E. J. Dionne on how religion challenges the left and right

These are not new thoughts, but Dionne reminds us that conservatives and progressives can work together. Here’s a taste:

On the other hand, a concern for social justice not only unites large numbers of believers across conservative/progressive lines but also appeals deeply to the more skeptical young. This is one reason why Pope Francis’ eloquent emphasis on lifting up the poor, so visible during his recent trip to Brazil, could make him a transformational leader.
Conservatives need to pay attention to the power of justice and compassion. Otherwise, they will find their cause undercut, even within their religious base, by a refusal to grapple with the economic system’s unfairness. As for progressives, they would be foolish to push away religious allies who are instructed by scripture of the Almighty’s ambition to “loose the bonds of injustice” and “let the oppressed go free.”

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